Should You Stop Smoking or Vaping Cannabis Near Your Pets?

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If you have a pet, you surely want the very best for it. Marijuana smokers and vapers often ask whether secondhand smoke or vapor can harm their little furry friends. In this article, we’ll explain to you how to keep your dog, cat, or other pet safe from possible threats.

How Does Smoking Marijuana Affect Pets?

Pets can be harmed by an owners’ smoking habit in a few ways, including:

  • passive smoking

  • eating a joint “roach”, which contains tar and other dangerous toxins

  • licking their fur to which the harmful weed smoke chemicals can cling (so-called third-hand smoke).

How Does Vaping Marijuana Affect Pets?

If the pets’ owners vaporize cannabis (see it here), the animals can be harmed in these ways:

  • passive vaping

  • drinking an e-liquid

  • licking their fur that contains ingredients of vapor (third-hand exposure).

How Can Secondhand Marijuana Smoke Harm the Pets?

The good news is that an animal is unlikely to get intoxication from cannabis smoke unless it is “in a room with extreme amounts of smoke”, according to Dr. Eric Barchas. However, the respiratory system of dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles is quite sensitive.

Cannabis, as with cigarette smoke, can irritate their lungs. It has the potential to cause a cough or exacerbate existing respiratory conditions. They can experience more serious issues if they constantly breathe polluted air. After all, animals also have lungs and a heart. But, if you don’t smoke cannabis excessively, don’t light a joint or use a bong indoors with the windows shut, the dangers are minimal for your pet.

However, pets are especially susceptible to the psychotropic effects of THC. That means that they can also get high from secondhand cannabis smoke, just like you. For the sake of your four-legged friends, keep them in a separate room when smoking.

How Can Secondhand Marijuana Vapor Harm the Pets?

If you have you ever read the e-juices labels, then you know that you should “keep away from children and pets.” That’s because most e-liquids for vaporizers contain nicotine. Consuming this chemical can have dangerous consequences. One vaper from Britain knows this pretty well.

According to an article published by Daily Mail, a dog died after eating an e-cig capsule. When a nicotine capsule fell out of Keith Sutton’s pocket, his 14-week old puppy got a hold of it. The dog had pierced the plastic container and, though it had only ingested the tiny amount and an owner brought the dog to the veterinarian hospital in 10 minutes, the dose was lethal.

As for the impact of vapor, it is safer than smoke. In fact, e-cigarettes are found to be 95% healthier than tobacco products. But does it mean that you can use a cannabis vaporizer around your pet? Yes, but if you’re a responsible user.

Dogs like the smell of vapor and cats usually play with the clouds so they consequently inhale propylene glycol, one of the typical ingredients of marijuana oil. Like humans, animals may be allergic to propylene glycol and the vapor can cause allergic reactions and skin conditions.

So What Should You Do?

Here are several tips you can do to enjoy smoking or vaping cannabis and protect your four-legged friends:

  • Store marijuana and its extracts safely out of your pets’ reach – on a shelf or in a drawer. It must be a stable place where it won’t get knocked around and crumble easily. It’s best to store cannabis oils in a glass bottle or other airtight container and keep it in your refrigerator.

  • Remove leftovers, such as roaches.

  • Keep your cannabis vaporizer in a place completely unreachable by your pet.

  • Of course, it would be best to smoke or vape away from the furry creatures. But if you sometimes do it, make sure there’s proper ventilation.

  • Animals are not toys! Intentionally getting your pet high on THC is neither funny or cool. For your small friend, it can be fatal.

What to Do If Your Pet Consumes Cannabis?

The symptoms of cannabis ingestion may vary. They depend on age, weight, and health of the pet, and also the amount and strength of a particular marijuana product and the length of exposure.

However, many experts say that consuming cannabis or excessive inhalation can be fatal for pets. The worst possible scenario is very possible if the pet eats your edibles. If it eats even a small amount of herb, it may need veterinary help. Signs of marijuana intoxication include:

  • lack of coordination

  • hyperactivity

  • dilated pupils

  • sedation and lethargy

  • vocalization(whining or crying)

  • slow, shallow breathing

  • unusual heartbeat

  • seizures

  • coma.

What Are The Symptoms of Nicotine Poisoning?

Once a pet drinks an e-liquid for a marijuana vape pen and nicotine is in its system, symptoms will progress quickly. Consequently, you’ll need to bring your ill friend to the vet as soon as possible.

Early symptoms of nicotine poisoning present themselves within 15-20 minutes of swallowing a nicotine-containing product include:

  • constricted pupils

  • hyperactivity

  • lack of coordination

  • agitation/restlessness

  • drooling (hypersalivation)

  • vomiting

  • diarrhea

  • difficulty breathing.

More severe symptoms occur within 15 to 90 minutes of swallowing a nicotine-containing product, they include:

  • twitching

  • increased heart rate

  • tremors

  • seizures

  • coma

  • physical collapse

In summary, secondhand smoke and vapor can be harmful to pets. And, while vaporizing cannabis is a safer option, you should always store cannabis and vaping products out of your pet’s reach.

 

© 2018 Oregon Cannabis Connection. All rights reserved. 

William Stash Jones

William "Stash" Jones is a medical marijuana patient and medical cannabis advocate. He focuses on medical cannabis and its benefits, and believes that medical cannabis is the solution to many problems in medicine today.

stashjones has 51 posts and counting.See all posts by stashjones

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