Are you thinking about giving your dog THC?

Or have you seen some CBD oils which contain THC?

Be careful:

THC can produce very harsh side effects in pets.

But, there is a way to use cannabis safely with your furry friend.

Read on for more information about THC, how it impacts dogs, and why it’s always better to opt for non-psychoactive CBD products instead.

Pot for Pets: Is THC Safe for Dogs?

THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is widely considered the main psychoactive compound of cannabis.

Cannabis plants actually contain around 400 different active compounds.

However, most of the cannabis strains grown to make marijuana have been genetically modified to contain extremely high THC concentrations (sometimes up to 30%).

When we consume cannabis, the THC from the plant activates our body’s Endocannabinoid System by fitting into cannabinoid receptors spread throughout the brain and body.

When it does this, THC produces a strong, psychedelic euphoria that we colloquially call a “high” or “stone.”

Cats and dogs, like humans, can experience this, too.

And while people might enjoy that iconic cannabis “high,” it can cause some pretty scary symptoms in our furry friends.

Does THC Have Health Benefits?

Yes, THC definitely has health benefits in humans.

These include:

  • Pain Relief: There’s a really solid body of research showing that THC has powerful analgesic effects. Studies show it can help with both nociceptive and neuropathic pain and is particularly effective for treating chronic pain from conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, and more.

  • Antiemetic: THC is very effective at treating nausea and vomiting. This has made it very popular among cancer and AIDS patients suffering from chronic nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss due to their treatments. Synthetic THC isolates like Marinol, for example, have been around since the 1980s.

  • Neuroprotection: Contrary to popular belief, studies show that THC and other cannabinoids can help protect brain cells. In fact, some studies suggest that cannabinoids can stimulate neurogenesis in certain parts of the brain and therefore help treat neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and more.

  • Appetite Stimulation: This might come as no surprise, but studies show that THC is very effective at stimulating both appetite and metabolism. Again, this makes it an attractive supplement for people suffering from eating disorders as well as appetite loss from certain medical conditions and treatments.

The Effects of THC on Dogs

You might be inclined to give your dog THC-rich cannabis thanks to its health benefits.

However, I strongly advise that you don’t.

Dogs and cats are extremely sensitive to THC and can suffer from what vets describe as “marijuana poisoning.”

Unfortunately, most cases of marijuana poisoning happen when animal’s get into their owner’s supply of cannabis.

The problem here is that the pet ends up consuming far too much THC, which leaves them dealing with a bunch of nasty symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty walking

  • Staggering

  • Twitching

  • Rocking back and forth on the spot

  • Drooling

  • Wide open eyes

  • Tense muscles

This combination of symptoms is sometimes referred to as ataxia.

Trust me, if you’ve ever seen a video of a dog that’s consumed cannabis, you’ll understand just how frightening these effects can be.

Unfortunately, pets also metabolize cannabinoids a lot slower than humans and can feel the effects of THC for anywhere up to 24 hours (or longer), depending on how much they consumed.

Other symptoms of THC intoxication in pets include:

  • Lethargy

  • Dilated pupils and glassy eyes

  • Vomiting

  • Low or high heart rate