The cannabis industry is growing rapidly and in a lot of different directions. While smoking might be the most conventional way to consume cannabis, edibles are a very popular option. However, there are also a lot of risks that consumers need to be aware of, especially when it comes to giving their pets cannabis. While it might seem odd to some people, many pet owners have been using cannabis to help treat pets that are suffering in pain, relying on the medicinal benefits of cannabidiol (CBD). The danger, however, is when pets are exposed to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the high-inducing substance.
Massachusetts recently started selling marijuana and veterinarians are already seeing an influx of dogs having to be treated as a result of consuming cannabis. For pet owners, it’s a scary situation as the symptoms can be extreme, impacting the way they walk while also leading to vomiting and lots of urinating as well. Although it could prove to be fatal, early treatment is the key and typically pets recover within 24 hours.
Why edibles are dangerous for humans and pets
Edibles are growing in popularity and while that’s good news for THC users that love their pot-infused gummy bears and chocolate, it poses significant dangers to others. In particular, young children and pets are vulnerable as they are much more sensitive to the effects of THC. For dogs, chocolate is a toxin and is an added risk that could make the impact of edibles even worse. An individual’s weight can have a big impact on how cannabis affects their bodies as well:
If a 150-pound human eats a cookie, they feel high for six to 12 hours. But if you give that to a 15-pound dog that’s a tenth of the weight, it’s a lot of marijuana, so they’re going to have a different experience
– Dr Kiko Bracker, veterinarian
A big appeal of edibles is that they can be in any form and look many different ways. Edibles designed for adults could look like appealing treats for dogs and children, and that makes them even more dangerous. And edibles can contain high levels of THC, the high-inducing substance that can create a world of pain for users that aren’t prepared or aware of what they’re consuming, whether they’re dogs or humans.
Veterinarians not convinced of benefits just yet
While many people may believe that medical marijuana can help treat pets, not everyone is convinced. According to Bracker, the American Veterinary Medical Association does not offer any guidance on medical marijuana and so the decision is left up to the hospitals themselves.
There are still many questions and uncertainties around medical marijuana, and it’s not only veterinarians that are hesitant to recommend it, but medical doctors, in general, are still wary of prescribing it to human patients as well. Even though we’re seeing marijuana legalization progress throughout the world that doesn’t mean everyone has been convinced of its benefits just yet. It’s still an uphill battle and it will likely take years before we fully understand the impact of medical marijuana and when it should and shouldn’t be consumed.