(Denver Post file)

Cannabist Q&A: Carsick dog, vaping effects, investing

Welcome to our Ask The Cannabist column. Clearly you have questions about marijuana, be it a legal concern, a health curiosity, a Colorado-centric inquiry or something more far-reaching. Check out our expansive, 64-question Colorado marijuana FAQ first, and if you’re still curious, email your question to Ask The Cannabist at askthecannabist@gmail.com.

Hey, Cannabist!
My dog gets carsick on even short trips. Gravol and veterinary anti-nausea treatments haven’t worked for him, so I’m wondering whether giving him a small amount of pot butter before we go in the car might be a good idea. Is this a terrible idea? Any idea on dosing for a 25 lb beagle? –Snoop Dogg Doggie

Hey, Snoopy!
Um, don’t dose your dog. According to Dr. Robin Downing of Windsor Veterinary Clinic, it is a terrible idea. Downing is certified in vet chiropractic, vet acupuncture and canine rehab. She specializes in pet hospice and pain management. Downing doesn’t recommend giving your dog marijuana in any form.  “The idea of cannabinoids in dogs and cats is terrific in theory, as they possess cannabinoid receptors in their nervous systems,” Downing says. “That lays the groundwork for future research. And those are the key words, ‘future research,’ because at the moment there is ZERO data.”

There is a medicated dog bone available in Colorado medical marijuana centers. Snoopease Snacks made by marijuana-infused product manufacturer Medibles, Inc. are 10 mg or 20 mg dog bones made for older dogs with arthritis, cancer, tumors or glaucoma. Sales representative Kelly Curtin recommends starting a dog with a small 1 mg dose and increasing gradually. If your pooch is groggy in the morning, that’s too much.

There is a real risk of overdosing your dog. Currently there is no data on safety, efficacy, dosage or side effects with medical applications of marijuana in dogs.  Downing states marijuana is the top intoxicant seen in veterinary ERs. Symptoms of marijuana toxicosis, which can last hours or days, can range from a pet being lethargic to low blood pressure, slow heart rate and incontinence. Worst-case scenarios include coma and death, she says.

“It is extremely important for pet owners to know that this is an area that will be relevant in the future, but that for now, medical marijuana should NOT be given to pets.  It cannot be supported either medically or ethically,” Downing says. XO

Pot and pets: For them, a high is dangerous – so stash that stash

Hey, Cannabist!
I have been smoking marijuana for over 47 years.  Recently, I invested in a portable vaporizer, a Pax.  I really enjoy the vape experience. It allows me to discreetly enjoy my herbs.  I have noticed  the “high” I experience when smoking a joint seems to last longer than the high I experience when using my vaporizer, even when  I smoke or vape the same herb.  Am I hallucinating? Is there an explanation for this? –Vaping Viper

Hey, Vaping Viper!
You are hallucinating!  You’re definitely high!  There are differences between smoking and vaping marijuana, you’re right.   Vaporizing happens when hot air heats the oils in the plant material to a gaseous state.  With smoking, as you know, the plant matter is burned. Both heating processes activate the THC in the plant matter, a process known as decarboxylation.

I asked Paul Tokin, of the Tokin Daily channel to explain a vape high. Since 2006, Tokin has been posting online smoke-session videos of himself smoking, vaping, trying out new gear and talking about cannabis. Tokin says vaping is a head high, with no body high or lethargic feeling. Maybe that explains why the duration of your high feels shorter, it’s a head high when you vape.

Vaping tastes better, and feels cleaner because it’s not combusting and releasing toxins, compared with smoking. To Tokin, vaping brings out the true flavor of marijuana because the plant’s terpenes are not masked by combustion. Terpenes are the plant compounds responsible for scents and tastes.  XO

Product reviews: Vapes, papers, glass gear from Firefly, Da Vinci, Herbalizer, Raw, Timberado, Sasquatch and more. Want your gear reviewed? Submit your glass, vapes and more: cannabistcritics@gmail.com.

Hey, Cannabist!
Are there any legitimate investments that can be made in the cannabis industry, from residents outside of Colorado? I’m looking forward to our annual family visit even more this summer! –Indica Investor

Hey, Indica Investor!
It sounds like you have already done some investment research. You know about the residency restrictions for cannabis business owners and investors in Colorado and you are aware and leery of publicly traded penny stocks of cannabis businesses.

There are still investment options available to nonresidents.  I spoke with Troy Dayton, CEO of The ArcView Group, an angel investor network for cannabis businesses and got his recommendations.  Dayton says, “In Colorado, there is an ecosystem of ancillary businesses.”

Some of the necessary support businesses to the cannabis industry mentioned by Dayton are security, software, soil, equipment, vaporizers and event management companies.  More ancillary business options include  packaging, real estate, contractors and HVAC services.   XO

How to cash in? More coverage of investing in the marijuana industry