Why is Marijuana Intoxication in Pets (Cats and Dogs) on the Rise? Is marijuana safe for pets?

Why is Marijuana Intoxication in Pets (Cats and Dogs) on the Rise? Is marijuana safe for pets?

Thumbnail of Amitriptyline


Behavior & Anxiety Management
{{petcare_price|currency}} Price in Cart w/PetPlus {{petplus_price|currency}} See PetPlus Price in Cart



The use of marijuana is not new. Though still being categorized as an illegal drug, states such as Colorado and Washington have passed laws to regulate the production, sale, and consumption of marijuana. Moreover, researchers across the globe are studying the medical benefits of marijuana for humans. Although marijuana is believed to be an elixir for depression, anxiety, and other psychological issues, its long-term effects on health still stay a matter of debate.Both pet cats and dogs are not far from being subjected to marijuana after the passage of marijuana laws in certain states of the US. Pet owners have embraced marijuana to treat ailing pets, which has given rise to debates on its safety, especially for dogs. The increasing number of marijuana intoxication cases have raised questions whether or not pets should be given marijuana. However, in reality, marijuana does more harm than good for pets.

Why are pet owners using marijuana?

Pet owners tend to see the medical benefits of recreational marijuana in the same light as they are for humans. Many pet owners have sworn by the benefits of marijuana in lifting up the spirits of pets who are suffering from physical ailments. As states legalize marijuana for humans, more and more pet owners are switching to cannabis-based ointments, oils, edibles, and extracts for their furry friends. The reason: such products are marketed as a treatment for a number of issues, starting from anxiety and arthritis to seizures and cancer.Despite the lack of data that support marijuana's benefits, pet owners across states are convinced that it has improved their pet. However, certain states have barred veterinarians from prescribing marijuana to pet owners. Doing so may cost them their license because cannabis-based products aren't approved by FDA. As such, using marijuana for treating pets in such an unregulated scenario has contributed towards the rise in marijuana intoxication.

Signs of marijuana intoxication

Marijuana contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), a compound that affects several receptors in the brain and alters the functioning of neurotransmitters. Cats and dogs can be poisoned on passive exposure to marijuana. Direct injection of marijuana in the form of baked foods can also cause severe marijuana intoxication in pets. The signs of marijuana intoxication are seen within 3 hours of inhalation or consumption. Such signs include:

  • Groggy gait
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Low heart rate
  • Coma
  • Hyperactivity
  • Seizures
  • Moaning or groaning

If your cat or dog has consumed or inhaled marijuana and you see the above signs, you should rush to a veterinary care center near you. Doing so will prevent unwanted complications from arising. But before anything else, you should visit an expert before treating your pet with marijuana as an adherence to your local marijuana laws.

Can Cats and Dogs Help Reverse Marijuana's Stigma?

A majority of cannabis users took the habit after testing it on their pets. The reason for giving a pet a dose is similar to the myriad reasons for humans taking the drug. The primary reason being conventional medicines being ineffective or come with bad side effects. Cannabis products serve as the chosen alternative to conventional medicine offering identical or greater benefits sans the painful side effects.

Marijuana works

There are ample proofs that marijuana treatment works wonders. A Staffordshire Terrier afflicted with the mammary tumor was treated with cannabis. The condition became better and the disease did not come back. A Jack Russell Terrier was given cannabis for painful arthritis and severe heart murmur found itself to walk comfortably after a month of treatment. These animals were given the CBD or cannabidiol, a cannabis compound. The concoction is found to assist arthritis, cancer symptoms, gastrointestinal problems, back pain, anxiety, and stress.The results are significant as there is a gargantuan global market for animal medication. This market is projected to touch $44.4 billion within 2022. It will be made possible by ratcheting up investments in drug development marked for use in animals. Conventional medicine makers are aware of such huge profits and are thus moving full steam to capture as large as possible market chunks. Patents are being filed in beguiling regularity. The list of patented cannabis medicines includes compounds to treat animal cancer, inflammation, and autoimmune disease disorders.

Booming industry

Other cannabis companies are following the leaders as experts predict the CBD oil industry to churn out in excess of two billion dollars every year by the start of 2020. The niche market marks an area where the cannabis can comfortably compete with the large pharmaceutical companies and can co-exist with them as well. Experts predict the market will only increase as the industry realizes the amazing beneficial effects of CBD on pets.CBD is the short form of the cannabinioid word. A typical cannabis plant has in excess of 100 cannabinoids. Among all the cannabinoids, THC and CBD are the most well-known. The compound is fast gaining mainstream popularity from its once hush-hush existence.A few specific companies have gone on an extra step. They have closely followed the need and seized the opportunity from there. A particular company manufactures carefully researched organic, whole plant, pesticide-free, non-GMO liquid cannabis, especially for pets. According to the company website, it relies on premium ingredients and constantly collects testing data on its products to further improve its commercial offerings. The US FDA has made accommodations when it came to animal medicine. It has a distinct division which concentrates in the approval and development of all animal health products.

Was this article helpful?

You May Also Like