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Sunday, August 4, 2019

SPECIAL EDITION: HELP! What to Do If Your Dog Ate Weed? First Response Guide

What to Do If Your Dog Ate Weed? First Response Guide

Fatal outcomes of cannabis intoxication in canines are extremely rare.
As you know, there have been a couple of reports of animals overdosing from pot, but as it turns out, these are isolated incidents.
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. (34)
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
  • Dilated pupils
  • Lack of coordination (“drunken” walk or falling over while standing still)
  • Hypersensitivity to touch
  • Vomiting
  • Dribbling urine
  • Tremors
  • Lower heart rate
  • Low body temperature
  • Low blood pressure
Higher doses of THC might cause:
  • Involuntary eye movement
  • Disturbed behavior
  • Fast breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Involuntary muscle movements
  • Seizures (2)
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.

The effects of high-THC cannabis on dogs

All mammals have an endocannabinoid system. (1)
But what does this mean in practice?
Dogs, just like humans, have cells with endocannabinoid receptors located throughout their system, and their bodies also produce internal cannabinoid-like molecules called endocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids bind to the same receptors as cannabinoids, which are the most abundant and most important molecules found in cannabis.
With this in mind, we can confidently say that cannabis can influence dogs, but that depends on whether the cannabis in question contains THC or not.

It’s not “cannabis”, it’s “high-THC” cannabis that’s dangerous

And here is why we need to explain the difference between two major cannabis compounds: THC and CBD.
Dogs can heavily benefit from CBD, which is as a non-intoxicating compound usually sold in oil-form, and is absolutely safe for our four-legged friends.
It’s mostly used to treat anxiety, seizures, allergies and skin problems in dogs.
However, the most abundant substance in many types of cannabis—THC—is what actually causes problems for dogs. This compound can be toxic for both dogs and cats.
Smaller doses usually induce mild intoxication, while great quantities can be fatal.
However, this is really really rare, and is usually a result of dogs eating a huge amount of weed—most likely through an edible that contains concentrates, like THC cannabutter, for instance.
Studies suggest that a lethal oral dose of THC for dogs is more than 3 grams per kilogram of a dog’s weight. Of course, smaller doses can also have some very serious consequences. (2)
Dogs can definitely “get high” by inhaling secondhand smoke, but the only way pets can be poisoned by cannabis is by eating the owner’s (or somebody else’s) supply.

How long will my dog be high?

The intensity and duration of the “high” depends on the potency of the consumed “treat”, on the form (as mentioned: raw buds, edibles, concentrates, tinctures), and, of course, the size of your dog.
Dogs take anywhere from to 24 hours to fully recover from being intoxicated by cannabis.

What should you do?

If your dog ate weed, you should immediately take him to a vet, who will most likely induce vomiting in a controlled environment, to get the cannabis out before it starts metabolizing.
The induction of vomiting should be done by a vet because they know how to determine the correct dose of active coal in regards to the dog’s weight.
Vomiting can also be tricky for dogs because it can result in dehydration and choking.
If you already noticed the intoxication symptoms, it’s probably too late for induced vomiting. In these cases, your vet will likely give your dog IV fluids to help flush the toxins out of the system.
Although weed might still be illegal in your state or country, it’s important to tell your vet the truth, just so they can act accordingly.


  1. Maccarrone M, Finazzi-Agró A; The endocannabinoid system, anandamide and the regulation of mammalian cell apoptosis; Cell Death Differentiation; September 2003; 10(9):946-955
  2. Fitzgerald KT, Bronstein AC, Newquist KL; Marijuana poisoning; Topics in Companion Animal Medicine; February 2013; 28(1):8-12
  3. Gyles C; Marijuana for pets?; Canadian Veterinary Journal; December 2016; 57(12): 1215–1218
  4. Wynn SG; The lowdown on cannabis in veterinary medicine; 2016

SPORTS: Current State of Cannabis Use in Sports, Last updated: June 21, 2019

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.

The Current State of Cannabis Use in Sports

"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."

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

U.S. Postal Service: Yes, Hemp and Hemp-Based Products Can Be Shipped by Mail


U.S. Postal Service: Yes, Hemp and Hemp-Based Products Can Be Shipped by Mail

Under the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills, the USPS can ship certain products, as long as specified conditions are met.

June 24, 2019
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) updated its “Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail” policy June 6 to provide new mailing standards for products derived from cannabis and industrial hemp.
According to its website, the USPS has received numerous inquiries from both businesses and consumers looking to use its services to transport CBD products. In its recent bulletin, the USPS clarified that the 2014 Farm Bill, which authorized states to implement hemp cultivation programs, as well as the 2018 Farm Bill that federally legalized the cultivation and sale of hemp, allow the USPS to ship some products derived from industrial hemp, under specific conditions.
A business that wishes to ship those products must have a license from its state’s Department of Agriculture to produce industrial hemp, according to USPS policy, and the THC concentration of any product mailed must not exceed 0.3 percent. Once the 2018 Farm Bill is fully implemented and states begin to regulate hemp and hemp-derived products, the USPS will further amend its policy on the transport of hemp and hemp-based products, according to the bulletin.
Those businesses are responsible for complying with all laws and regulations that govern mailability, the USPS said. While they are not required to present documentation proving state licensure and THC content at the time of mailing, this documentation may be requested should there be doubt about the item’s mailability or the addressee’s ability to legally receive it.
High Falls Hemp, a New York-based hemp-derived product manufacturer, has been shipping with the USPS for over a year, according to Managing Director Sheila Doyle. The company only ran into an issue once, Doyle said, when a particular post office branch had a misunderstanding of hemp products.
“They questioned ‘how we knew it would not blow up on an airplane,’ so clearly they were assuming that all hemp-CBD products were vapes,” Doyle said. “This is not the case as we do not sell vapes. They also told us it needed to be packed in a special way, so at the time it was a little confusing.”
High Falls Hemp employees now carry the required documents to show the USPS that the company’s products are compliant, should a question arise, Doyle said. “Our products also have QR codes on them that lead to a web page containing the third-party lab reports on each product. That will also make it easier to show anyone what is in the product and the proper low-level of THC.”
Recently, High Falls Hemp shipped hemp seeds internationally, and although other carriers declined the shipments, the USPS accepted them after reviewing the required documentation.
“It is a big deal for the industry to be able to ship via USPS, and I also think it is a great move for the USPS to get in on the ground floor by accepting this industry,” Doyle said.
The USPS’s new guidelines for hemp and hemp-derived products are part of a larger industry trend that has been evolving over the past couple of months with the normalization of the market, according to Lex Pelger, director of education at CV Sciences, a producer of cannabis-based products.
“I think this is a big deal,” Pelger told Cannabis Business Times. “That’s really important, to have these kinds of clarifications, to have the USPS say, ‘This is completely legal.’ It does matter, and you see other agencies following suit in their various departments.”
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), for example, updated its policy last month to allow travelers to bring certain CBD products on flights.
“I think that the USPS stepping up to clearly lay out their policy was wise given the movement towards the acceptance and legalization of hemp in the U.S. post 2018 Farm Bill,” said Jason Mitchell, co-founder and president of Hemp Fusion, a provider of hemp-based products. “This move also provides additional support for this movement and thus helps to create a sense of acceptance by other organizations.”
Now that the USPS has updated its hemp and CBD policies, Pelger sees it as positive for not only hemp- and CBD-related businesses, but also shipping businesses, like the USPS, which will now have more packages to send around the country.
“It might be a drop in the bucket compared to all the packages shipped in the United States, but it’s one more category of product that’s going to be shipped a lot more,” Pelger said.
Although CV Sciences ships its products through UPS, Pelger has previously worked at companies that used the USPS, and he has never seen any major issues arise with either of these major carriers when transporting hemp and hemp-derived products.
“Because they’re such a normalized product and they just simply look like another plant extract, in general, it doesn’t seem like it’s raising red flags,” he said. “Often, I would suspect people don’t even know or care what’s in there. It doesn’t seem like they’re looking for it.”
Even so, businesses and consumers have historically been fearful of shipping these products through the mail due to the regulatory gray area, Pelger said. Now that the USPS has clarified its policy to definitively allow the shipment of these products, it will allow industry stakeholders to breathe a sigh of relief.
“When I’m out on the road, I hear a lot of elderly folks, especially, being worried about this being shipped to their house, being worried about legality, being worried about their insurance companies,” Pelger said. “To have a statement like this to let them rest easy … means there are going to be a lot more grandmothers or parents around the country who are finally going to feel safe enough to buy a hemp extract online and have it shipped to their house. And that could be a really important thing for their health.”
For companies shipping hemp and hemp-based products, it should be business as usual, Pelger said, although businesses should read the USPS’s guidelines very carefully and be aware of some kinks that need to be worked out.
“They’re not simple,” he said. “It involves three different prongs: a self-certification statement, a license issued by that state’s Department of Agriculture, and then saying that [the hemp or hemp-derived product contains] less than 0.3-percent THC. What the USPS actually said is kind of confusing and doesn’t quite make sense with how some of the industry works because for some companies, like ours, we don’t have a license from any local department of agriculture because none of our hemp is grown in the United States. We’re using only Dutch hemp, and so we don’t need to deal with the USDA for growing hemp. So, we wouldn’t have a license from them, and it’s something that’s required.”
Companies in the space should also be mindful of local authorities who may not align with the USPS policy, or the USDA’s recent memo clarifying that hemp can be legally transported across state lines.
“Even though they’re saying this is true, there are still shipments being seized in the country, like in Idaho, for perfectly legal hemp shipments going through,” Pelger said. “The local cops don’t like it, and even though it’s legal under the federal law, it’s months and months of back and forth to try to get back their plants.”
Indeed, the case of Denis Palamarchuk, who was transporting hemp through Idaho on his way from one licensed company to another earlier this year when police officers asserted he was carrying illegal marijuana through the state, demonstrates federal and state tension that law enforcement authorities and agricultural regulators have been wrestling since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Even so, Pelger said the USPS memo offers some much-needed clarity that can be amended as more guidelines are handed down from other applicable federal agencies. “This new memo is a great step in the right direction, but as it says on the issuing statement, this is a memo subject to change. So, they’re still working out what exactly this needs to look like, but you can tell that they’re working hard to try to do their best to be on the right side of the 2018 Farm Bill and where all these laws are moving."

The Ultimate Guide on How to Get a Job at a Dispensary

The Ultimate Guide on How to Get a Job at a Dispensary