Toxicology of Marijuana, Synthetic Cannabinoids, and Cannabidiol in Dogs and Cats

Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2018 Nov;48(6):1087-1102. doi: 10.1016/j.cvsm.2018.07.008.


Pet exposure to marijuana-containing products-both recreational and medicinal-along with exposure to extracts such as cannabidiol is increasing in conjunction with greater accessibility. Cannabis products are even sold for use in pets. In addition, exposure to illegal synthetic cannabinoids remains concerning. Veterinarians need to be able to recognize associated clinical signs and understand when cases have the potential for severity. This article provides a brief history of cannabis along with a review of the endocannabinoid system, common cannabis products, expected clinical signs, and medical treatment approaches associated with cannabis exposure in pets.

Keywords: CBD; Cannabis; Marijuana concentrates; Medical marijuana; Poisoning; Street or illicit drugs; Synthetic marijuana; THC; Toxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cannabidiol / pharmacology
  • Cannabidiol / toxicity*
  • Cannabinoids / pharmacology
  • Cannabinoids / toxicity*
  • Cannabis / toxicity*
  • Cat Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Cat Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cat Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cat Diseases / therapy
  • Cats
  • Dog Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis
  • Dog Diseases / physiopathology
  • Dog Diseases / therapy
  • Dogs
  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous / therapeutic use
  • Poisoning / diagnosis
  • Poisoning / therapy
  • Poisoning / veterinary*
  • United States


  • Cannabinoids
  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous
  • Cannabidiol