Are cannabis leaves safe for cats?

The fact is that marijuana, the plant Cannabis Sativa L., is toxic to dogs, cats and horses, according to the ASPCA directory of animal poisons. Cats and dogs can become poisoned with cannabis in several ways, usually by eating edible food (for example, pets can also be exposed to second-hand smoke). Most exposures are accidental when curious pets discover access to the drug or when they are present in the same room with a person who smokes cannabis. Dogs have more cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which means that the effects of cannabis are more dramatic and potentially more toxic compared to humans.

A small amount of cannabis is all that is needed to cause toxicity in dogs and cats. The good news is that exposure to and ingestion of marijuana are rarely fatal in cats and long-term complications are rare. Marijuana's toxicity is low for cats, since it takes approximately 1.5 grams of marijuana per pound of body weight to be fatal. The most serious problems related to exposure to or ingestion of marijuana in cats are due to high concentrations of THC for medical use.

Cannabis is considered to have a high margin of safety for people; however, not all people, and certainly not all pets, follow a single pattern of poisoning. Remember that pets have a good sense of smell and will be tempted to eat candy, chips, chocolates and cannabis directly if they are available. The chemical substance in cannabis that produces the altered states of consciousness enjoyed by humans is called Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. The perennial herb has hairy leaves, white flowers with purple spots, and a pungent odor that causes cats to go crazy when they smell them and fall asleep when eaten.

I realized that my cats loved cannabis leaves many years ago when one sneaked into my store and ate half of my plants. While the cannabinoid CBD is completely safe for cats and has some medical benefits, consuming THC can cause them a scary and uncomfortable high. Of the more than 80 cannabinoids, the two most studied and used are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol, commonly known as “CBD”. Personally, I've discovered that both CBD oil and fresh cannabis leaves help my older cat appear more relaxed and happy, but I don't have any evidence to prove it.

I'm not sure if that has to do with cannabinoids, the smell, or if you just don't like the texture of the sticky trichomes on your tongue. Marijuana refers to a tobacco product made from the cannabis plant, of which there are two common species: cannabis indica and cannabis sativa.

Layla Johnson
Layla Johnson

Avid coffee ninja. Incurable twitter ninja. Infuriatingly humble food ninja. Passionate social media nerd. Hardcore food junkie.

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