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Cannabis Use

This information outlines the potential risks and gives suggestions for how to take care of yourself if you choose to use cannabis.

Take care with cannabis

Whether eating, vaporizing, smoking, using a tincture or a topical preparation, cannabis effects everyone differently.

Age matters

Daily use of cannabis at an early age may affect brain development with lasting consequences. If you are thinking about using cannabis, consider waiting until the age of 25.

Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Pregnant and/or breastfeeding women should not use cannabis because it could harm the fetus or newborn.

Share carefully

In order to avoid the risk of saliva-borne infections, hold joints or implements in a way that you can inhale the smoke or vapour without touching them to your lips.

Go easy on your lungs

Deep inhalation and breath holding may lead to pain and breathing troubles. If smoking, take shallow inhales and exhale right away. Consider choosing other methods, such as vaporizers or edibles instead.

Stay safe if impaired

Cannabis may impair coordination and reaction time. Avoid driving or engaging in other potentially dangerous activities as it may increase the risk of injury or death to yourself or others.

Use small amounts

If smoking, take one or two small puffs and wait 10 minutes to see how you react. If eating, start with a small bite and wait at least an hour to feel effects. Also, limit yourself to occasional use, such as on weekends or one day a week at most.

Choose less risky cannabis products

Different strains and products have different effects on the body and mind. High potency cannabis products with high THC content (e.g., shatter), are more likely to result in harms.

Avoid toxic effects

Avoid consuming cannabis with alcohol. Using cannabis on a full stomach can help moderate the intensity of negative effects. If you feel too high, don’t panic, stay hydrated, eat something, and find a safe place where you feel comfortable. The effects will wear off within 2 to 8 hours.

Mind your mental health

Cannabis may lead to temporary psychosis including paranoia and hallucinations. It may also trigger the onset of schizophrenia in those already vulnerable. If you have a mental health condition, or a personal or family history of schizophrenia, it is extremely important to consider the potential risks of using cannabis.

Do not use synthetic cannabis

Compared with natural cannabis products, synthetic cannabis products (e.g., K2 or spice) can lead to more severe health problems, even death. If you use, limit it to natural cannabis products and abstain from synthetics.

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For support, call, Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services at 1-866-456-3838


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