A growing chorus of dog parents are complaining about the scourge of joint roaches littered on New York City streets, less than six months into adult-use cannabis sales.
KTLA 5 reports that dog parents and veterinarians are concerned about dogs eating littered roaches throughout New York City, which they say is a public nuisance.
Dr. Amy Attas, a New York City veterinarian, told KTLA 5 that she’s been getting more and more calls about concerned dog parents when their dogs sniff up and eat roaches left on the sidewalk.
“The reason we’re seeing so many cases is that people are using marijuana on the street and then discarding the unwanted ends of their joints,” Attas said. “And that’s a real problem because dogs will eat those.”
According to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (ASPCA) Animal Poison Control Center, (APCC) recreational drugs including cannabis are part of the organization’s annual list of top toxins for pets, which was announced during National Poison Prevention Week last March 19-25.
In 2022, the APCC team received nearly 11% more calls related to potential cannabis ingestion than in the year before, and they have seen a nearly 300 percent increase in calls over the past five years. “To me, it is unbelievable how prevalent this now is,” said Attas.
According to the APCC, most calls involve pets ingesting edibles which are more dangerous than ingesting plant material, sometimes combined with ingredients like chocolate, another dog toxin. Eating edibles can result in symptoms such as stomach upset, urinary incontinence, and ataxia in pets like dogs.
Colleen Briggs is one of the dog parents in New York who is concerned about roaches on the sidewalk, after her 8-month-old toy poodle ate some cannabis. “He was just doing his usual—exploring everything, sniffing everything,” Briggs told KTLA 5.
Sue Scott, whose 9-month-old pug ate a roach, is also concerned. “I don’t know if you know pugs—they’re constantly on the lookout for their next morsel,” said Scott. “But sometimes it’s pretty tough to control them because they are so fast. They’ll just dart at something.”
CBD, not THC, for Dogs
While THC is considered a toxin for dogs, as their bodies are generally believed to be too small to handle the compound, CBD may have a different outcome.
Dr. Helen Rudnick of Austin Urban Vet told High Times in 2018 that anecdotal reports suggest CBD can be beneficial for dogs. One claim is that CBD can be helpful for dogs suffering from seizures, as it has been reported in children.
Professional British Boxer Anthony Fowler, for instance, posted a video of a dog having a seizure and how fast CBD oil stopped the dog from shaking. Another viral video shows CBD oil stopping a seizure in another dog in less than one minute.
In 2022, the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) launched a petition against Idaho’s ban on CBD for animals. The NASC believes CBD bans are more dangerous because CBD products need certificates of analysis and need to be vetted under a regulatory program.
So the NASC called people to action on the Council’s website and launched a petition on Change.org.
What to Do with Roaches Instead of Littering
There are several ways to salvage the weed leftover in a joint roach.
You can make a grandfather joint, using emptied out roaches and re-rolling several of them into a new joint. The cannabis left in roaches typically contains extra resin that is collected while the original joint was smoked.
First or second generation roach joints are best, though some users say they’ve smoked five-generation roach joints before. Another option is getting a roach clip so you can smoke all the way to the end.
Another option is to make roach butter, or infuse the leftover weed into a butter using the same general guidelines you’d use with unused cannabis. Most likely the weed has already been partially decarboxylated.
If you don’t want to smoke roach weed, then throw it out somewhere so that it won’t end up on the sidewalk where dogs will inevitably sniff them down and eat them up.