Consuming marijuana can be a necessary or pleasant experience for people; however, for pets such as cats and dogs, you may require a visit to the vet. Although known by many names, marijuana still needs a little introduction. Most of us know it as a recreational plant that people consume both legally and illegally. Marijuana consists of two main components, CBD that is medical in nature and THC that has psychoactive effects. In the United States, weed became illegal in 1911 but not accepted for medical consumption. Things changed in 1996 when medical marijuana became legal. As more states continue to legalize recreational and medical marijuana, exposure to pets to the THC compound is increasing. THC is toxic to pets, and it only takes a small amount to trigger symptoms of poisoning in dogs and cats.
Marijuana Toxicity in Dogs and Cats
Toxicity of dogs and cats happens in various ways; they can consume edibles such as cookies or chocolate bars infused with cannabis, inhaling second-hand smoke, or ingest cannabis in any form. Most toxicities are accidental when curious pets gain access to drugs, or they are in the same room as the person using them.
Compared to cats, dogs have more cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Well, weed works by binding these receptors to provide a pleasant feeling. The THC compound in weed can overwhelm these cannabinoid receptors in dogs. Dogs can quickly die from an overdose. Symptoms begin 30 to 90 minutes after consuming the weed, and since the body stores THC in its fact tissues, the effects can stay in the body for several days.
Cats are also highly susceptible but are not highly likely to ingest weed. Cats are picky and may find drip bud or unfinished joints attractive. The danger is more advanced in smaller dogs because they are highly vulnerable to becoming hypothermic.
How Marijuana Affects Pets
Cannabis enters the pet’s body through ingestion or inhalation, binds to some specific brain neuroreceptors, and interferes with the function of the neurotransmitter. The THC component interacts with various neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Just like humans, pets also have two receptors, CB1 and CB2 and cannabis mostly binds to CB1 receptors, thus affecting the central nervous system. For the effects to wear off, the pets will have to release the drug from the body through feces. Even in pets, the effect of a small amount varies from animal to animal and is contingent upon body size, health status, and age.
Signs of Marijuana Toxicity in Pets and Treatment
Most signs presented by pets are psychological. The animal becomes uncoordinated, wobbly, disoriented, hyperactive, and more vocal than usual. The pupils of cats and dogs remain dilated, giving them a wild-eyed appearance and they can vomit. Some pets also have urinary leakage, and in severe cases, seizures, tremors, and coma can occur. Although these side effects may be short-term, they are still very dangerous. Check the dog in this video to see how weed makes them drowsy and lose balance. Pets also show physical signs such as a slow breathing rate, low blood pressure, either weak heartbeat, and an increase or decrease in the body temperature.
Ways to Keep Your Pet Safe from Toxicity
If you smoke weed and live with a pet, it is good that you learn how to keep them safe. Pets are vulnerable and can easily get sick from toxicity. Ensure that you have appropriate storage for all your weed accessories and products. If you check for the best online dispensary Canada has for you, one thing you’ll discover is that their products come with excellent packaging. Once you buy, ensure you close the tin tightly and put it in a safe place away from the pets.
Learn the signs and symptoms of toxicity in pets so that you can rush the pet immediately to the vet. When you discover that your pet is displaying signs of toxicity, get immediate medical care to avoid adverse effects. Most people are also not aware that the government does not approve hemp for animals; therefore, these products are harmful to pets.
When you take your pet to the vet, ensure that you give all the relevant information. Vets undertake a urine test to diagnose weed toxicity. Treatment involves inducing vomiting, giving activated charcoal orally to trap the toxins and confining the pet to prevent injury until the drug wears off.
Pets are vulnerable creatures. Dogs, for example, have more cannabinoid receptors than humans, and this means that they are more susceptible to cannabis poisoning. Ensure that you know the signs of text in pets so that you can seek treatment immediately. You can get quality cannabis seeds from well-known stores that offer varieties of weed seeds. However, once your purchase, store your weed products in areas that pets cannot access.