March 03, 2021 3 min read
A powerful cultural shift has taken place in the perception of Cannabis, or hemp. Society is now welcoming not only its recreational uses, but its medical and holistic advantages as well. But don’t just take anybody’s word for it. Look to the doctors prescribing it, the chefs incorporating it into their cuisine, and the politicians who endorse it. These benefits are not limited to humans. Pet companions, dogs included, can reap these rewards as well. Unfortunately, when it comes to hemp, it’s not always easy to know what is fact and what is fiction. Due to the seemingly ever changing legal status, as well as the misinformation and propaganda launched against marijuana, there has been little education or understanding around the Cannabis plant. Below we’ve addressed 5 common misconceptions about Cannabis, marijuana, and hemp, and how they affect your dog.
This is perhaps the largest myth surrounding hemp, and what it means for our pooches. The confusion mainly stems from the misuse of the term hemp as another synonym for marijuana like weed, bud, or pot. In reality, the two have separate identities. Marijuana and hemp are classifications of the Cannabis plant. Hemp can contain no more than 0.03% THC, or the chemical present in cannabis that makes everyone rock out at a Grateful Dead concert. Marijuana on the other hand can contain up to 30% THC. This leads us to the next misconception, and what it means for your canine.
As mentioned above, hemp and marijuana are two classifications of the same plant based on their THC content. THC is just one cannabinoid present in the plant but it is responsible for the psychoactive or euphoric effects. This is what causes a person, or an animal, to become high. Thankfully, the THC limit in hemp products is not enough for a dog to feel the THC effects, or become high! This is one of the benefits of choosing a hemp alternative when looking into cannabis products for your pet. You can rest assured that your dog will not be lounging on the couch, red eyed, and craving a bag of kibble.
The legal status of Cannabis, which hemp is a part of, has been in flux. Creating confusion for consumers wondering which side of the law they fall down on. The popular shift among the states to decriminalize, or fully legalize marijuana has yet to be realized by the Federal Government. Hemp on the other hand, the Federal Government has come around to! The Farm Bill of 2018 made it possible to grow, sell, and purchase hemp in America. You can rest assured when buying hemp products that you are not turning your dog into a nefarious delinquent, or putting them at risk of living a life with you behind bars. Hemp is now 100% legal!
We are happy to report that it is impossible for dogs to overdose on hemp. This misconception leads back to the misguided view that marijuana and hemp are one and the same. When pet parents voice their concerns about their dog overdosing on hemp, what they’re really concerned about is their dog overdosing on THC. Because of the low levels present in hemp this is not possible. However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Were a sneaky pet to get into a wayward box, or ingest too much of a hemp product, they could experience uncomfortable symptoms like diarrhea or itching. Always talk to your vet if you have concerns and follow feeding instructions.
Hemp is an incredible plant that is absolutely chock full of possible benefits. Like any substance though, it may not be suitable for everyone. The main concern for dog owners to be aware of is how hemp could potentially react with other medications your dog could be taking. If you are interested in including a hemp or cannabis product in your pet’s routine, talk to your vet first.
Hemp and cannabis products have been misunderstood until very recently. Naturally, pet parents have questions. That’s a good thing! It means you love your pet, and care about what you put into their body. When considering whether to give your pet any new products it’s important to ask questions, and be informed with the right information. Luckily, we now understand hemp better than ever before.
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