If you have a pet that suffers from anxiety, pain, or any other wellness issue, you might be tempted to treat their symptoms using cannabis. Now, it is not uncommon for people to use CBD to help their dogs and cats, particularly in old age. CBD is a potential alleviator of pain and inflammation, it can help spur on appetite in pets, help them sleep better, feel less stressed, and more.
However, we also have people asking whether it is OK to give their pets Delta-8 THC. After all, if THC has benefits for human beings, such as pain relief, possible relief of anxious thoughts, and as a sleep aid, then it can do the same for pets, right? Well, it might surprise you to find out that Delta-8 THC is not safe for pets. Let's take a closer look at Delta-8 THC and what might happen if you give it to your pet.
- CBD is fine for pets and may have benefits.
- Delta-8 THC is not safe for dogs.
- Delta-8 THC in quantities over 3 grams per KG of body weight may cause an overdose in dogs.
- Symptoms can include (but are not limited to): vomiting, dizziness, loss of coordination, diarrhea, shaking and trembling, seizures, a loss of bladder or bowel control, and general agitation.
What is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is a specific type of THC found in hemp and cannabis plants. It is a minor cannabinoid generally found in trace amounts in these plants, unlike THC and CBD, which are major cannabinoids found in large quantities.
Because Delta-8 THC is found in trace amounts, extracting it from plants is not cost-effective. Fortunately, Delta-8 THC can be synthesized from other cannabinoids, mainly CBD.
Through a process called isomerization, hydrogen atoms are added to CBD to form Delta-8 THC. This cannabinoid is far less potent than regular Delta-9 THC, although it is still psychoactive or intoxicating. It may still also have a variety of potential benefits for human beings.
Is Delta-8 The Same as CBD for Pets?
No, Delta-8 THC is not the same as CBD for pets. First and foremost, CBD and THC are two totally different things. The main difference is that CBD is not psychoactive, which means it does not impair or intoxicate. In other words, your pets won't feel high from taking CBD.
However, although Delta-8 THC is much weaker than Delta-9 THC, it has the potential to induce intoxication. You obviously don't want your pet getting intoxicated, especially because they don't know why they feel different. Just imagine if you felt intoxicated or high all of a sudden, but didn't know where it came from. You would be scared too.
Moreover, THC interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in a dog’s body in different ways than it does in the human body. Beware! THC can be toxic to dogs. In other words, if you give your dog Delta-8 THC, you are effectively poisoning them. THC poisoning is, in fact, one of the most common types of poisoning that happens to dogs. Not only can it be a scary experience for dogs, but it can be very dangerous for their physical health.
Is Delta-8 Safe for Pets?
No, Delta-8 THC is absolutely not safe for pets. The way in which it metabolizes in a pet’s body, particularly dogs and cats, is much different than how it metabolizes in people. Giving your pet Delta 8 is essentially poisoning it.
Dogs have many more cannabinoid receptors in their brains and bodies. This means that they are far more susceptible to the psychoactive and intoxicating effects of THC. As such, dogs can get more intoxicated from Delta-8 THC than people. Needless to say, it can be a terrifying experience for any pet.
Not only can this affect their mental health and well-being, but it can also have physical ramifications. Some common side effects for dogs that have consumed THC include difficulty walking, tremors, diarrhea, vomiting, general weakness, lethargy, seizures, and in some cases even death.
Can You Overdose on Delta-8?
Too much of anything is dangerous, right? So, technically, you can overdose on Delta 8. This can come with adverse reactions including vomiting, tremors, anxiety, dizziness, confusion, hallucinations, and even loss of consciousness. However, while you may experience negative reactions to Delta-8 THC, especially if you take too much of it, there is no evidence that it can lead to death.
As far as pets are concerned, especially dogs, it is possible for them to overdose, although it is rare. That said, there have been instances where the consumption of high levels of THC has been fatal for dogs. It is thought that the lethal Delta-8 THC dose for dogs is around 3 grams per kilogram of body weight or 3 grams for every 2.2 pounds. In short, giving your dog or cat Delta-8 THC is not advisable.
Consuming Delta-8 Can Cause the Following Symptoms in Pets
If you notice that your dog has any of the following symptoms, it may have consumed Delta-8 THC. The following are symptoms to watch out for:
Loss of Coordination
One of the most common symptoms in dogs OD'd on Delta-8 THC is loss of coordination. They may not be able to walk straight, they might bump into walls, they might be a little shaky on their legs, or not able to get up properly at all. Just like humans appear high, so will your dog.
Dull and Lethargic
Another common symptom when dogs take THC is lethargy and tiredness. As mentioned above, THC hits dogs much harder because of their high concentration of cannabinoid receptors. Just like weed can make you feel tired and lethargic, it will do so for dogs, but the effects will be much more severe. You might notice that your dog is so lethargic that they fall asleep or even just lose consciousness.
Just like your pupils might dilate if you take too much THC, so will the pupils of your dog. If you notice that the pupils of your dog are extremely large and dilated, chances are they got into your stash.
THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in your dog's brain that control the function of the bladder and other bodily functions. This means that if your dog takes too much Delta-8 THC, they may lose control of their bladder or other functions. They may start to leak either feces or urine. They may even lose total control of their bladder or bowels.
Other common symptoms are vomiting and dizziness. The Delta-8 THC binds to receptors in your dog's brain that control coordination and balance. Your dog may feel dizzy, appear wobbly on its feet, fall down and be uncoordinated, or even start vomiting.
Tremors and Shaking
In some cases, dogs and cats may also suffer from extreme shaking and tremors due to Delta-8 THC. This could be due to stress and anxiety because your dog doesn't know why it feels different.
You might also just notice that your dog is agitated and uncomfortable. It could exhibit various behaviors such as a loss of appetite, excessive licking, destructive chewing, trembling, hiding in uncommon spots, or excessive panting.
Irregular Heart Rhythm
Delta-8 THC can also bind with the receptors that control the autonomic nervous system, which could result in the heart rate increasing quite drastically. If this is severe enough, it could cause a heart attack.
What to Do if Your Pet Consumes Delta-8
If your dog consumes Delta-8 THC, the worst thing that you can do is panic. Follow the steps listed below instead:
If your dog is not exhibiting any symptoms or negative side effects, there is no reason for you to panic whatsoever. Every dog is different, and there might not be any need for concern at all. However, if you do notice some symptoms occurring, staying calm and do the following:
Find out How Much it Ate
If possible, find out how much THC your pet ate. Remember that doses of around 3 grams of Delta-8 THC/kg of body weight can potentially be fatal. So, if you have a 10-kilogram dog that ate 30 grams of Delta-8 THC, there is cause for concern. However, if that same 10-kilogram dog only ate one gram, don't fret.
Give Them Space and Monitor Their Behavior
The next best thing you can do is to simply observe your dog and keep an eye on it. If you see that your pet is acting normal, then there is no cause for concern. However, if your dog starts displaying any of the symptoms that we have talked about so far, then you may need to take further action.
Give Them Water
Giving your dog plenty of water is always a good idea because it helps prevent dehydration, plus it can also help flush the THC out of their bodies.
Call A Veterinarian if the Symptoms Worsen
If your dog starts experiencing some very severe symptoms and side effects, then it might be time to call a vet. If the dog cannot stand up at all, is no longer conscious, or is suffering from paralysis or seizures, it is time to call a vet.
How to Prevent Your Pets from Consuming Delta-8
Let's quickly go over some good ways to prevent your dog from consuming Delta-8 THC.
Make Sure your Delta-8 is out of Reach
Just make sure your stash is not within reach. Don't keep it at ground level or on a table or chair that is low to the ground. Dogs can't climb very well or open up cupboards, so this shouldn't be a big problem.
Keep Your Stash in a Sealed or Locked Container
Always keep your stash sealed and locked up where your dog can't reach. Your dog doesn't have thumbs, so this shouldn't be too difficult. A locking drawer or cupboard will do just fine.
Keep Your Stash Hidden
It is best if you just keep your stash totally hidden, out of reach, and out of sight!
How Long Does Delta-8 Last?
Delta-8 lasts anywhere between three to five hours if vaped, and up to 10 hours if consumed via edible format. That said, exactly how long Delta-8 THC might last in a pet is not really known.
Bottom line: while CBD is perfectly fine to give to your pets, THC, whether Delta-8 or otherwise, is not. However, Delta-8 THC is perfectly fine for humans, and if you'd like to try some for yourself we recommend our Botany Farms Delta-8 Tropical Mix Gummies, our Delta-8 THC Mango Gummies, and our Delta-8 THC Pineapple Gummies.