Many countries and states have recently legalized the use of marijuana.
If you don’t have a pet, smoking a joint probably isn’t a huge issue.
But there are some animals that react to marijuana more adversely than others.
Smoke marijuana around your dog, and it’s unlikely that anything drastic is going to happen – (just please don’t give them any)!
But what happens if you smoke a joint around your parrot?
We often like to share our lifestyles and food with our parrots, but what would happen if we shared our secondhand smoke?
Can parrots get high?
The answer to this question is yes. And while there isn’t an extensive amount of research on how marijuana effects parrots, we can safely say that it does have adverse effects. Even if you don’t give your bird marajuana and simply smoke it around them, they can still see side effects from your second hand smoke. In other words, getting high around your bird is not a good idea.
But what effect does marijuana have on parrots?
Why does it have such an adverse reaction?
And what should you do if your parrot has accidentally eaten or taken in some form of marijuana?
Today we will answer all of these questions and more, so let’s not waste another minute!
Can parrots get high and what effects does marijuana have on parrots?
So, as we have already established, yes, parrots can get high.
But what does “getting high” mean for parrots?
When a parrot gets high does it have the same effect that it has on humans?
The answer is no.
When humans get high, the effects are usually relatively mild (depending on how much marijuana was intaken).
When parrots get high, the effects can be deadly.
While few studies have been done to determine the exact effects of secondhand marijuana smoke on parrots, we can assume that parrots experience much the same effects as people.
While marijuana effects haven’t been studied as much, the effects of alcohol on parrots has been researched.
Findings suggest that parrots experience much of the same effects of alcohol as people.
Distortions, loss of balance, and loss of senses are all common.
The difference is that parrots feel these effects much more so than their human counterparts.
The same can be assumed for the use of marijuana.
Why do parrots feel the effects of intoxicants so heavily?
Firstly, because parrots are so much smaller than humans, intoxicants affect their body to a much greater extent.
Secondly, a parrot doesn’t know what alcohol or marijuana is.
So while humans can anticipate the effects of marijuana or alcohol use, parrot’s don’t understand what’s going on.
This can make the effects of marijuana extremely terrifying and frightening for your parrot.
The stress on their body is enough to make them extremely ill, but combine that with the increased risk of injury due to panic and the effects of marijuana can be deadly for a parrot.
Why are parrots more sensitive to inhalation than other types of animals?
When parrots or other birds inhale things like secondhand smoke, be it from marijuana or a cigarette, the effects can be much more toxic than they are for other animals.
Why is this the case?
There’s actually a few reasons.
The first reason that parrots experience so much more toxicity in the lungs as compared to other species is because they have really good respiratory systems.
They also breath at a quicker rate than we do as humans, or as many other animals.
Combined, these two factors mean that parrots extract more air particles and breathe in more toxins than we do.
In return, they are more susceptible to airborne toxins from secondhand smoke.
The second reason that parrots are so much more deeply affected by airborne toxins is because they have a system of air sacs.
Unlike humans who breathe in and then out, a parrots breath actually stays in their body for a second breath.
How? When a parrot inhales air, it travels into the posterior air sac.
Upon the exhale, the breath doesn’t leave the body.
Rather, the exhale causes the breath to travel into the lungs where it then sits for another breath before being released from the body.
As a result, toxins sit in a parrots body longer than they do a humans body, thereby having a greater impact.
How does secondhand marijuana smoke affect parrots?
Aside from the effects listed above (disorientation, confusion, loss of balance, etc), parrots may also suffer other negative effects from secondhand marijuana smoke.
Again, not a lot of studies have been done on the effects of marijuana itself, but conclusions can be drawn based on other research studies related to second-hand smoke of other kinds.
According to animal researchers, birds can be negatively impacted by second-hand smoke of any kind including cigarette smoke, marijuana smoke, and even smoke from kitchen stove tops or ovens.
Long term repeated exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to a variety of negative side effects including coughing, sneezing, and sinus infections.
Bacterial infections can also be caused by secondhand smoke and, over the long term, these things can lead to chronic respiratory infections and diseases.
Can parrots have marijuana in any form?
No. As we all know, marijuana comes in all different forms – you can smoke it, you can vape it, you can eat it, it comes in capsules.
But no matter what form your marijuana comes, it will have adverse effects on your parrot.
Your parrot should never be given marijuana to eat or smoke, and exposure to secondhand smoke from marijuana should also be avoided.
What will happen if I give my parrot marijuana?
Aside from the negative reaction of your parrot, individuals who choose to forgo warnings and give their parrots marijuana could face legal consequences.
To date, there are over 29 states that require veterinarians to report animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect.
If you or one of your friends is found to have intentionally provided your parrot with marijuana, it is a veterinarian’s job to report it and you could be held responsible by law.
Even in states where marijuana has been approved for human use, it is still seen as a form of animal cruelty to give it to your parrots.
Always remember that even though it may have a calming, peaceful effect on you, marijuana will probably be quite frightening for your parrot.
Do not, under any circumstances, provide your parrot with marijuana or blow smoke in their face.
There are many videos on YouTube of owners trying to get their parrots high, but if caught, you could be charged.
Does this mean I shouldn’t take my parrot to the vet if they have intaken marijuana?
No! If your parrot has inhaled or eaten marijuana, please take them to the vet.
If you don’t, it could cost them their life.
The fact that you are taking them to the vet will be seen as a mitigating factor and there is a good chance you will not be charged.
Also, if your parrot got high accidentally (ie. through secondhand smoke or by finding your marijuana brownies) it is unlikely that you will be charged at all.
Accidents are considered different than intentional acts.
PLEASE – if your parrot has eaten or inhaled marijuana take them to a veterinarian immediately. It could be a matter of life or death.
In conclusion, you should never give your parrot marijuana in any form or subject them to the effects of second-hand smoke.
If you are going to smoke marijuana in the same home as your parrot, be sure that your parrot is kept in a seperate room that does not share the same ventilation system.
When finished with your marijuana, always make sure that it is put in a safe place where your parrot cannot gain access to it accidentally.
Remember, you are responsible for your parrots life – so make responsible choices – they are counting on you!