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Ask a Stoner: How much pot can my dog handle?

Dear Stoner: Why does every one of my puff sessions end with a trip to the convenience store for snacks?

Fat Doobie

Dear Doob: You want to know about the famed "munchies"? Well, allow me to get all Bill Nye on you right quick. Your body naturally produces chemicals called endocannabinoids, which react with chemical receptors to regulate everything from your pain levels to stomach motility and hunger. Endocannabinoids are named for their naturally occurring cousins, cannabinoids, found in the cannabis plant (hence the similar names). The two most famous are CBD and THC; the latter is responsible for all sorts of things, like curbing nausea, helping asthma, making Pink Floyd sound way better and creating hunger pangs. So when you smoke marijuana, the THC that enters your bloodstream reacts with your natural cannabinoid receptors, and next thing you know, you've racked up a huge bill at Sushi Den and you're still hungry for ice cream.

For a lot of people, it's just a harmless side effect of cannabis consumption and the butt of a lot of jokes (guilty as charged). But the relief of having enough appetite to eat can truly be medical as well. That's part of the reason that California medical marijuana laws were crafted in the 1990s: to help cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and AIDS patients wasting away as they went into the final stages of the disease.

Dear Stoner: My dog loves to get high. How much pot is too much for Spot?

Wookie McTastic

Dear Wookie: As much as you may have convinced yourself that your dog likes to get stoned, it doesn't. What you're saying is you love to get your dog stoned, and you need to stop.

See, your dog (or cat, for you lonely types) has the average intelligence of a two- to three-year-old child. Picture yourself as said three-year-old child, with your limited understanding of the world. Now picture your parents coming and blowing smoke in your face and making you really confused and dizzy for a few hours. Get it?

What your dog really wants is your attention, and your ritual of getting your pet stoned is nothing more than that. Your dog would probably enjoy a walk around the park or a hike in the mountains a whole lot more than you blowing smoke rings up its ear or in its nose.