Are THC and Cannabis Products Safe for Dogs

They have health benefits but there are some risks associated with them too. THC is generally safe for dogs unless consumed in large quantity. Know more.
Dog sitting on sand under a blue sky

You can give cannabis products to your dog for its health benefits if they are legal at your place and if your vet recommends it. THC levels in the CBD products for dogs should be appropriate and given in small doses to prevent any negative effects. Know all about THC and whether it is safe for dogs. ~ Ed.

Are THC and Cannabis Products Safe for Dogs

In recent years, medical and recreational marijuana has taken the world by storm. However, humans using cannabis dates back to as early as 500 B.C. Today, pets are having more exposure to cannabis products, but are they safe, and do they actually work?

As a pet owner, you may wonder if THC is dangerous for your pup and for a good reason. We always want to ensure we are doing everything possible to allow our dogs to live a long and happy life. 

In this post, I will cover everything you need to know about THC and pets. I will also talk a bit about THC and how exactly it affects humans and animals. 

What Is THC

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the many compounds in cannabis plants. It is a psychoactive compound. Therefore, it has intoxicating effects when consumed. Cannabis plants secrete THC around the plant’s reproductive organs, and humans harvest the resin for consumption. However, THC is not the only compound within the resin. There is a wide range of cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), flavonoids, and terpenes. 

How Does THC Affect the Body

People have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), a cluster of cells in the brain that interact with cannabinoids. The ECS is responsible for a wide range of bodily functions, such as sleep, mood, memory, appetite, and reproduction. Your ECS is working all the time, whether or not you consume cannabinoids. 

THC interacts with the brain’s dopamine receptors to influence a wide range of feelings and functions. Dopamine can create a sense of euphoria, which is why most people claim consuming THC puts them in a better mood. 

THC can also create hallucinations, interfere with memory retention, and change the way people think. However, these effects only typically occur when taking a large dose. Some people can have increased anxiety, restlessness, and paranoia. 

The effects of THC can generally last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the person’s tolerance and a few other factors. 

What Are the Health Benefits of THC

Since THC gets people high, there is a lot of speculation whether it is smart to consume it for medicinal purposes. However, it is becoming more apparent that THC comes with a vast array of health benefits, especially for those with chronic illnesses. For starters, THC and other marijuana products can tremendously help those struggling with mental health problems. 

Here are some of the well-known benefits of THC:

  • Pain relief
  • Better sleep quality
  • Enhances appetite
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Relaxes muscle

However, THC is still in its early stages of clinical research. Scientists need more data to validate the exact health benefits of using cannabis. That said, most people who consume marijuana regularly claim it helps them with a wide range of physical and mental conditions.

Can Dogs Use THC

So, how much THC is safe for dogs? Since dogs are mammals, they too have an ECS. However, their cannabinoids receptors are much more sensitive than ours. As a result, dogs cannot consume the same volume of cannabis products as humans can. That said, dogs can still potentially benefit from THC, CBD, and numerous other cannabinoids.

However, giving cannabis products to your dog requires extreme caution. Since their cannabinoid receptors are more concentrated, even a moderate dose can have adverse effects. Even the smallest dose for a human is considered to be extremely high for canines. 

If a dog consumes too much cannabis, some adverse side effects can include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea  
  • Static ataxia

What Is a Safe Dosage of THC for Dogs

While cannabis products are widely available, there are tons of inferior products that are not effective and potentially dangerous. If you’re planning to get any cannabis products for your dog, you should always go with a tried and tested company that’s backed by countless reviews online. You should also look for products that contain a full spectrum of cannabinoids for maximum health benefits. 

Many CBD products for pets typically contain less than 0.3% THC. If the brand is dependable, they should put the appropriate dosage clearly on the product’s packaging. You can also find the appropriate dosage of THC based on your dog’s body weight.

If you are unsure how much you should give your pup, please do not hesitate to reach out to the supplier. The last thing you want is for your dog to consume too much and end up feeling sick. Therefore, it is better safe than sorry. If it is your dog’s first time trying cannabis products, always start with the smallest dose possible and gradually increase it over time. Doing so will help your pooch develop a healthy tolerance and prevent any negative effects. 

What Do Vets Have To Say About THC and Dogs

While there is a lot of anecdotal evidence about the benefits of cannabis for dogs, several vets in the United States still do not recommend it. It could be because there is not enough research about marijuana or that vets do not know enough about the benefits. What’s more, there is still a stigma about cannabis since it was and still is illegal in most places.

However, vets are gradually becoming more curious about the potential health benefits for dogs using cannabis products. Considering many pet owners have positive experiences with marijuana, it is no surprise that the substance is becoming quite the topic of discussion throughout the veterinary community. 

That said, there is still a lot of research to do to create any conclusive results. If you are curious about whether THC is safe for your pup, do not be afraid to ask your vet. 

Final Thoughts

In short, yes, THC is safe for dogs when taken in a small dosage. However, there are several negative side effects if your dog consumes too much of it.

What’s more, there is not enough clinical research about THC and dogs’ health benefits to solidify positive results. That said, we can expect a lot more information in the near future. 

Over to you

Have you ever given cannabis products to your dog? If yes, then what were your experiences? Share your tips and suggestions in the comments section.

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