Can I smoke around my pet?

We all love spending time with our furry friends, and these days, more and more people are interested in cannabis — but when it comes to smoking cannabis, we should make sure to keep our distance?

Our pets are sensitive to THC. THC toxicity can cause depression, ataxia, vomiting, and urinary accidents, as well as tremors and slow heart rates. For some pets, THC toxicity can instead cause agitation and high heart rates. So it’s best for them to avoid the second-hand smoke that comes from human cannabis smoke. If you are going to light up, and you want to avoid accidental effects for your pet, please make sure that you smoke in a different room or outside your house!

When we smoke cannabis, the temperature of the combustion process creates tar as a byproduct. Many tiny tar droplets easily become scattered around in the smoking environment, including on clothes, on the couch, and in areas where pets may be tasting or eating. The amount of THC from the tar is usually minuscule though, so it is unlikely that one session risks immediate intoxication for your pet, but depending on the exposure the pet has, and how often, the risk may build up to a meaningful exposure that could be concerning. Nevertheless, the health risks are currently unknown.

So should we be smoking around pets?

The answer is “no, probably not” but of course, there are many alternatives to smoking that are safer.

A great (and healthier!) alternative is vaporizing cannabis instead of smoking it. With vaporization, or “vaping” there is no tar or second-hand smoke involved, due to the absence of combustion. Instead, specific temperatures are used to heat the cannabis in precise ways, eliciting a much more controlled mist of product, not any tar products. Consuming edibles is another option, as long as they are kept out of reach from interested animals.

CBD is also safe around pets. More and more, studies are showing that it seems to be free of toxic components that would intoxicate or pose unwanted risk to animals.

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