Humanity has a good deal of experience with marijuana. THC for your dog, though, is a whole different story. 

Many researchers study the effects of THC and CBD on pets, including dogs. Unfortunately, there’s not enough substantial evidence for it to become a standard treatment. 

36 states and DC legalized medicinal marijuana, while 14 states allow the use of CBD. As a result, cases of dogs coming into contact with marijuana and THC skyrocketed. That raises the question, how much THC is safe for dogs? 

This article answers that and many other THC-related questions like:

What Is THC?

THC is the primary psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant. This is what gives us the “high” feeling. Cannabis contains over 400 kinds of active compounds, with THC and CBD being the most concentrated ones.

How does it work? THC activates the endocannabinoid system in our bodies via cannabinoid receptors. It produces the psychedelic euphoria that gets you stoned. 

Humanity has used cannabis since the earliest days in many other ways — to make rope, paper, and herbal medicine. The trend continues to this day. But how much THC is safe for dogs?

How Does Marijuana Affect Dogs?

Does THC have the same effect on dogs and people? 

Not quite. 

Anyone that owns a pet and uses marijuana got themselves into a sticky and tricky situation at least once. Maybe you tried giving your dog a bud or a part of your edible. But even secondhand smoke gets your four-legged friend stoned. 

So can dogs get high? Yes, much higher than we can, mind you.

Canine Cannabinoid Receptors

Why is THC bad for dogs, then? Canines have the same cannabinoid receptors as we do. But they have more of them

So, an average THC dose for you can be too much for your dog. That’s what happens in most cases, but owners don’t notice until it’s too late. It takes longer for the THC effect to show on a dog than on a human. 

Marijuana Effects on Dogs

Since dogs have a stronger “high” than people, marijuana effects vary. It all depends on how much weed your pet consumed, its age, size, or any health conditions it might have. 

There are many ways a dog can ingest weed:

  • Directly: For example, if your dog found your stash and ate marijuana buds or leaves.
  • Indirectly: Through edibles such as brownies, cookies, candy, or drinking THC beverages.
  • Secondhand smoke: Smoking pot around your dog gets him high, as well.

Bigger dogs handle THC much better than smaller ones. If you think your dog ate weed, but you’re not sure, watch out for these symptoms:

  • Foggy eyes/Dilated pupils
  • Impaired motoric function/Tense muscles
  • Constant whining and crying
  • Paranoia (startled easily, refusal to move, docile state)
  • Aggression
  • Shallow breathing
  • Uncontrolled drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Bladder control issues
  • Seizures
  • Coma

While the last two are very rare, they can still occur if your dog ingested insanely large amounts of THC, like eating multiple high potency edibles.

french bulldog relaxing under a blanket

Medical Marijuana for Dogs

Now I know what you might be thinking. What about medical marijuana? If regular cannabis and dogs don’t mix well, maybe that one’s different. 

In the case of THC and CBD oil extracts, it’s true. These forms of cannabis have many medical benefits — especially CBD, which contains minimal THC doses that don’t induce the “high” state.

Marijuana vs. Hemp

There’s a big difference between marijuana and hemp. Both come from the Cannabis Sativa plant, but marijuana contains a lot of concentrated THC. Hemp, on the other hand, has less than 0.3%. But it has high amounts of CBD.

That’s why CBD oil is more frequent than THC oil usage. So can dogs have weed if it’s an oil? Yeah, but not in the way you think, and it’s hazardous. THC oil has its benefits, but in most cases, CBD oil is better.

Can Weed Kill Dogs?

Vets don’t recommend it, but can pot kill your pet? What does THC do to dogs? A lot of things. 

It’s a tricky question because there are many factors to consider: age, weight, medical condition, and THC amount. Was it weed or weed mixed with chocolate and sugar in an edible? To answer your question, yes, pot can kill dogs, but research shows such cases are few and far between. 

Is THC Toxic to Dogs?

Okay, THC is bad for dogs, but is it toxic? The issue here is the word “toxic” itself. In 99% of cases, THC toxicity won’t kill your four-legged friend. But it’ll put him in a bad state, especially if it consumed a lot of weed. 

Since dogs get affected by THC much more than we do, it can be harmful. Can dogs have THC then? Yes, but it’s definitely not recommended, and you should consult with a vet first.

It’s essential to keep your weed and edible stash under lock and key. Even if that seems extreme, it needs to be in a place your puppy can’t reach under any circumstances. Dogs devour anything they find, and your weed stash is no different.

THC Intoxication Treatment

If you’ve read this far, you already know how to detect THC intoxication in your dog. The question is, what do you do when this happens? 

It doesn’t matter if the dog ate weed an hour or three hours ago; take it to the vet. Immediately. Just get it in your car and drive to the vet’s office.

Depending on the situation’s severity, the veterinarian can help your furry friend in different ways.

Induce Vomiting

The veterinarian will administer emetic medicine to induce vomiting. After that, your puppy should empty its stomach into a bowl within 5 minutes.

If you managed to take your puppy to the vet right after it ate pot, a simple stomach pumping would do. As long as the dog didn’t digest the weed, it should be fine. 

It takes canines 8 to 12 hours to fully digest a meal, so there’s enough time to drive to a nearby veterinarian before the THC for your dog starts working.

Activated Charcoal

Veterinarians would use activated charcoal as the first line of treatment. It absorbs the toxin and lessens adverse effects. 

They would give the activated charcoal every 6-8 hours to neutralize the toxin. It works best when taken 30 to 60 minutes after the dog consumes something poisonous.

Using Enemas

Like activated charcoal, enemas help expel a toxic dose if the exposure to it was within an hour. 

It’s also good if the ingested poison remains in the stomach, the dog is asymptomatic (low aspiration risk), and spontaneous vomiting didn’t happen. Enemas also help reduce further absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. 

While 36 states legalized medical marijuana, and 14 states approve CBD oil, some classify weed as a Schedule 1 drug, the same category as heroin.

Dog owners are usually afraid to take their furry pal to a vet in case of THC poisoning. Still, there’s no need for fear or paranoia. When it comes to dogs and THC, a vet only worries about the pup’s health, nothing else. So the chances of getting into trouble because your dog ate your weed are close to zero.

woman giving a dog hemp treats

What Veterinarians Say About THC and CBD

Since THC and CBD oils aren’t legal everywhere, some vets remain cautious and avoid mentioning them. It’s too risky. If something wrong happens, the vet risks their career. In the worst case, license suspension and even revocation.

It all depends on the state. Keep an eye on the ones that legalized CBD practice. These are:

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

But you can always check online. While THC and CBD oil for dogs are still fairly new veterinary medicine subjects, it’s never wrong to inform yourself.

Let’s discuss and check some THC and CBD oil benefits.

THC and CBD Oil

Giving your dog raw weed and edibles is not recommended. Still, THC and CBD oils have some benefits, especially the latter. THC oil usage in medicine increases every year but only for humans. 

THC Oil 

When used right, THC oil has all kinds of medical benefits. As stated before, the dosage is crucial. Owners with access to THC oil need to consult with vets before administering it to their pets. 

Here are some of its benefits:

  • Sedative
  • Anti-cancer
  • Induces sleep
  • Pain Relief
  • Neuroprotective
  • Stimulates appetite
  • Anti-nausea
  • Gastrointestinal support
Benefits of THC Oil for Dogs

THC oil usage for dogs is much more limited. But the benefits are there. 

For example, there are some positive reports of THC for a dog with cancer and arthritis. It does wonders for the pain. THC even helps with the side effects of modern medicine since that can include a lot of vomiting. 

The biggest issue is the “high” state. It’s the main reason why it’s still taboo to use it for treating dogs with chronic diseases. The American Veterinary Medical Association, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and other similar organizations still don’t approve THC use for treating dogs.

Dosage Is Important

Microdosing THC oil is complicated. Since dogs and THC have a tricky relationship, finding the correct dose is difficult. Yet, there are full-spectrum CBD oils.

They contain only 0.3% THC, making them the perfect choice for your puppy. The meager amounts mean the full-spectrum oils have the best of both worlds. They provide the health benefits of THC but without a “high” state. 

Do you know how much THC is safe for dogs? Less than 0.3% for most puppies.

CBD Oil for Dogs

Unlike THC, CBD oil isn’t taboo in the veterinary world. It doesn’t induce the “high” state, but it has a wide array of advantages. The biggest one is the extracts can come from hemp, not marijuana. Why is that a big deal? 

Because it makes it 100% legal in most places.

CBD oil is also much more accessible than THC oil, but there’s a catch. 

You won’t find it on Amazon. That doesn’t stop companies from selling oils masquerading as the real thing. Make sure to find a reputable company. We recommend getting a whole plant extract so your puppy can receive the full CBD medical benefits. 

But talk with your vet first. In some cases, CBD consumption can mess with the effects of other medications your dog is using.

When Is CBD Oil for Dogs Used?

CBD oil implementation is still under testing in the veterinary world. On the other hand, we already know its effects. You see, western procedures for treating cancer are often draining. Some would even call them devastating.

CBD oil usage can improve the dog’s health and help it deal with cancer treatment better. It also aids osteoarthritis, epilepsy, irritable bowel disease, and even separation anxiety.

Administration of CBD oil helps dogs by:

  • Decreasing the pain
  • Increasing mobility
  • Improving their mood
marijuana seeds and thc oil bottle
Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs?

Yes, it’s safe. Research shows the various potential of CBD oil

Dog owners only need to consider where to buy CBD oil from. Many products pretend to be authentic but don’t provide any benefits. Be wary of these. Always pick a formula with top-notch ingredients and a high-quality extraction process.  

What Are the Effects of CBD Oil on Dogs?

It has many advantages. It helps with mood, memory, sleep, muscle coordination, appetite, movement, immune system, and more.

Consider experimenting with CBD oil if your doggo uses modern medicine with intense side effects, if you need a cheaper but effective medicinal alternative, or want to try a different medical approach. 

CBD oil helps your puppy with:

  • Glaucoma
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Skin disorders
  • Nervous system disorders (seizures)
  • Bacterial and fungal infections
  • Anxiety
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease

So, what does CBD oil do for dogs? A lot, and the side effects are tolerable. Especially compared to most modern medicine for severe diseases. 

Here are the side effects of CBD:

  • Lethargy: CBD oil can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure, resulting in sluggish movement and even dizziness. 
  • Drowsiness: Because CBD oil calms the body, your dog might seem drunk.
  • Cottonmouth: Like with humans, CBD decreases saliva production and causes dry mouth. Just prepare large amounts of water for your furry pal.
  • Diarrhea: It might happen if your dog has a sensitive stomach or if it’s diet is not diverse.
Types of CBD Products for Dogs

So is CBD oil good for dogs? 

Yes and there are many different CBD products for our four-legged buddies. Once you consult your vet, pick the ones your pup would love the most:

  • Treats/edibles
  • Topicals
  • Tinctures
  • Oil extracts

Firstly, there are CBD treats/edibles, which are perfect for puppies. They already look like a treat and taste good. These marijuana effects on dogs take longer since they go through the digestive tract. Avoid feeding your dog too many of them.

Secondly, owners of older dogs should consider getting CBD topicals

Since these pets often deal with pain in many different areas, the topicals do wonders for them. As a cream that’s administered directly onto the skin, it immediately relieves pain in that area. CBD topicals treat muscle pain, inflammation, skin allergies, and sore joints the best.

Thirdly, there are CBD tinctures. Very similar to oil extracts but less potent. Tinctures usually combine CBD with things like alcohol, glycerin, and vegetable oil. Due to their lower potency, you can use them daily with no stoned dog symptoms.

Last, the most used CBD product is oil. It’s perfect because it can be precisely dosed and has an immediate effect. Always consult with a vet before using CBD oil, as it’s much more potent than all the other products.

Conclusion

If you’re set on using THC for your dogs, there are a few things to remember. 

On its own, THC is quite potent. Thus, CBD oil with THC for dogs exists as the perfect blend.

It’s a tricky business. But CBD products are used more and more each day. Just remember to always:

  • Consult with a vet.
  • Buy only proven products.
  • Check for the best ingredients and top-notch extraction process.

While we’re quite capable of dealing with THC, dogs aren’t. But CBD oil with tiny amounts of THC can help with a lot of ailments. 

When someone asks, “How much THC is safe for dogs?” always point them in the direction of CBD oils with 0.3% THC.