You have so many questions, we know. So do we. More than we’ll probably even be able to give answers to. Yes, our furry friends have a tendency to scrounge around. And sometimes, they find themselves munching on some cannabis-infused edibles, eating what’s left of a joint, even straight up snacking on some buds.
But do dogs eat human feces? Do human feces contain THC? Considering our bodies metabolize THC and excrement is what’s leftover from that process, this seems possible. Where’s the study on THC in human feces? How much if any ends up in our poo? Enough to get a dog high? Let’s try to answer these pressing questions as best as possible.
Bay Area Dogs Are Getting High Off Human Feces
So far, the phenomenon of dogs getting high because they eat human feces containing THC seems to be confined to the Bay Area. Sure, residents of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose are in the heart of northern California’s cannabis country, in a state with the largest legal cannabis economy on earth. Easy to accept that, yeah, the Bay Area population is likely higher than most.
But are people there just taking dumps anywhere and everywhere? How, exactly, are dogs being exposed to human poo?
The likely answer is the extreme housing inequality that afflicts the Bay Area. Amidst an affordable housing crisis, Bay Area homelessness is the third worst in the nation, according to a recent report. Without access to shelter and sanitation facilities, homeless people are forced into the degrading act of relieving themselves somewhere in public.
So if a pupper has a hankering for a pooper, sniffing around in some park bushes or other public areas where they go for walks is one way to expose them to human feces. It’s injustice all around.
THC in Human Feces? Really?
So we’ve answered the question of how Bay Area dogs are coming into contact with human feces: housing inequality and homelessness.
But what about the question of how much THC ends up in human excrement. Researchers have actually devoted a few studies to this question, because the regime of prohibition, invested in criminalizing and punishing cannabis consumers, has a vested interest in being able to determine whether or not a person consumes cannabis. So researchers have conducted studies looking at what happens metabolically to the THC people consume.
We already know THC metabolites, broken down versions of the THC that gets people high, show up in urine. But according to researchers, they also show up in feces, and in much higher quantities. (Imagine having to submit a stool sample to pass your workplace drug test.)
According to one study, more than 65 percent of cannabis is excreted in the feces and approximately 20 percent is excreted in urine. But most of the cannabis (80-90 percent) comes out as hydroxylated and carboxylated metabolites within 5 days of consumption.
So yes, there’s weed in your poop. But here’s the kicker. Researchers say 11-OH-THC is the predominant form of cannabis in human feces. And if you’re a fan of edibles, you might recognize that molecule. It’s 11-Hydroxy-THC, one of the most potent forms of psychoactive THC. That’s why edibles often make you feel way higher than when you smoke.
Human Feces Can Get Dogs High!
Dogs and other pets are extremely susceptible to the effects of THC, and even more so to the effects of 11-OH-THC. Vets call this “marijuana toxicity,” and the expansion of legalization has produced an uptick of weed-related vet visits. Because of their lower body weight and higher sensitivity, it doesn’t take much for a pet to feel the effects of ingesting cannabis. Those effects typically manifest as poor motor coordination, dribbling urine, low body temperature and nervousness or agitation. So keep an eye out.
So where do we end up with all this? Shockingly, with scientific answers to our questions. Yes, THC, in fact a particularly potent form of it, ends up in human feces. And if a dog happens across some and eats it, they can absolutely become high from it. Human poop is basically a highly potent weed edible for dogs. Gross. And a major bummer.