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Marijuana toxicity in Pets

medical marijuana albuquerque petsNew Mexico is one of the many states that have legal medical marijuana and may become one of the next ones for legal recreational marijuana. With the increase in legal marijuana usage, it is good to be aware of some of the issues your pet could experience. In the past 6 years, the Pet Poison Helpline has experiences and increase of 448% in calls related to marijuana.

Let’s talk terminology, because if you are new to marijuana usage, you may not know what the different terms mean.

Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica- these are often also simply called Sativa or Indica, are the strains of marijuana used for recreational purposes.

THC and CBD- These are the two chemicals that are most recognized and used in the cannabis plants. THC is psychotropic and used for recreation and CBD is non-psychotropic. The amount of cannabinoid in a strain of cannabis plant varies from plant to plant.

There are many medical benefits to using marijuana. We are not recommending or endorsing the usage. But more people are turning to medical marijuana to help treat their medical conditions or symptoms from other medications. When using it for medicinal purposes, it does not have the psychotropic affects of recreational strains.

Though there is research being done about the medicinal use of marijuana with pets, it is still not a practice that is widely accepted. You should never give your pet marijuana, medicinally or recreationally. Their bodies process the cannabinoid differently than yours and it can cause damage.

Pets can be poisoned by marijuana by either ingesting it by eating an edible or the marijuana in any form (bud, oil, glass, etc) or through second-hand smoke. They are more likely to get sick from ingesting it than from second-hand smoke, but this does not mean that the smoke may not affect them negatively.

Symptoms of marijuana toxicity

  • Lethargy
  • Dilated pupils
  • Glassed over eyes
  • Dazed expression
  • Difficulty walking
  • Vomiting.
  • Low or high heart rate
  • Whining or crying
  • Agitation
  • Trouble regulating body temperature
  • Incontinence
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma.

You can see signs of toxicity anywhere from 5 minutes to 12 hours after exposure. The symptoms can last from 30 minutes to many days.

If you think that your dog may have been poisoned from marijuana call the pet poison helpline at 855-764-7661 or call your Albuquerque vet.



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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.