THC is toxic for dogs and should never be given in large quantities. However, dogs can safely consume CBD products with traces of THC below 0.3%.
THC is a cannabis compound that’s responsible for causing an intoxicating high. While THC does have pain-relieving and anti-anxiety effects, it’s also poisonous to dogs when consumed in significant amounts.
If a dog consumes THC, it may cause a range of issues from nervousness and confusion to nausea, ataxia, and even organ damage.
Despite this, many pet-safe CBD products contain small traces of THC. In fact, the safe THC threshold for pet products (and dog THC consumption) is currently set at 0.3%.
So, if THC is considered dangerous for dogs, why do so many pet CBD products contain up to 0.3% THC?
What is THC?
THC stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. It’s an active compound found in the buds of most types of cannabis plants.
Marijuana strains of cannabis tend to contain higher amounts of THC, while hemp strains traditionally contain very low amounts of THC.
Cannabis farmers and producers often breed plants to cultivate strains with high THC concentrations.
THC content in cannabis plants is tightly regulated in most parts of America. State laws on how much THC a cannabis plant can contain vary widely and change according to the intended use of a cannabis crop.
THC is one of many active compounds found in cannabis known as cannabinoids.
Other cannabinoids include CBD (Cannabidiol), CBG (Cannabigerol), and CBC (Cannabichromene).
Cannabinoids interact with receptors in humans and dogs’ bodies to produce a range of effects.
What does THC do?
Of all cannabinoids, none affects the mental state of humans and dogs more than THC.
Consuming significant amounts of THC can induce psychoactive effects. In humans, this includes euphoria and relaxation, as well as confusion and paranoia.
In dogs, THC consumption can lead to panic, confusion, and loss of coordination.
- Pain and anxiety relief
Clinical studies have shown that, alongside any psychoactive effects, THC may also reduce pain and anxiety in many people and animals.
As a result, THC has been prescribed for therapeutic use by humans in recent years.
How much THC is safe for dogs?
THC is not safe for dogs in amounts higher than 0.3% of cannabis oil or edible.
Products containing less than 0.3% THC are considered safe for dogs by the majority of animal healthcare experts.
To help ensure they don’t come into contact with dangerous amounts of THC, dogs should only ever be given cannabis products made from hemp plants – not marijuana plants.
To remain legal, most hemp plants are cultivated to contain less than 0.3% THC. As a result, any products made from hemp are completely safe for dogs.
Do pet cannabis products contain THC?
Even though the hemp plants used to make pet-safe cannabis products are bred to contain very low amounts of THC, traces do remain. That’s because THC is a natural part of hemp.
This means that many pet CBD products will contain traces of THC, up to 0.3%. This is normal and totally safe for pets.
Which pet products contain up to 0.3% THC?
The pet cannabis products most likely to contain up to 0.3% THC are those with whole-plant extracts, most-often termed “full-spectrum.”
Full-spectrum cannabis products are minimally processed and contain the full range of cannabinoids found in the original hemp plant. That means CBD, THC, and any other active compounds.
Most cannabis experts agree that full-spectrum products produce stronger, more reliable effects in both dogs and humans, thanks to their richer hemp extracts.
All of the top-recommended CBD products in our list of the best CBD oils for dogs contain a full-spectrum hemp extract.
- Are there cannabis products for dogs that don’t contain THC?
Yes! Some cannabis products for dogs contain hemp extracts that have undergone further processing to remove additional cannabinoids.
These extracts are most often called “broad-spectrum” or “isolate CBD.”
Broad-spectrum hemp products should contain 0% THC but may contain other cannabinoids and hemp compounds besides the main listed ingredient.
(For example, a broad-spectrum CBD oil for dogs could contain CBD plus secondary cannabinoids such as CBC, or CBD-V.)
Isolate hemp products should contain no THC or any other hemp compounds besides the main listed ingredient.
Because they are further processed and contain a narrower range of hemp compounds, broad-spectrum and isolate cannabis products are generally considered less potent than full spectrum products.