Pets and pot: Should you get your pets high?
Cannabis helps you deal with chronic pain, anxiety and even acne but can it do the same for man’s best friend? Cannabis research, both human and animal, is a growing area of interest. Pet-specific CBD products are already on the market but there is very little data to backup your decision to give cannabis to your pet.
It’s important to remember that cannabis affects animals differently. It’s also worth noting that pets probably don’t experience the same kind of high people do so what might be fun for you could be torture for your pet. According to an article in Forbes, dogs have a more complex endocannabinoid system with many more receptors than humans so THC and CBD affects them more strongly. While recreational pot is off the table, that doesn’t mean CBD can’t be an option for pets in pain.
In September, AB 2215 was approved by California Governor Jerry Brown, which allows vets to discuss CBD options for pets but not prescribe them. Experts agree that CBD may have similar medicinal uses in pets as in people. Vets in Colorado have been able to suggest animal-specific CBD doses for animals with cancer, arthritis and anxiety.
“Dogs in pain should be given the same consideration that humans in pain are, and if cannabis treats can truly relieve their pain, regular doses would be appropriate to help reduce their misery,” PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch told Motherboard in an interview.
Vets recommend using CBD products derived from hemp for animals. Hemp-derived CBD contains of THC and will not get animals high. If you opt for a cannabis-derived option, choose one with no more than 0.3% THC. As stated earlier, dogs are more sensitive to THC and it can be difficult to gauge how much is too much when starting out. Experts recommend starting with a very, very low dosage and using products formulated for pets, not people.
What kind of CBD is best for your pet? Topicals may work for you but probably aren’t the best option for your dog. CBD-pet products include oils, tinctures and infused treats. Tinctures are made by infusing CBD compounds with mixtures of vegetable glycerine, oil, or alcohol. CBD tinctures are usually given under the tongue and tend to be less potent than CBD oils. Depending on your pet’s tolerance, tinctures may be too difficult to administer to pets who may find the taste off-putting. CBD oils are also given orally and can be mixed with your pet’s favorite food to make medicinal dosing much easier. Finally, pet-specific edibles like Canna-Pet treats for dogs and cats, are by far the easiest way to give cannabis to your animal. As with edibles made for human consumption, precise dosing can be an issue and stomach upset may occur if your pet has a sensitive digestive system.
The bigger danger concerning pets and cannabis is when animals accidentally snack on your stash. In states where recreational marijuana is legal, pets have a 146% greater risk of accidentally eating your edibles. Ill effects of marijuana toxicosis in pets include coma and, in two cases of the 175 pets in the study, death. It goes without saying that odds for your dog decrease when edibles contain chocolate.
Still considering sharing the benefits of CBD with your pet? Talk to you vet.