Someone putting a marijuana leaf up to a cat's mouth as the cat chews on the leaf - cbdMD

Is THC Harmful to Pets?

While CBD may have some health benefits for your pets, THC could be harmful for them to breathe in or ingest.

As a loving pet parent, your first job is to keep your pets safe. You may have heard that your CBD products could hurt your pets. In reality, it’s not the CBD, but the THC.

So, what if your pet chews up your bottle of CBD gummies with THC in them? Or chews up a marijuana bud? Or your buddy thinks it’s hilarious to blow marijuana smoke into your dog’s face? Worse yet, if your pet eats a marijuana brownie? Then there’s double toxicity of the THC and chocolate.

Today, we answer your questions:


  • Is THC harmful to pets? Is it toxic? – YES!
  • Does THC get your pet high? – YES! And not in the “good way,” some humans like to experience. In fact, it can really hurt them, like drastically lowering their blood pressure or causing vomiting, confusion, or even coma.


Plus, we’ll answer:


  • What is marijuana toxicity for pets?
  • What to do if your pet eats something with THC in it.


THC and Your Pet

CBD and THC are the two most common cannabinoids from the Cannabis sativa plant. While CBD may have some health benefits for your pets, THC could be harmful for them to breathe in or ingest.

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the element in cannabis that gives humans a psychoactive “high” feeling when consumed in high enough amounts. Though THC is regulated to 0.3 percent or less in all CBD products, it’s important to know the effects it may have on your pets. Some CBD products are made just for your pets and these are formulated with CBD but not THC.

THC Toxicity for Pets

Why is THC harmful for pets? This is because their bodies easily reach levels of toxicity from THC, differently than humans do, though we are not sure exactly why.


Someone giving their dog cannabis oil through a dropper - cbdMD


Because of this danger, THC is known as a known toxin to dogs and to have serious health consequences for cats. There is no amount of THC safe for your pets to consume so you should never give a CBD product to your pets if it is labeled “full spectrum” or if you see THC listed anywhere in the ingredients. In fact, you should only use CBD products specifically labeled for pets.

How Pets Get Exposed to THC

THC is in a lot of different things. Your pet may be exposed in a number of ways, intentionally or unintentionally.


  • Cats may chew on parts of the marijuana or hemp plants – buds, leaves, stems, flowers. Keep these things where your cat has no chance of getting to them.
  • Your dog may eat your marijuana edibles, your CBD gummies, or your CBD tinctures or capsules if they are not stored away properly.
  • People sometimes think it is “funny” to blow marijuana smoke at their pets – this is dangerous, even criminal, behavior and it is not at all funny. Your pets could suffer long-lasting effects that are toxic to them. Please, do not do this – ever.
  • Your pets may lick or eat your THC-infused cooking products like oils or butter.
  • Some people may think that catnip and THC have the same effects on cats and therefore THC must be safe. This is a myth, a falsity, and it should be clearly understood by all cat parents that THC (which comes from cannabis) and catnip (from the mint family) are two very different botanicals.


Marijuana and Your Pet

For marijuana smokers, you need to understand that what you enjoy doing with your own body regarding marijuana should not extend to your pets. Smoking with your pets in the room, in the car, etc. could expose them to second-hand marijuana smoke.

Marijuana is not safe for your pets in any form, even in the smoke. If you’ve never heard of marijuana toxicosis, educate yourself and others whom you may see exposing their pets to the toxicity of THC. You might save the life of a pet who cannot speak for themselves.

So, while you partake, do so with extreme caution when there are pets in the vicinity. Here’s how THC and marijuana affect our furry friends.

What Is Marijuana Toxicosis?

Many plants and plant derivatives are dangerous for your pets, including marijuana, or Cannabis sativa. The ASPCA Poison Control Center reports that it is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses.

Symptoms of Marijuana Toxicity


  • Prolonged depression
  • Vomiting
  • Incoordination, stumbling like they’re intoxicated
  • Sleepiness, a dull, lethargic look, seeming “out of it”
  • Excitation or jumpiness
  • Tremors or shaking, seeming agitated or upset
  • Becoming very sensitive to sound, touch, or stimulation
  • Hypersalivation
  • Excessive urination, dribbling urine
  • Dilated pupils
  • Low blood pressure, low heart rate
  • Low body temperature
  • Seizure
  • Coma
  • Death (rare)


Is ANY Kind of Cannabis OK for Your Pet?

 Pet food sitting on a marijuana leaf - cbdMD

It’s hard as a pet parent to balance the need to help your pet with the worry over giving them medications, supplements, or treatments that may, if not given properly, harm them. You want more than anything else to help your pet to feel better, ease their discomfort, and improve the quality of their life. After all, they’re your responsibility and for many people they feel like members of the family.

Health Benefits of Broad Spectrum CBD for Your Pets

When your pets are suffering, you get out there and look for solutions for them. You talk to your vet, you Google everything, and you pay attention to your pet. What might they need? Is there anything you can do?

Likely then, CBD is already on your radar as a potential solution. And truthfully, for many pets who have trouble sleeping restfully, have terrible separation or noise anxieties, or have lost their zest, appetites, or that spark in their eyes – CBD products made just for pets have provided some relief.

Mammals, like us, have an endocannabinoid system, and this is why we think CBD seems to help them with some things like comfort, calm, and sleep.

If you’re considering CBD for your pets:

One: Contact your vet. Discuss your pet’s condition and options. Your vet can help to advise you on whether or not your pet is a good candidate for a CBD regimen.Two: Learn more about CBD. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there. Paw CBD (the pet brand from cbdMD) is a good place to start learning about what CBD can do for your pet. Their writers are knowledgeable and will keep it real with you. You can also ask questions on their website or right here on the cbdMD website, about the CBD products we have available for dogs and cats.

Three: Be willing to take your time, make adjustments, and be very attentive to and observant of your pet when you begin them on a CBD regimen. Every pet is a little different, and based on need, weight, and metabolism, it may take a month, maybe even two months, to find the right serving sizes and products that best help your pet.

Our CBD Products for Dogs and Cats

To create safe and effective CBD products for pets, we have to perform diligent product testing to ensure there are not any significant THC residuals that could harm your pet. We take this responsibility very seriously, as should you when selecting your CBD products for a pet.

Always choose a highly reputable company, such as cbdMD (and their pet brand Paw CBD), to provide CBD products for your fur babies. Do not risk purchasing at a flea market, gas station, etc.

It is possible for any CBD product other than a CBD isolate to have traces of THC left in the oils that seep in during the CBD extraction process. To help keep this to a minimum, cbdMD takes all measures to protect your pets while delivering products that can help them to live their best lives with you.


  1. We test, extensively, each and every batch of cbdMD products in state-of-the-art, third-party, ISO-certified laboratories.
  2. We make our pet CBD products with the same high standards as our human CBD products: Ensured GMP, vegan, gluten free, and THC-free.* (What the little asterisk means: THC-free is defined as below the level of detection using validated scientific methods.)
  3. All products are marked very clearly if they are intended for pets. You’ll even see a little paw design on the packaging.
  4. We strongly advise that you do not store your pet CBD oils in the same place you do your human ones to avoid inadvertently getting them mixed up.


We are very precise with our formulations. We provide plenty of helpful consumer information and are available to you when you have questions.


What About Topical CBD Products for Your Pets?

Topical CBD products could be a great first step for your pet. Use CBD topical products that are for pets only. This is because your pet most likely will lick at the product and could ingest THC if you put your own full spectrum CBD lotion on their sore leg.

To learn more: Read CBD Topicals for Dogs.

When Your Pet Has Been Exposed to THC

If your pet has ingested THC via smoke or something they ate, we advise you to call your veterinarian right away for supportive care. Your pet may need medical treatments that you cannot do (unsupervised) at home, like activated charcoal, blood pressure regulation, IV fluids, or monitoring of heart rate.

Report any signs or symptoms you see in your pet, no matter how small. If you see anything different in your pet – like dribbling urine, for example – then report it to the vet. And most importantly, be honest with your vet about your pet ingesting THC – they can’t provide the critical care your pet needs if you don’t tell them the truth.

Your vet may want you to reach out to the ASPCA Poison Control hotline (number is below) or call a local emergency veterinarian’s office.

ASPCA Poison Control

If you suspect your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic substance, call the APCC at (888) 426-4435 or contact your local veterinarian ASAP.

THC Harmful to Pets – OK for You

No matter how well trained your pets are, it’s up to you to keep your THC-infused CBD products stored safely away from your pets. (And, of course, anything marijuana-related.)

Keep your dog or cat CBD products in a cool, dark place, near the pet supplies so you know you won’t get them mixed up with your own.