A newer pet food product category getting a lot of buzz at US pet trade shows the past two years has been pet treats and supplements featuring cannabidiol (CBD). Sorry for the bad pun; this oil derives from the hemp plant, though a different species than ones containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana responsible for the psychoactive reaction, or high (buzz), in people or animals who imbibe it. CBD does not cause the same reaction, say its proponents in the pet industry.
Before you decide to slip your pup a sample—or even one of your edibles (hint: they can’t eat chocolate)—be warned that animals are incredibly sensitive to THC. This is due to abundant receptors in their brains, their heightened sensitivity, and their propensity for experiencing static ataxia. Like humans, dogs suffer from a variety of ailments, such as aching joints and anxiety, that could possibly benefit from treatment with cannabinoids. But because we know even less about the effects of cannabis on dogs than we do of its effects on humans, you should consult your veterinarian before proceeding further. Cannabis has the potential to cause numerous negative health effects in pets, and unlike in humans, it can even be lethal for your animal.