How Much THC Is Safe for Dogs?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is among the cannabinoids found in cannabis and is an active ingredient in Nabiximols. It is one of the specific extracts in cannabis that was approved by the UK as a botanical drug in 2010.
THC is utilized by people with multiple sclerosis to lessen neuropathic pain, overactive bladder, and spasticity.
How much THC is safe for dogs? Dogs can consume a full-plant spectrum of CBD hemp oil with a small amount of THC that is not more than 0.03% of its products. If you are still unsure how much THC you can give to your dogs, you should consult a veterinarian first.
In this article, I will be talking more about THC, including how it works in the body, its possible effects when consumed by dogs, and its benefits.
I will also discuss the history of cannabis, including how it is approved as medicine and much more.
The History of Cannabis
Most would agree that cannabis has gained its reputation over the past few decades because of its good effect on the human body.
Cannabis is sometimes called weed, pot, herb, and ganja. It was used in ancient cultures for recreation, religious ceremonies, and healing.
Also, it is said that in the early colonies, cannabis was used for its fibers and other physical attributes, which have been part of human history for over 10,000 years.
Since then, cannabis has been re-introduced to over half of the United States, either recreationally or medically.
Thanks to the effort of the cannabis movement today, cannabis is now considered beneficial and as having a less harmful effect on the body.
Their efforts have resulted in some scientists studying the effects of cannabis on the mammalian system.
Their studies show that cannabis can treat nausea, muscle control problems, epileptic seizures, addiction, cancer, inflammation, and other general pain disorders.
Although the National Institute on Drug Abuse already recognizes cannabis as a medicine, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to give its stamp of approval.
However, more studies are uncovering the medical uses of cannabis, causing public interest to grow along with consumers’ awareness of its benefits.
Currently, THC is legal medically in 29 states, while recreational marijuana is legal in nine states and Washington, D.C.
How Does Cannabis Work in the Body?
Cannabis has more than 10 cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds attached to the endocannabinoid system found in the brains and nervous systems of all mammals.
All mammals are born with an endocannabinoid system that helps regulate appetite, pain sensation, memory, and mood naturally.
This system also plays an important role in processing the effects of cannabis.
Humans and dogs are both mammals, which means their endocannabinoid systems are the same.
Still, there’s one significant difference: A dog’s endocannabinoid receptors are more concentrated than those of humans.
This means that a dog’s way of processing the effects of cannabis is at a more intense level as compared to humans.
That’s why it’s important to remember all the effects of cannabis on our dogs.
Effects of THC Intake on Dogs
Because research says that dogs have the same cannabinoid receptors as humans, they can benefit from cannabis, too.
However, because dogs have concentrated receptors, precautionary measures should be taken.
That’s why it’s important to remember that your dogs shouldn’t consume moderate to large quantities of THC, as this can cause adverse reactions. Here are some of the effects of THC on dogs.
1. Dogs that consume cannabis with a high or even normal amount of THC, either by accident or on purpose, can suffer from extreme drowsiness.
2. Another effect of THC commonly found in high doses is static ataxia. This is a condition wherein your dog can’t stand or even walk; it keeps falling.
3. If your dog accidentally consumes a large dose of THC, it might throw up.
4. Excessive THC from cannabis may cause vomiting, disorientation, loss of urinary control, and tremors in dogs.
What Is Ataxia and What Are Its Symptoms?
One of the significant effects of too much THC on dogs is static ataxia. This is a condition related to a sensory dysfunction that can cause a loss of coordination of the limbs, head, and trunk.
When your dog suffers from it, your dog will drool, its pupils will dilate, its eyes will be wide open, its muscles will be tense, and it could experience hallucinations.
Although these symptoms are only temporary (lasting from 12-24 hours), if not taken seriously, they can cause serious physical problems. For example, your dog may suffer from seizures or a coma.
That’s why, if you suspect your dog has accidentally consumed too much THC, you should bring the dog to the veterinary clinic immediately.
Some studies suggest that 3 grams per kg of oral THC is the minimum dose for your dogs.
If your dog eats cannabis, the herbs can take effect from 30-60 minutes after ingestion and the effects can last up to 36 hours.
Not only are almonds and chocolates dangerous to your dog, but so are products with high THC concentrations.
Other Signs of THC Toxicity in Dogs
- Stumbling and dragging their paws while walking
- Low body temperature
- Increased appetite
These signs of toxicity show that even a small amount of THC is considered dangerous. When dogs receive an overdose of THC, it can affect their brains too much.
Thus, a low-THC hemp plant is safer for your dogs than high-THC marijuana strains.
What Is the Difference Between CBD and THC?
While cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have chemical makeups that compose cannabis, they also have different effects and uses, from recreational to medical.
Research says that CBD is one of around 400 compounds in marijuana that is responsible for contrasting the effects of THC.
CBD, like THC, also has health benefits, like treating anxiety, stress, epilepsy, and depression.
The benefits of CBD have been maximized by some retailers and in some medicinal markets. It is used in products like oil, medicines, vapes, skincare, and drinks.
Companies like American Eagle and Ben & Jerry’s announced that they plan to incorporate CBD into their new products.
However, the legality of CBD remains complicated and some states have set high standards regarding the medical conditions for which it can be used.
CBD is being used to treat dogs for conditions like pain, mobility, and heart disease.
There are dog products, like treats and oils, that are becoming popular and are often recommended by veterinarians.
As with THC, CBD has side effects that are proved by Medical Marijuana Inc., such as drowsiness, dry mouth, and low blood pressure.
While CBD and THC are two of the most powerful cannabinoids, the remaining 100+ compounds have their benefits, too.
Medicines containing all cannabinoids are called whole-plant medicines. These contain a higher concentration of CBD but have a small amount of the remaining cannabinoids.
Is the Full Spectrum of CBD Better Than THC?
Since 1964, when it was first synthesized and isolated, THC has been the primary focus of cannabis research.
Aside from being the primary component of cannabis, CBD is found in hemp, which is said to be a better means of eliminating your dog’s pain, as well as helping it heal faster and live a longer, healthier life.
Research also suggests that CBD is less toxic and more tolerable than THC in both humans and animals.
That’s why there are reports that some pet owners use CBD with their dogs, especially aging ones.
They also use it with dogs that have physical and psychological ailments like inflammation, canine epilepsy, and cancer.
In addition, CBD from hemp is said to treat non-specific conditions like anxiety, allergies, separation anxiety, and canine digestive issues.
There is also evidence supporting the notion that CBD-rich hemp is good for dogs that show symptoms of diabetes.
As with most medications, strict monitoring is recommended to determine the “sweet spot” of the right dosage of CBD.
Also, remember that CBD can interact with your dog’s other medications, which means it’s best to check with your veterinarian first.
You can extract CBD from two different sources: a regular female flowering marijuana plant or hemp.
A cannabis plant with less than 0.3% of THC is the legal limit for growers.
Is It Okay to Combine THC and CBD for a Dog’s Medication?
Because THC and CBD both have a positive impact on your dog, many would suggest that combining these two is better.
However, you should follow the suggested ratio from a veterinarian. Veterinarians like Gary Richer recommend a 20:1 CBD: THC ratio for pets that need THC.
In some conditions like pain and cancer, a combination of these two is the best. For other conditions, like anxiety and inflammation, mostly CBD with a tiny bit of THC is better for treating symptoms.
For more about the exact usage of CBD for your dog, see below:
Pet Weight CBD Dosage
- Up to 25lbs/11kg, up to 1.25mg- 2 times daily
- 25- 50l/11- 23kg, 1.25 to 2.5mg- 2 times daily
- 50-75lb/23-34kg, 2.5 to 3.75mg- 2 times daily
- over 75lb/34kg, 3.75 mg+- 2 times daily
Those pet weight guidelines are based on a certain company only; it’s better to ask your provider first.
Each concentration of medicine varies from company to company. If you are unsure, ask the supplier.
Have Veterinarians Approved of the Use of CBD in Dogs?
Due to the legal status of cannabis, research regarding its use has been limited. However, there are lots of testimonials and new studies. Some veterinarians prohibit the use of it.
On the other hand, the Veterinary Medical Association has recognized that the use of cannabis has benefits to dogs.
The Hawthorne Veterinary Clinic states that it approves and testifies to the fact that the use of cannabis has therapeutic results in dogs.
Primarily, cannabis is used to treat dogs with arthritis pain and anxiety. This clinic also says that it’s best for dogs that suffer from seizures, dermatitis, cancer, and even behavioral problems.
While some veterinarians are familiar with CBD, others are not. That’s why it’s better to look for veterinarians who are holistic veterinary practitioners or who specialize in cannabis.
You can find them in states like California or Colorado. If you’re far from these states, don’t worry, as you can find some in the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association lists.
Once you find one of the association’s suggested veterinarians, you can have a Skype or a phone consultation about CBD.
List of CBD Companies That Sell CBD Oil Products for Pets
Here are some CBD products that you can give to your dog, including a brief definition of each product:
1. Hemp Oil With CBD – contains 100% organic hemp seed oil with whole-plant hemp CBD oil. These products won’t let your dog or cat get high.
If you are worried about said products, you can check the analysis certificate of each product on its website.
This product can help lessen your dog’s pain and ease separation anxiety.
2. Nuleaf Naturals – is another CBD company from Colorado that provides high-potency, organic, premium CBD oil products.
This means there are no additives or artificial flowers. The company uses the CO2 extraction method, which is the safest, fastest, and best way to extract cannabinoids.
3. CBDistillery – is a company that offers reliable, quality CBD products. Its full-spectrum CBD oil for pets is made of cold-pressed hemp seed oil that is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids.
This company has been verified with the United States Hemp Authority and is certified by ISO 9001 for its natural farming products.
4. Healthworx CBD – is another Colorado-based company that offers CBD products for dogs.
This company is focused on giving discounts to fur parents, especially low-income families, veterans, and even seniors.
It also provides analysis certificates directly from its third-party lab testing so that customers know what they’re paying for. Healthworx products contain only CBD, with no detectable levels of THC.
5. Hollistapet – is a CBD oil for dogs that ranked among the top five brands because of its high-quality CBD product. Hollistapet’s CBD oil is non-psychoactive and is entirely safe for dogs.
You can choose from 150mg of CBD oil for your small pet dog or a 3000mg CBD bottle, which is perfect for dogs over 160 pounds.
6. Honest Paws – offers CBD oil tinctures with three different strengths – 125mg, 250mg, or 500mg bottles – depending on your dog’s size and condition.
They say that the product from this company is specifically designed to provide relief, wellness, calmness, and mobility.
CBD oil from Honest Paws uses high-quality organic hemp grown in Colorado, which makes Honest Paws one of the top 10 CBD brands selling CBD oil for pets.
7. Charlotte’s Web – a CBD product company that is based in Colorado and uses quality organic hemp to extract CBD.
The product is available in two sizes: 30ml and 100ml. You can also choose between a chicken-flavored oil or an unflavored one.
8. Just CBD – uses broad-spectrum CBD extracted from organic non-GMO hemp. It also uses a third-party lab.
Its CBD oil is available in 500mg bottles and is non-psychoactive, as it has a THC content of less than 0.3%. Dog owners can choose from various flavors, i.e., tuna, salmon, chicken, beef, and bacon.
9. Lazarus Naturals – is an employee-owned company that promotes community outreach and provides 30% discounts for people who are low-income, disabled, or veterans.
Plus, this company’s products are vegan, American-made, non-GMO, and all-natural. Its CBD oil is full-spectrum, meaning it has less than 0.3% THC.
10. Medterra – is a well-known brand that produces CBD products for pets. Its CBD oil products come in two flavors: chicken and beef and cheese.
Medterra CBD oil products come in three sizes: 150m, 300mg, and 750mg per bottle.
In general, giving your dog no more than 0.3% of THC is sufficient, but it is still better to get a veterinarian’s recommendation or advice.
You also learned that (aside from THC), CBD is a significant component of cannabis and hemp plants. CBD, like THC, can also be used for your dogs.
It is better if the CBD oil products have a THC content of not more than 0.3%.