THC-tourism is a booming industry as recreational marijuana is legalized in more places than ever before. Thus, your dog is more likely than ever to encounter marijuana in different forms, whether you partake or others around you do. Having said that, every dog parent can benefit from learning the signs and symptoms of THC poisoning in dogs, including the warning signs that indicate your dog needs veterinary care. No matter whether you or your peers use these products, it is best to be prepared regardless of whether you use them or not.

Can Weed Be Harmful to Dogs?

Marijuana poisoning is dangerous and requires veterinarian attention. Dogs can experience different symptoms such as stumbling, light-sensitivity, confusion, and abnormal behavior. In severe cases, dogs can have convulsions, urinary incontinence, or vomit. Some pups will get tired while others will get anxious and hyper-excited. How a dog reacts to marijuana depends on its potency. Higher THC concentration can result in a more severe poisoning episode.  

Cannabis cooking oils and butters have more THC. Dogs may stay away from recreational weed, but they may go for the edible that is left out, which often includes harmful substances besides THC. The size of a dog and the dosage can determine how the cannabis ingested will affect the dog. Like any narcotic, THC’s potency increases with body weight.

What Are the Clinical Signs of THC/CBD Poisoning?

CBD is less toxic than THC because it is derived from hemp to avoid larger amounts of THC. CBD is a newer treatment for some dogs to help certain behaviors like anxiety or treat pain such as arthritis. CBD overdose can happen when a dog has been given too much and it has built up in their system. Higher concentrations of CBD can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Poorly regulated CBD products may contain THC exceeding the legal limit for hemp-based goods. Always consult your veterinarian before administering any product or medication to your pup. 

If your dog has ingested marijuana or products containing THC, the probability of poisoning is much higher. Clinical indications can appear within minutes or an hour after inhaling or ingesting THC. Here are common symptoms of THC poisoning in dogs:

  • Decreased heart rate 
  • Hyperactivity 
  • Changes in behavior 
  • Coma
  • Dazed expression
  • Glassy eyes
  • Incoordination 
  • Delayed reaction times 
  • Dribbling urine 
  • Vomiting 
  • Drooling

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Weed?

There are important steps to take before making any rash decisions. First, determine the type and how much was consumed. Next, monitor your dog for poisoning symptoms and call Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian to discuss the next steps. If signs worsen take a trip to the clinic right away and hospitalization may be required. We all have our different ways to unwind and relax, but make sure your dog is safe in your Zen space as well.