How Safe Is Medical Marijuana For Pets?


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The topic of whether medical marijuana is safe for pets is one that requires a lot of research, regulation, and science based education. The status of marijuana for people itself is in flux. The effects of marijuana on your pets vary greatly from pet to pet. Just like in people, dogs and cats also have different reactions to marijuana. Here are a few commonly asked questions regarding marijuana and pets.

Are Pets Capable Of Getting High?

Simply put, yes, it is possible. Pets can get high from three different ways. These are:

  • Secondhand smoke โ€“ when you smoke, it isnโ€™t just you, it affects but the people or in this case, animals around you.
  • Ingesting marijuana buds or leaves โ€“ animals are usually curious creatures and theyโ€™ll usually want a taste of that curious looking, pungent smelling, plant you have lying around.
  • Ingesting food that has marijuana in it โ€“ animals can get high from cookies, butter and other food that youโ€™ve laced with weed.

What Happens To Your Pet After He Eats Weed?

The obvious answer to this question is, he gets high. Itโ€™s not toxic in any way so it doesnโ€™t poison your pet. Although a little weed here and there is practically harmless, too much weed ingestion can be fatal.Here are some of the effects that weed could have on dogs when consumed at moderate to high volumes:

  • Lethargy
  • Low blood pressure
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities
  • Loss of balance
  • Breathing problems
  • Urinary incontinence

How Safe Is Marijuana For Dogs?

There have been some documented cases where dogs have had longer lifespans because of marijuana usage. There has been very little if any research into the study of marijuana for dogs. So the answer to whether marijuana is good, safe, or bad for dogs still remains unclear.

Is It Poisonous?

As with humans, it effects different animals in different ways. The risk of your dog getting poisoned by weed is moderate to severe. Too much marijuana at a time can even be fatal. Here are some symptoms your dog might have if he ate some marijuana by mistake. If your dog is displaying more than one of these symptoms, call your vet immediately.

  • Walking drunkenly
  • Depression
  • Coma
  • Lethargy
  • Low blood pressure and heart rate
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma
  • Dilated pupils
  • Vocalization
  • Hyperactivity
  • Seizures

How Safe Is Medical Marijuana?

In some cases, medical marijuana and certain oils laced with marijuana have been known to decrease nausea, help with arthritis, and provide relief for cancer. Although some stores sell treats laced with marijuana for dogs, the safety of these treats are yet to be determined. Different animals react differently so research into this field is also going to be a tricky one.

How safe is medical marijuana for your pet?

Only over the past decade has the public opinion โ€”and hence legislationโ€” regarding the medical use of Marijuana shifted to align with the medical opinion: that of doctors and experts. But usage of medical marijuana for diseased and suffering pets is still a controversial debate across the globe. Formal research is limited on the subject, and vets are not authorized to prescribe cannabis for pets even if their inclinations to help our furry friends are scientifically sound.Cannabis, in theory, can help relieve various ailments that pets can suffer from โ€” anxiety, stress, seizures, arthritis, gastrointestinal conditions, or even cancers. But since size is not the only adjustment to be made, the dosage, the ratio of components, the side-effects, and the overall curative impact of cannabis for pets are all complex questions that need careful consideration.

The Science

The compounds present in Cannabis affect the ECS (Endocannabinoid System), a group of receptors in the nervous system that help regulate pain and stress within the body. While no conclusive research has been published on cats and dogs, the impact of cannabis on various ailments in humans has been tested and proved beyond scientific doubt.Pets suffer most of these ailments, too, and the key to using Cannabis in their treatment is in the selection of dosage, most vets and experts say. The two main components of Cannabis are THC, which gets its users high, and CBD, which has milder effects. The ratio of these components, and their concentration in a product, is vital to know, in order to administer it safely for pets.

The Laws

Vets in most countries are not allowed to prescribe medical marijuana for pets, irrespective of the disease. Laws regarding the medical usage of cannabis are unclear in some regions, and even suggesting it informally to pet-owners could cause trouble for vets.Until conclusive studies are published explaining the medical benefits and safety of using Cannabis for pets, most vets who believe in the cause are restricted to research, and to educating pet-owners and legislators about it.

The Treatment

While they believe that calculated doses of the right product, can help cure or at least relieve the suffering of our loved little animals, these vets also caution about dreadful side-effects and consequences of accidental misuse or overuse of Cannabis.Start with a tiny dosage of the rightly chosen product for your animal, they suggest, and never without consulting a well-informed vet who understands the animal. As you increase the dosage when required, monitor your petโ€™s activity for side-effects, which may include being zoned out, vomiting, or even diarrhea.Switch to hemp-based cannabinoids, which are low in THC and easily available, if you see signs of over-consumption. Hemp-oils in pet-food are perhaps the easiest way to give your pets the advised dosage, and get them both healthy and cheerful again.

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