Cannabis offers all kinds of potential benefits for users. It can help to alleviate pain, reduce anxiety, tame inflammation, provide relief from cancer treatment side effects, and so much more. And humans aren’t the only ones who might benefit. Animals deal with issues like chronic pain, separation anxiety, and depression, too. If your furry feline friend has any of these concerns, here’s what you need to know about cannabis for cats and how it may help.
Potential Benefits of Cannabis for Cats
Like you, your cat has an endocannabinoid system, which should allow their bodies to process cannabis and see potential benefits. Although a few studies have been done on dogs, unfortunately, there isn’t much research available right now about cats, so while the potential benefits aren’t confirmed, it’s possible cannabis may help with several conditions in your feline, such as:
If your cat has arthritis or cancer, cannabis may help to alleviate their pain, making it more bearable. THC can cause toxicity in cats, however. CBD is safer, and it may provide the necessary analgesic effects without conventional medication.
Certain treatments, like cancer treatment, and digestive issues can trigger nausea and appetite loss. Cannabis may help to alleviate nausea and stimulate the appetite, allowing your cat to eat again.
Some studies are finding that CBD can help to reduce seizure activity in animals. If your cat has epilepsy, cannabis may provide relief.
Cannabis Versus Catnip
Have you ever given your cat a bit of catnip? If so, you’ve likely noticed that their reaction is similar to the one humans experience while high. Their pupils dilate, and they suddenly become incredibly playful. The next thing you know, they’re sprawled out and sleeping.
The “high” caused by catnip isn’t the same as a high caused by cannabis, though. Instead, catnip acts more like a pheromone than a drug. Smelling catnip can make your feline a little crazed, while eating it produces a sedative effect. Your cat also likely won’t overdose on catnip. In most cases, they can tell when they’ve had enough and walk away. If they do eat too much, they might get an upset stomach, but it’s nothing serious. Too much cannabis, on the other hand, can be dangerous.
What Happens if My Cat Has Too Much Cannabis?
Cats don’t handle too much cannabis as well as humans do. While you might experience extreme paranoia or anxiety if you’ve had a bit too much THC, these effects are temporary. They wear off after a time.
For cats, too much cannabis can be deadly. The danger of the plant lies in the THC. If your cat becomes high, you may notice that their pupils dilate, and they lose coordination. Below the surface, their heart rate can drop dangerously low, as can their respiration and body temperature. If you suspect your cat has had too much, contact your vet immediately.
Cannabis may provide benefits for our feline friends, but there isn’t really any research available. Vets also can’t recommend it as a treatment, though a recent bill in California is working to change that. As researchers continue to look into the benefits of the plant for our animal companions, we may see things change, and there may be more natural options available to help you treat your pet’s conditions.