If you are a pet owner and would like to try cannabis for your dog to help with a specific canine ailment, the first question that would come to mind is whether dogs can get high.
The answer is yes. Dogs can get high. However, the effects of weed on dogs is different from its effects on humans. We have to remember that as humans, our brains have a unique part that enables conscious thought, and this part is called the prefrontal cortex.
The prefontal cortex is in charge of rational thinking. This means that if we are smoking pot, the prefontal cortex allows us to be aware of what we’re doing and enables us to use rational logic to understand our experience and to remain calm when changes take place in our bodies.
Our dogs, however, do not have this prefrontal cortex. They are all about primal drive and emotions. So, if we give our dogs psychoactive marijuana, they won’t be able to rationally understand what is happening. And if they have a bad experience of if they become anxious because of cannabis, they will not be able to understand what is happening to their system.
Additionally, using cannabis is never a recreational activity for dogs. It is always more of a medicine for them, much like anesthesia.
Like us, when dogs ingest cannabis, the THC metabolizes in the liver. It then leads to a more intense high compared to smoking. A dog’s size and weight will affect the level of high they experience, as well as the amount of cannabis they ate. Dogs can also get high from second-hand weed smoke, and this level of high would depend on how long they were exposed to the smoke and the concentration of this smoke.
Is it safe for dogs to get high?
Smoking cannabis and blowing the smoke into your dog’s nose or ears is not safe. There is evidence that second-hand weed smoke is harmful to dogs and other animals.
The lethal dose of THC when it comes to dogs is rather high. In fact, according to a review published on Topics of Companion Animal Medicine, it takes a minimum of three grams of THC per kilogram of a dog’s body weight before they can die from an overdose.
This review also suggests that some canine deaths happened when dogs go to their owner’s collection of concentrates and helped themselves to THC-infused edibles. High doses of THC, while often non-lethal, can cause problems in the dogs.
There are some research that suggest that as little as 66 mg of THC may cause seizures or convulsions in dogs
How does cannabis affect dogs?
While there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that certain types of medical cannabis are beneficial to dogs, the drug can also cause serious or life-threatening reactions, especially if the dog ingested more than they should have.
If the dogs ingested only a small amount, the effects do not last long. But what if they consumed a bit too much?
Some of the telltale signs that your dog has either accidentally eaten more than enough cannabis or you gave them an excessive amount include:
- nausea and vomiting
- tremor or shaking
- clumsy gait, dragging feet, tripping
- lower body temperature
- lower blood pressure
If these things happen, you should take your dog to the latest vet.