Study Says Pets Overdosing on Edibles

Study Says Pets Overdosing on Edibles

( – There’s a new epidemic of drug overdoses growing in the US, but so far it hasn’t had much media attention — because it affects our PETS. It seems our animal companions are snacking on edible marijuana products. Now, experts are worried that kids could do the same.

On April 20, the scientific journal PLOS ONE published a new study on “Prevalence and characteristics of cannabis-induced toxicoses in pets.” The researchers say that, as cannabis products are increasingly legalized in the US, there’s been a rise in the number of pets showing up at veterinarians’ offices with symptoms of cannabis poisoning. Now, they say, they’ve found the cause. Our furry friends are finding bags of edible marijuana snacks and eating them.

Minnesota vet Dr. Ahna Brulag said she’s seen a rising number of cases, mostly in dogs, over the last ten years. Where people might just eat one of the drug-laced snacks, she says dogs “eat as much as they possibly can” — and end up getting a huge dose of cannabis. The effects include lethargy, disorientation, and incontinence.

Drug policy experts are now warning that children are at risk, too. Many edible cannabis products come in packaging that looks like familiar brands, and that can tempt children into eating them. Between 2017 and 2019, US poison control officials saw almost 2,000 cases of young children eating edibles — and, like pets, children don’t have a lot of self-control when it comes to snacks. If people must use drugs, they need to make sure they’re kept out of reach of pets and kids.

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