What Animals Eat Weed Plants?

What Animals Eat Weed Plants

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The idyllic visions of sun-kissed cannabis giants and overflowing harvests paint a beguiling picture of outdoor cultivation. But amidst the whispers of nature’s connection and bountiful growth, a lurking reality emerges a diverse cast of herbivores with an insatiable appetite for your verdant beauties. What animals eat weed plants? The list includes graceful deer feasting on buds, nimble rabbits savoring leaves, and countless other critters eager to transform your precious crop into their personal salad bar. While cultivating amidst the embrace of the great outdoors offers undeniable rewards, remember – your prize plays the starring role in a wild dining drama, one that demands vigilant protection.

Animals That Eat Weeds

what animals eat weed plants

Deer and the Delicate Dance of Dinner

Deer’s appetite for cannabis is fickle, hinging on the availability of other food sources. When bountiful options exist, they’ll typically bypass the pungent plant. This aversion to strong scents might keep your prized “weed” safe but fear not, hungry deer won’t hesitate to devour everything else in your garden if pressed. In essence, your cannabis stands protected unless desperation drives it to dine on its aromatic leaves.

Misunderstood Burrowers – Moles vs. Gophers in the Cannabis Patch

Don’t let those mounds of dirt fool you – moles and gophers are distinct critters with contrasting cannabis cravings.

Moles: These underground excavators are more earthworm enthusiasts than plant predators. Their conical digs and focus on insects mean your cannabis is likely safe, even if they leave your roots feeling a bit tickled. Their tunneling can even benefit your soil by aerating it! So, relax, mole-y neighbors are more friend than foe.

Gophers: Now, these guys are the real garden gremlins. Unlike moles, gophers are equal-opportunity nibblers, and cannabis is definitely on their menu. Their rounded mounds and fondness for slurping entire plants into their tunnels mean you could be left with nothing but a sad stem. Be warned, these subterranean fiends deserve your wary eye.

So, remember, not all burrowers are created equal. While gophers may require vigilance, moles can be tolerated, even appreciated, for their soil-aerating skills. Just make sure you know who you’re dealing with before declaring war on your backyard mounds!

Squirrels – Friend or Foe to your Cannabis Crop?

While often considered agile and acrobatic friends in the great outdoors, squirrels can pose problems for cannabis cultivators. Two distinct types reside in gardens: arboreal acrobats and subterranean burrowers, each with its own “menu” preference and mischievous tendencies.

Tree Squirrels: These nut-loving charmers rarely snack on cannabis foliage. However, their habit of burying and unearthing food caches can wreak havoc on root systems and lower stems. Think displaced soil, chewed roots, and potential plant instability.

Ground Squirrels: These tunnel-digging fiends pose a more direct threat. Their subterranean network extends under plants, and their gnawing jaws are happy to snack on exposed roots and stems. Damage to the vascular system can stunt growth, hinder nutrient uptake, and even kill your prized buds.

In conclusion, while tree squirrels might be more mischievous than malicious, ground squirrels are a direct threat to the health and survival of your cannabis plants. Be vigilant, identify your squirrely neighbors, and implement appropriate deterrents to keep your harvest safe from these furry burglars.

Do Mice Eat Weed?

Technically Mice eat weed, but only as a last resort. Their tiny bodies require nutrient-rich food, and weed lacks essential vitamins and minerals. Several factors deter them:

Pungent odor: Their keen sense of smell finds weed’s aroma repulsive, favoring less smelly food sources.
Low nutritional value: Grains, seeds, nuts, and fruits offer far more protein, fat, and carbohydrates than weed.

Potential toxicity: THC, the psychoactive compound, can be toxic to mice in high doses, though unlikely consumed in such quantities.

Mice may nibble on weed when

Limited food: In winter or times of scarcity, desperation drives them to eat less desirable options.

Curiosity: Their inquisitive nature might lead them to take a bite, but they won’t indulge further.

Worried about mice eating your weed? Relax.

Minimal damage: Unless heavily infested, mice won’t significantly harm your plants. Some leaf or bud nibbling won’t impact overall yield.
Other concerns: Burrowing damages roots, and droppings contaminate soil and attract other pests, posing greater threats.

What Animals Eat Hemp?

what animals eat weed plants

Ruminant animals

Cattle, sheep, and goats: They can efficiently digest hemp’s high-cellulose content in their rumen, converting it into nutrients. Studies suggest hemp leaves, seeds, and flowers offer good protein content, while stalks are mainly fiber. However, THC levels in hemp can transfer to milk and meat, making feeding high-yielding dairy cows not ideal. Hemp could be better suited for non-dairy animals or young livestock.


Chickens, ducks, turkeys: Hemp seeds and meal are excellent protein sources for poultry, providing essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Research suggests it can improve their growth rates and reproductive performance.

Other animals

Fish: Research is ongoing, but some studies suggest hemp seed oil can be a sustainable and nutritious ingredient in fish feed, improving Omega-3 fatty acid content.

Important factors

Hemp type: Industrial hemp used for fiber and seeds typically has low THC levels, while marijuana plants have higher THC and are not suitable for animal feed.
Hemp part: Seeds and flowers offer higher protein, while stalks are mainly fiber. Different parts may be suitable for different animals.
Regulations: Feeding hemp to certain animals, like dairy cows, may have legal restrictions based on THC levels and potential transfer to food products.


Protecting your precious cannabis plants from hungry critters can be a tricky but crucial task. Luckily, there are a variety of methods you can employ, depending on the type of animal and your personal preferences. Here are some options to consider:

Physical Barriers

Fencing: This is the most straightforward and effective solution for larger animals like deer, rabbits, and dogs. Choose sturdy fencing appropriate for the animal’s size and digging habits.
Netting: Fine mesh netting draped over or suspended around your plants can deter birds, squirrels, and insects.
Row covers: Lightweight fabric covers protect young plants from nibblers and harsh weather.


Natural sprays: Sprays made with hot pepper, garlic, chili oil, or citrus can irritate an animal’s nose and mouth, discouraging them from munching. Reapply after rain or heavy watering.
Commercial repellents: Look for animal-specific repellents containing capsaicin, garlic oil, or predator urine. Follow usage instructions carefully.
Motion-activated sprinklers: These surprise visitors with a sudden burst of water, startling them away.

Other deterrents

Scarecrows: A moving or talking scarecrow might fool smaller animals.
Hair: Sprinkle human or pet hair around your plants. The unfamiliar scent can be off-putting.
Soap bars: Hang bars of strong-smelling soap in cheesecloth bags around the perimeter.
Sound deterrents: Wind chimes, ultrasonic devices, or even loud music can spook animals.

General tips

Eliminate attractants: Remove or compost vegetable scraps, bird feeders, and other potential food sources for animals.
Clear undergrowth: Dense foliage provides cover for critters, so keep the area around your plants tidy.
Rotate plants: Planting in different locations each year can keep animals less familiar with your setup.
Attract predators: Planting herbs that attract beneficial insects (ladybugs, lacewings) can help control smaller pests.
Monitor your plants: Regularly check for signs of animal damage and adjust your protection methods as needed.

Important note: Always consider the welfare of the animals when choosing deterrents. Avoid harmful traps or poisons, and opt for non-lethal methods whenever possible.
Remember, the best strategy is often a combination of these methods. Choose the approach that best suits your needs and local environment, and adjust as needed to keep your cannabis plants safe and thriving!


Cultivating cannabis outdoors is a beautiful blend of human care and nature’s embrace. But with this idyllic picture comes a reality – your prize plants hold starring roles in a wild dining drama. From graceful deer to mischievous squirrels, a diverse cast of herbivores eagerly awaits their chance to sample your verdant beauties.

This isn’t a call to wage war on nature’s creatures. Understanding their preferences and vulnerabilities is key to coexisting peacefully. Deer might leave your cannabis untouched, while gophers demand vigilance, and mice nibble only under extreme circumstances. Remember, not all burrowers are bad – moles aerate your soil!

Protecting your precious crop requires adaptability and resourcefulness. Physical barriers, natural repellents, and clever deterrents offer a buffet of options. Remember, the best approach is often a blend, tailored to your environment and furry neighbors. Regular monitoring and a flexible mindset are crucial in this delicate dance with nature’s diners.

Ultimately, cultivating cannabis outdoors is a journey of learning and collaboration. By understanding the needs of both plants and animals, we can create a thriving ecosystem where human care harmonizes with nature’s rhythm – and perhaps, share the occasional seed with feathered friends or grateful pollinators. Let’s cultivate not just cannabis, but respect for the intricate web of life that surrounds us.


1. What happens if an animal eats weed?
THC poisoning in pets can manifest in various ways, ranging from milder disorientation to life-threatening complications. While urinary incontinence and lack of name response are common signs, severe cases can include respiratory depression and even coma. Although rare, fatalities have occurred.

2. Are ants attracted to weed?
While ubiquitous explorers, ants aren’t particularly drawn to cannabis plants. Their vast foraging territories may encompass your growth, but they’re generally more interested in sweet sap or honeydew produced by aphids and other plant pests.

3. What happens if my pig eats weed?
They may experience mild illness, they will not encounter any intoxicating effects. The psychoactive properties of cannabis necessitate a decarboxylation process. Despite common misconceptions, raw cannabis typically contains minimal THC.

4. Why does my cat love weed?
Like us, cats have an intricate system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) woven throughout their bodies. This network of receptors acts as a master regulator, fine-tuning various bodily functions and hormones. Molecules like THC and CBD can interact with the ECS, helping both humans and their feline companions achieve balance in crucial biological processes.

5. Can dogs throw up from eating weed?
Vomiting can occur in cases of marijuana toxicity in dogs, a single or even double episode is usually not an urgent concern. However, prolonged, uncontrollable, or severe vomiting necessitates immediate veterinary attention.

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