In this guide, I will explain how to recognize the symptoms of cannabis intoxication in dogs, how cannabis affects them, and why you should never treat your pet at home but take him to your vet.
Symptoms of weed poisoning in dogs
When dogs eat high-THC cannabis, they experience it much differently than humans.
They don’t play-pant (yes, dogs have their own way of “laughing”) or have a sudden boost in appetite. In fact, the entire experience most likely isn’t pleasant for them, and it certainly causes a lot of unnecessary stress.
That’s because dogs have much more cannabinoid receptors than humans, especially in the brain. (3, 4)
This means that the effects of cannabis are much more potent, which makes it potentially more harmful for them.
If your pet ate some of your weed or edibles, it will take about 60 minutes for the first symptoms to become apparent.
Symptoms of mild intoxication usually include:
Depression, or any other strange changes in behavior
Excessive production of saliva
Lack of coordination (“drunken” walk or falling over while standing still)
The potency and, more importantly, the form of cannabis your dog ate both play a major role in the outcome, but also in the manifestation of symptoms.
The least severe scenario is that your dog ate raw weed, because unheated weed contains THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), which first needs to be decarboxylated (whether it’s by smoking/vaping/making butter) in order to turn into THC and become psychoactive.
Raw cannabis can induce only mild symptoms in dogs.
On the other hand, edibles and concentrates should not be left somewhere where your dog can reach them.
Concentrates and edibles are often way too potent even for experienced human consumers, so you can imagine how psychoactive they could be for our pets, especially if they’re small.
Edibles can be particularly risky for dogs, especially if they contain sugar and chocolate which are also toxic for them. Edibles either contain cannabutter or tinctures (both being potent cannabis derivatives), so they have a very powerful effect on our pets.
While cannabis legalization in Canada and some states in the U.S. may have opened doors to further research into the plant’s health benefits, one area where it is still not accepted is in professional sports leagues—for now.
"A growing number of professional athletes are coming forward as cannabis advocates, pushing for softer penalties or none at all for using the drug, and highlighting its benefits for pain relief compared to current options, such as opioids."