Pet Unfriendly Marijuana Products
It has become evident in my conversations with many pet owners that they are unaware of the many different shapes and forms that medical marijuana is now available. The days of the simple roach and the brownie are long gone. Dispensaries now offer a wide variety of products containing cannabis in many different forms. The most potent forms of marijuana are classified as “concentrates” and may be sold as a stand-alone product or as an ingredient in a consumable platform (ie hard candies, capsules). Unfortunately marijuana concentrates are also the most dangerous cannabis products for pets. Whereas a dog or cat may often consume raw cannabis with little ill effects, ingesting a very small amount of concentrates may very easily result in an overdose (depending on the size of your pet and the amount consumed).
Below are pictures of medical marijuana products that are considered high risks for pets because of their concentrated cannabis ingredients. Special care should be taken to secure these products where your pet can’t gain access to them. Accidental ingestion of these products in any significant quantities will almost certainly lead to toxicity in dogs and cats.
Concentrated Cannabis Oil
While there is a significant amount of research investigating the possible use of cannabis oil as a pet therapeutic for cancer, the potent nature of the medication can lead to toxicity on pets. Also referrered to by many as “Rick Simpson Oil” (or “RSO”), cannabis oil contains a much higher percentage of THC and active ingredients than the raw plant material. In addition, dangerous solvents such as butane and gasoline may be used to extract the oil from the plant. These solvents themselves can be very dangerous if they are not completely removed, or “purged”, from the oil.
Cannabis “Wax”, “Glass” or “Shatter”
These concentrated cannabis products often contain even higher levels of THC than marijuana oil. As such they represent one of the greatest health risks if accidentally ingested by dogs or cats. Pet owners should take extreme caution to safeguard these types of products as only a small amount may be problematic for pets.
Concentrated Marijuana Capsules
These products attempt to mimic more traditional pharmaceutical preparations and often display an appearance of professionalism. Just remember, however, that they are often dosed specifically for an adult human being (weighing on average approximately 150 lbs). Administering one of the same capsule to a cat or small breed dog may result in disastrous consequences.
Other Edible Products Containing Marijuana
Any baked good that is made with butter or oil can potentially contain marijuana. The possibilities are truly endless and you would be amazed at the creativity of some “Canna chefs”. The problem is that it is often very difficult to accurately dose edible products for medical applications. For example, what does it really mean when someone tells you that they gave their dog a quarter of a cookie twice a day? How big was the cookies? What stain, form, and potency of cannabis was used as the active ingredients? Who was the baker and are they meticulous in their efforts to maintain uniform batches and rigid standards of quality control? The questions are endless but the main point is that there are often too many unknowns; especially when you are considering administering it to a small, 5-lb animal. In the future, there will no doubt be improvements that will make edibles a safe and effective therapeutic option. I’m just not convinces that the time has arrived yet…
So there you have it. If you have never stepped foot in a dispensary before, I hope that you now have an idea of the wide array of products available that may contain cannabis. I hope this short introductory guide helps to prevent accidental ingestion by pets by early detection (say if you share your home with a cannabis user or curious teenager)