Can Dogs Get High on Weed? Effects Of Marijuana

Nikhil Goswami

Marijuana is a substance that humans have used for years for health and recreational purposes. Some use it when they want a good time, while others need it for issues such as insomnia, pain, anxiety, or others.

However, dogs using weed is not a topic that most people talk about. So, can dogs take this substance, and if they can, do they get high?

This article will cover all there is to know about the effects of marijuana on dogs, be it negative or positive. Furthermore, it will cover the legality of using this substance on dogs.

Do Dogs Get High?

Just like humans, your dog can get high. This can happen if they inhale or eat marijuana or THC products or if they are around someone who is.

Your dog’s experience with marijuana would differ from yours, and they may have a bad trip. This is because dogs have more cannabinoid receptors in their brains than humans, so they are more sensitive to the substance.

Effects of Marijuana on Your Dog

Your dog should typically start to feel the effects of marijuana in about 30 to 60 minutes after ingestion or inhalation. If you’ve recently smoked in the same room as your pup or believe they have eaten something laced with THC, you can look out for some signs to confirm your suspicions. These signs include:

  • Drooling
  • Restlessness
  • Easily startled
  • Lack of coordination
  • Vomiting
  • Dilated pupils

Depending on your dog’s size, how sensitive it is, and how much cannabis it ate, the signs of being high can be mild or severe. Some dogs may become overly active and restless, while others may become sleepy as if given a drug to sleep. Your pup might even start drooling or vomiting due to nausea.

When a dog eats cannabis, it can take anywhere from 18 to 36 hours for them to feel better. Marijuana poisoning usually doesn’t kill, but seizures and comas are signs of a more severe reaction, and you should treat this as a medical emergency.

You must take all symptoms seriously, no matter how small, because you can never tell how serious the case may become. Therefore, you should always consult your veterinarian immediately after you realize that your dog may have been exposed to a form of marijuana.

Can Marijuana Kill a Dog?

According to the Pet Poison Helpline, dogs have a moderate to high chance of falling sick due to the consumption of marijuana. While rare, dogs can die when they consume too much of it.

This may happen if you inadvertently leave your bag open or if your pet manages to get their paws on some edibles, thinking it’s one of their dog treats. Whatever the case, ensure to take your pet to the vet.

How to Treat Marijuana Exposure

Exposing your dog to marijuana does not typically lead to fatality, but you must seek medical attention as soon as possible.

You don’t have to worry about problems with the law. Veterinarians are not required to call the police if an animal is exposed to marijuana by accident. They are not likely to call the police unless they think there has been abuse or neglect.

If that is the case, they are required by law to report. Your vet only wants what’s best for your dog, so telling them about how your dog ate weed would be helpful.

Reach your local veterinarian and explain what your pup ingested or inhaled. Ensure to inform them about everything, from the form of cannabis to the quantity ingested or inhaled and how long ago the exposure happened.

All this information would help the animal health professional determine the best course of treatment. That said, there are typically two courses of action your local vet may take to stabilize your pup.

First Method of Treatment

Getting rid of a poison already entering the body is typically the first line of defense. If you notice the effects of marijuana intoxication shortly after ingestion, your veterinarian may induce vomiting to stop the absorption of the poison. However, two complications may affect this method.

First, you might only notice the drug’s presence after the toxicity symptoms have already begun to develop.

The second is that marijuana contains chemicals that inhibit vomiting. Therefore, pumping your dog’s stomach may be an option in extreme circumstances.

For best results, the vet may give your dog activated charcoal every six to eight hours to remove the poison effectively. To minimize intestinal poisoning, your vet may also use an enema.

Second Method of Treatment

If your dog is already showing signs of marijuana toxicity, then the next line of treatment is supportive care until the effects of the drug wear off. Your vet may administer medications and supportive care to ease your dog’s suffering.

The vet could use these medications to control your pet’s heart rate, breathing rate, and body temperature if needed.

Your pet may be tired and not want to eat or drink, so the caregiver could give intravenous fluids (IV) to help keep them from getting dehydrated. The IV fluids also help to keep your pup’s blood pressure up and their organs working properly.

Medications that help with anxiety can reduce irritability. If your pet feels sick or like throwing up, the vet may need to offer treatment for their stomach or intestines.

You should ensure your dog is in a safe and comfortable place to keep it from hurting itself, especially when disoriented. Lastly, ensure that there is little noise to help reduce sensory stimulation.

If your dog ate a toxic substance along with cannabis, such as raisins or chocolate, the vet might offer more supportive care or treatments to tackle the symptoms of eating those other substances.

Furthermore, they might want to run some tests to confirm if the substance had systemic effects on your pet. After running these tests, the vet might let you take your pet home or offer further treatment.

Types of Marijuana Exposure (Intentional vs. Accidental Exposure)

Even responsible pet owners who use marijuana might accidentally expose their furry friend to the substance via edibles or marijuana smoke. While this mistake might have dire consequences, it is understandable because mistakes happen.

However, some pet owners derive pleasure from feeding their pets cannabis or blowing smoke in their faces.

These actions are intentionally hurtful and unethical, to say the least. Some might even consider this abusive behavior because dogs cannot give consent when it comes to getting high. So, forcing them to feel the effects of cannabis intoxication is not only detrimental to their health but cruel.

Doing so may leave your pup confused and anxious or worse; this effect may last for a long time until the substance leaves their systems. If you must share your cannabis plant with someone else, consider inviting a friend over instead of inconveniencing your dog.

How to Protect Your Dog From Marijuana Intoxication

Watching your dog go through major discomfort can be heartbreaking, especially when you realize that there are ways you could have avoided that situation.

Therefore, it is important to take certain measures to ensure you keep your furry friend as safe as possible. Here are some steps you can take to avoid exposing your dog to cannabis

Store Marijuana Properly

You should treat your cannabis the way you treat other delicate items like medication or alcohol. Keep your herbs away from kids and dogs. You can do this by storing the cannabis in a secured cabinet or in a space that your dog cannot easily reach; consider a cabinet that is high up.

Be Conscious of Your Possession

Always have an idea of how much weed you have in your possession. It could be the amount you have in your pocket or in general. Knowing how much weed you own can help determine if any goes missing.

If you find out that you are missing a few ounces, you can quickly find them. If you cannot find the missing marijuana, your dog may have ingested it. After confirming that they have consumed the cannabis, you can take the appropriate action.

Smoke in Appropriate Areas

Your dog can get high from secondhand smoke. So, ensure that you do not smoke around them, especially in an enclosed space. If you must smoke with your dog, you can do so outside or in a well-ventilated room.

Induce Vomiting

If you quickly notice that your dog has ingested cannabis, you can induce vomiting. Inducing vomiting ensures that they purge themselves of the substance. After successfully doing this, you should still visit the vet to make sure your pup is fine.

Medical Marijuana for Dogs

You might be tempted to give your pet marijuana if they are experiencing discomforts such as chronic pain, anxiety, or others. The substance is more tempting if your dog suffers from a terminal or chronic condition. However, giving them marijuana might make things worse than they already are.

Research on the effectiveness of marijuana for medical and therapeutic purposes is still in its infancy. Furthermore, studies of its use in animals are scarce. At this point, there is mostly circumstantial evidence that it is effective in pets.

For up-to-date information and recommendations, talk to your vet. You can discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks of cannabis ingestion in experimental treatment.

In most cases, other medications are best suited to treat your dog’s conditions, which do not cause serious side effects.

The Legality of Marijuana for Dogs

Currently, it is against the law for veterinarians to give your dog marijuana or recommend anything made from it. Even though marijuana is now legal in many states, the federal government still considers it a Schedule 1 drug. This is because marijuana has psychoactive properties, meaning it gets people high and could possibly be addictive.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved one product made from cannabis for people with certain types of epilepsy. Furthermore, the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act (AMDUCA) says that vets can give this substance to animals as an “extra-label” medication in certain situations.

Difference Between THC and CBD for Dogs

Cannabidiol (CBD) is not like THC. CBD is a chemical component that occurs naturally in cannabis and hemp plants. This is why the substance does not cause a high. Therefore, your dog will not have any of the adverse effects of consuming marijuana.

CBD oil for dogs has been increasingly popular in recent years. Many people now use it to treat a wide range of medical concerns in their dogs, including pain, anxiety, and seizures.

However, scientific research has not verified its use and potential benefits. Furthermore, there are few regulations on the production and sale of CBD oil. Hence, trace levels of THC may be present in some CBD products.

Before giving your dog CBD oil, you should consult with your vet. The vet would ensure you’re giving your pet the appropriate type of CBD and that it’s safe for them to take.

However, you should also be aware that veterinarians are prohibited from providing any information concerning CBD oil in many places. Again, you should verify this because laws are prone to change.

Conclusion

Dogs can get high, but not in the same way humans do. When humans get high, they can use that feeling for recreational or health purposes such as pain relief.

However, this is not the case with dogs. When a dog ingests or inhales marijuana, it gets high but ends up feeling confused, anxious, or worse. This reaction occurs because dogs have more cannabinoid receptors than we do. You can also look for best cbd oil for dogs if you are interested.

Therefore, it is best to keep them away from it. If you accidentally expose your dog to a marijuana plant, ensure to consult your local vet and seek proper treatment.

About the author

Nikhil Goswami

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