Side Effects of Cannabis Smoke on Animals: What We Know

Although smoking cannabis is illegal in France and many other countries in Europe, let’s face it, the plant is widely consumed. So, just in France, nearly 45% of the population admits to having smoked a joint of marijuana. The consequences for the body are widely known, and it is up to everyone to make an informed decision. But what about our dogs and cats? Do our pets suffer from cannabis smoke surrounding area and, if so, what are the Side effects possible? This is what we are trying to understand today.

Side Effects of Cannabis Smoke on Animals: What We Know

Cats suffer from the effects of cannabis smoke very quickly

Cannabis consumption has never been so high in France. With almost half of the adult population having already consumed, it is likely that many dogs and cats have already been exposed to its smoke. If we do not necessarily think of them, or other members of our entourage, before consuming, cannabis smoke has real side effects, including during indirect exposure: this is what we call the passive cannabism.

For pets, it is even worse because they are unaware of the risk taken. Faced with prolonged exposure, however, their health is in danger.

Pets are sensitive to cannabinoids

Most animals also have an endocannabinoid system. This simple fact is enough to prove that cannabinoids have proven effects in dogs, cats, and quite a few other pets. Worse, they would in fact be more sensitive to it than us. Extensive studies still need to be done, but this already seems to be explained by at least two reasons:

  • Dogs and cats have more CB1 and CB2 sensors than humans,
  • They are on average smaller and lighter than us, and therefore need a smaller amount to feel the effects (according to the law of effect).

Effects of cannabis on cats

Funny one cat smoking a joint ? Maybe for those watching the scene, but certainly not for him! On average, an adult cat weighs between 4 and 5 kilograms. They only need a minimal amount of THC to get high.

In cats, as in dogs, the short-term side effects of cannabis smoke are not necessarily what you might expect:

  • Abundant production of saliva,
  • Uncontrolled jumps,
  • Aggressiveness,
  • Lack of stability,
  • Somnolence

Effects of cannabis on dogs

Dogs tend to eat anything and everything: watch out for leftover cannabis!
Dogs tend to eat anything and everything: watch out for leftover cannabis!

In dogs, different symptoms can appear after unintentional cannabis use, including:

  • Somnolence,
  • Vomiting,
  • Tremors,
  • Urinary incontinence,
  • Coordination of movements problems.

Be particularly vigilant when you walk outside: dogs like to eat anything that comes under their nose. An old seal left crushed on the ground can be enough to poison them!

What if my cat or dog has inhaled or swallowed cannabis?

If you catch your pet eating cannabis or notice any symptoms at all, contact your veterinarian immediately or a veterinarian on call. Make it clear to them that your cat or dog has been exposed to cannabis, and specify if it is THC and / or CBD or other legal cannabinoid. A veterinarian is not the police, his primary objective is to ensure the health of your animal!

Does CBD also have side effects on animals?

Regardless of the product, consult a veterinarian before giving cannabis to a cat or dog
Regardless of the product, consult a veterinarian before giving cannabis to a cat or dog

It depends on what we are talking about. The cannabidiol molecule does not, by itself, present no notorious side effects known. However, it is not without effects, and they will not necessarily be the same with you as with your four-legged friend. It should also be remembered that smoking CBD cannabis remains prohibited in France and in many other countries, even if the product itself is legal. It is quite simply intended for other modes of consumption.

So even though CBD is above all known for its virtuous effects, if it is smoked it carries risks. They are then above all linked to combustion: fouling of the lungs, respiratory problems, ingestion of harmful substances linked to combustion (therefore present in the smoke, therefore possible for your dog or cat to inhale), etc.

CBD smoke should therefore be banned near your pet, both for legal and health reasons. In other forms, however, it is possible to consider alleviating certain animal disorders by soothing and anti-inflammatory nature of cannabidiol. We tell you more about it in an article dedicated to CBD and animals.

In any case, we recommend that you seek the advice of a veterinarian before considering administering CBD to your dog or cat. Only a professional will be able to advise you on the merits of such a practice as well as on the useful dosage.

To conclude: what if you want to consume cannabis and have cats?

Not smoking cannabis near animals is the best prevention
Not smoking cannabis near animals is the best prevention

If you have pets and use cannabis, your best bet is simply not to smoke around them, especially not indoors. If you don’t want to quit, the healthiest thing for the whole family is to turn to other modes of consumption. By favoring strains rich in CBD, you can thus enjoy the benefits of cannabis in the form of a legal alternative, for example in vaporization, which avoids combustion and therefore most harmful fumes for your pet and for you. CBD oils and hemp infusions are even gentler ways to benefit from CBD without passing it on to your dog or cat!

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