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Cannabis For Your Pets: Is It Legal?

Cannabis for pet use

Cannabis legality is a considerable concern for seasoned and aspiring marijuana users. It’s even a more significant concern for pet parents considering introducing their furry friends to weed-based products. As you may already know, cannabis laws vary worldwide.

Many countries have since enacted clear laws that regulate the possession, distribution, and use of marijuana products within their jurisdictions. Such laws usually govern both medical and recreational cannabis. In other countries, marijuana laws are a bit hazy and ordinarily open to interpretation.

But if you’re considering introducing your pet to cannabis products, it pays to understand what your local marijuana laws are. This post shall offer more insights on the legality of marijuana for pets and what to know before feeding weed products to your cute little friend.

Is cannabis effective for pets?

The first question to settle before introducing your pet to marijuana is whether there are any benefits to accrue from it. Fortunately, weedsmart.cc offers numerous health benefits to pets.

Pain is the most common medical condition in pets (and even humans) that marijuana can resolve. Like us, our furry friends contain a complex cell-signalling system known as the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system regulates normal homeostatic balance and plays a role in improving immunity.

Cannabis exerts its analgesic effects by impacting the performance of the endocannabinoid system. It’s unclear exactly how marijuana affects the endocannabinoid system. However, medical experts believe that weed changes how the body’s pain-signalling receptors bind to endogenous cannabinoids, such as anandamide.

This complex mechanism results in better pain medication. Various studies have examined the pain-relieving potential of cannabis extracts like cannabidiol (CBD) in pets, and the findings are pretty inspiring. For instance, this study found that CBD could relieve the pain associated with arthritis in pets.

Besides pain, CBD might also relieve various anxiety disorders in pets, including separation anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. When administered, the compound eases anxiety by increasing the signalling of ‘happiness’ hormones like serotonin. Other medical conditions that cannabidiol might relieve in pets include inflammation, nausea, seizures, and insomnia.

Is cannabis legal for pets?

Although we’ve already mentioned it, it warrants repeating that cannabis laws vary from one country to another. In the United States, hemp-derived CBD products are legal for human consumption in all fifty states. That’s due to the signing into law of the 2018 Farm Bill. The only condition is that the product must contain 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC is the primary psychoactive chemical in marijuana.

However, the situation isn’t as cut and dried as it sounds. It’s worth noting that the DEA still classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug. This means that marijuana products, either for humans or pets, remain illegal under federal law. So, while you may comfortably feed cannabis edibles to your dog in your private compound, you could get arrested on federal property.

Outside the United States, marijuana seems to be legal in Canada and various countries in the European Union (EU). However, many countries in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and South America still criminalize cannabis for medical and recreational use.

But here’s the thing – even in countries where weed is legal, marijuana products remain illegal for pets. Although the FDA has approved a few cannabis-based drugs for human consumption, the regulator is yet to endorse any marijuana products for pets. This is probably because cannabis studies tend to focus on the plant’s benefits for humans and not animals.

Tapping into professional opinions

Reputable veterinary organizations like the American Veterinary Medical Association advise veterinarians to proceed with caution before administering, prescribing, dispensing, or even recommending cannabis products to animals. But why are there many cannabis-infused pet products?

Since the FDA doesn’t approve cannabis for pet use, the regulator wouldn’t approve any cannabis-containing pet products. Fortunately, pet products don’t necessarily require FDA approval to be deemed safe and effective.

Numerous reputable pet product manufacturers ensure the cannabis composition in their products is safe and effective for pets. To do that, these companies subject their products to testing by independent laboratories.

Can you be charged for giving your pet cannabis?

Granted, you can get arrested and possibly charged for possessing cannabis in countries where weed is illegal. It doesn’t matter whether you’re found in possession of human or pet cannabis products. And depending on how stringent marijuana laws are in your jurisdiction, you could spend a long time behind bars.

Another thing worth noting is that cannabis regulators, and renowned veterinary organizations, are generally reserved about prescribing or recommending cannabis for pets. That’s regardless of whether cannabis is legal in those jurisdictions for human use or not.

The good news is that many cannabis laws are only formulated with humans in mind. As far as marijuana for pets is concerned, numerous countries still lack substantive regulatory measures in place.

While many regulators express reservations about approving marijuana for pet consumption, most of these bodies don’t criminalize weed-based products. They prefer to leave that to a pet owner’s discretion.


It’s illegal to administer cannabis to pets if your local laws criminalize marijuana. Even if you live in a state or country where weed is legal, it’s still important to remember that many veterinarians disapprove of marijuana.

Therefore, it’s prudent to establish your local marijuana laws before feeding any cannabis products to your pet. Most importantly, talk to your vet before integrating weed into your pet’s health and wellness routine.

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have time to spare why not check out these related posts and dive deeper down the rabbit hole that is being a pet owner.

Tags: Pets, Cannabis, CBD, Guest Post

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