Cannabis and Health

5 June 2019

The effects of THC and CBD on pets

Can pets enjoy the same benefits from cannabinoids as humans do?

By Mell Green

We at CSG love our pets and cannabis equally as much, but do those two wonders of nature work well together? The short answer is yes. When they’re sick, us pet owners will do everything we can to get them back to feeling like their normal selves again. Luckily, as is the case with humans, cats and dogs and other pets can reap the same therapeutic (even life-saving) benefits of cannabis and treat a variety of common health issues, allowing your pet to live life on their own terms.

We know you want the best for your furry friend(s), so if you are considering a cannabis-based medication for pets, it’s essential to first learn about the benefits and risks of this kind of treatment.

Cannabis and your pet’s Endocannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) exists in all vertebrates, including mammals and plays a significant role in processing the effects of cannabis. There are over a hundred cannabinoids found in cannabis, and they interact with the ECS by attaching to CB-receptors located in the brain and nervous system, which regulates mood, sleep, and digestion, to name but a few.

However, it’s important to note that endocannabinoid receptors in pets are far more concentrated than humans, which means animals process the effects of cannabis much more intensely than humans. While it’s pretty cool that mammal’s bodies come  with cannabis receptors and have fairly similar ways of processing these compounds, special precautions must be made for pets.

Whether CBD or THC, dosing can be complicated to gauge and will take trial and error. An important thing to remember is when you give your pet a dose, it may take some time before any effects are felt by them, and for you to see any positive effects. Each pet is different, mainly by their weight and size. So, it’s important to keep in mind to start small and slow, depending on your pet’s weight.

an infographic about the endocannabinoid system in dogs for Coffeeshop Guru
The Endocannabinoid System and the location of the CB-receptors in dogs is the same for both humans and all other vertebrates.

How THC affects pets

As we mentioned earlier, mammals, specifically pets, do get high, but they experience the effects differently and more intensely than humans. THC can be used to treat:

  • Glaucoma
  • Seizures
  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain
  • Gastrointestinal issues

Although these benefits are great, depending on the dose, pets can experience adverse reactions from consuming THC. As we mentioned earlier, receptors in animals are much more concentrated. A dose considered low to humans, may, in fact, be too high for animals. In other words, pets on THC is no laughing matter and can potentially be life-threatening, as it can put them in an extreme state of distress.

Too much THC can be an unpleasant experience, with negative reactions including; lethargy, breathing problems, low blood pressure, abnormal heartbeat, loss of balance, urinary incontinence, and hyperactivity. Size plays a significant role in how cannabis affects pets, so it’s a challenge to determine what kind of reaction your pet will have until they are high. Typical dosing for pets are:

Cats:
1-5 mg. (4.5 kg / 10 lbs.)

Dogs:
1-5 mg. (4.5 kg / 10 lbs.)

2-10 mg. (9 kg / 20 lbs.)

3-15 mg. (13.5 kg / 30 lbs.)

4-20 mg. (18 kg / 40 lbs.)

5-25 mg. (22.5 kg / 50 lbs.)

6-30 mg. (27 kg / 60 lbs.)

7-35 mg. (32 kg / 70 lbs.)

8-40 mg. (36 kg / 80 lbs.)

A sad looking pug in jean jacket that could use some CBD and THC oil on Coffeeshop Guru
Obviously this little rascal needs much less CBD than his larger family members. Please take care in getting the dosage right.

How CBD affects pets

Could CBD help our pets? Well, the effects of CBD on the human body – as research has shown – mainly interacts with our ECS. Most animals share nearly 70% biological homology with humans so, we can conclude that CBD interacts similarly in animals as it does in humans and will induce a response that’s powerfully therapeutic and long-lasting.

Current research shows that CBD helps many different conditions in pets, such as:

  • Joint and mobility issues
  • Seizures
  • Chronic Pain
  • Tumors
  • Allergies
  • Phobias
  • Arthritis
  • Inflammation
  • Anxiety
  • Digestive Issues

What’s promising about using CBD, is the fact that it could ween your pet off conventional medicinal drugs, which typically has many short and long-term side effects. Even if it can’t fully substitute conventional treatment, CBD could help to lessen the dosage of those medicines. However, although CBD doesn’t contain mind-altering properties, always pay special attention to your pet reactions.

CBD oil for pets at Coffeeshop Guru
There are now several CBD products on the market especially created for pets, like this one.

Final thoughts on THC and CBD for pets

As we mentioned earlier, dosing pets can be the trickiest part. Between the two, researchers recommend that pet owners treat with CBD derived from hemp to avoid the negative effects of THC in their pet(s). If you see your pet displaying unusual behavior, it could be a sign of too much THC or other cannabinoids.

Depending upon your chosen delivery method and how you obtain your cannabis (derivatives), we recommend following the guidelines of cannabis products and starting your pet off with the smallest possible dose, continuously monitor for adverse reactions, and work your way up. Also, make sure to consult your veterinarian before treating your pet with cannabis-related products.

Post author
Mell Green
Mell Green is an enthusiast of all things cannabis and writes content that represents some of the best things that we as a people can strive for: good health and happiness.
See more from Mell Green

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