The following is more information about marijuana and dogs, and the effect of marijuana on dogs.

There is a lot of debate and many questions about the use of marijuana if you’re a person, but what about marijuana and dogs? It may sound a little out there at first, but a lot of people research the effect of marijuana on dogs because there is some evidence showing it could be therapeutically beneficial for different reasons.

Are There Benefits of Marijuana For Dogs?

Many states in the U.S. have enacted varying levels of marijuana legality. Some states have legalized it only for medicinal purposes, while others have made it legal for recreational uses as well. There are a lot of shifts in how people view marijuana, and it’s becoming more mainstream than ever before.

People are relying on marijuana or at least certain compounds that come from the cannabis plant for a range of benefits. It can be useful for humans to help with chronic pain, anxiety, depression and a variety of other conditions and symptoms.

So, with the tides turning as far as how people view it, what about marijuana and dogs? What is the effect of marijuana on dogs?

First and foremost, while there are possible benefits to be found with marijuana derivatives, you shouldn’t ever give your dog marijuana. Dogs can get high if they eat pot and it can be scary and dangerous for them. With most dogs that may accidentally be exposed to pot the symptoms remain mild, severe complications are possible including toxicity. Marijuana toxicity in dogs requires emergency treatment.

When a dog gets “high,” it’s more intense than what humans experience, and it is a state of distress for the dog. Signs of a dog having been exposed to marijuana can include walking strangely, dribbling urine, falling over while standing, low blood pressure, dilated pupils or being easily startled by sounds.

The reason the effect of marijuana on dogs is more pronounced than on humans is because dogs have more cannabinoid receptors in their brain.

If you smoke marijuana, you should also be cautious of the possible effect of marijuana on dogs. Your dog may be able to get what’s called a contact high from the secondhand smoke, and it can exacerbate respiratory issues your dog may have, as well as causing them distress.

While most dogs won’t die from marijuana exposure, they may if they had an edible with a high concentration of THC, or if the edible had chocolate.

Now that the scary effects of marijuana on dogs have been covered, what about medical marijuana and dogs?

Medical Marijuana and Dogs

If you’re exploring the potential benefits of medical marijuana and dogs, you should understand that this refers to something called cannabidiol or CBD. This is a compound found in marijuana that can have medicinal benefits for humans and dogs, but it doesn’t cause a high because it doesn’t have the THC compound.

Some of the ways that the effect of medical marijuana on dogs might be helpful includes in the treatment of arthritis, general pain, nausea, seizures, anxiety, and inflammation diseases like irritable bowel. Veterinarians can’t currently prescribe CBD for dogs because of legality concerns and states where medical marijuana is currently legal don’t include specifications for dogs, but there are resources online that do sell CBD products for dogs.

The most common side effect of marijuana on dogs regarding CBD is that they may become drowsy.

Summing Up—Marijuana and Dogs

Much like what’s happening with humans and medical marijuana, there is currently new research being done on marijuana and dogs and the effect of marijuana on dogs as a way to help treat pain and the symptoms of many conditions. There is promising research coming out about marijuana and dogs, but there are important distinctions to be made here.

First and foremost, medical marijuana for dogs is derived from hemp. It’s not the same as marijuana people smoke or ingest as a way to get high. If your dog is accidentally exposed to this type of marijuana, it can cause serious symptoms and complications and may result in toxicity.

CBD, on the other hand, is one particular compound of marijuana that doesn’t lead to being high.
While there are exciting areas of research being done on marijuana and dogs, you should never try to medicate your dog with any kind of cannabis product unless you speak with your veterinarian first, and your veterinarian is not likely to recommend it until more research is completed.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.