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Cannabis Health and Safety

Cannabis General Info

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What are some of the safety features of cannabis packaging?

Every legal cannabis product is packaged in child-safe, tamper-proof packaging to protect youth from the harms of cannabis. Additionally, because THC is intoxicating, the package for any product containing THC above 10 micrograms per gram, will feature a red icon to indicate the presence of THC and a message highlighted in yellow carrying a health-related warning.

How can I safely dispose of cannabis?

To help protect others, especially children or youth, Health Canada suggests that you make cannabis unfit for consumption prior to disposing it. One method of disposing cannabis is to blend the cannabis with water and mix it with cat litter, to mask the odour, and then place it in your regular household garbage.

Can I give cannabis to a minor in my home?

No. According to the Cannabis Act, even parents or guardians can face significant legal consequences for distributing cannabis to a minor, including up to a 14-year prison penalty. The rules and penalties for distributing cannabis to minors are different than those set for alcohol distribution to minors.

How can I reduce the risks of consuming cannabis?

Cannabis use has health risks that are best avoided by not using it. However, there are steps that can be taken that will reduce the health risks associated with use:

  • Delay cannabis use until later in life (after the age of 25)
  • Avoid using synthetic cannabis (e.g., K2, Spice)
  • Avoid use of cannabis before operating a vehicle, and wait at least six hours after using cannabis before operating a vehicle
  • Avoid mixing cannabis with alcohol or tobacco
  • Avoid smoking cannabis
  • Limit and reduce how often you use cannabis
Can I use cannabis while pregnant or breastfeeding?

There is no known safe amount of cannabis to use during pregnancy or when breastfeeding. Cannabis use during pregnancy has been linked to low birth weight, and can harm a child’s brain development. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not consume cannabis, as it could harm the fetus or baby.

Does cannabis consumption lead to other drug use?

There is limited evidence that suggests cannabis use is likely to precede the use of other legal and illicit substances and the development of addiction to other substances. The majority of people who consume cannabis do not go on to use other harder substances, such as stimulants or opioids.

Is it unhealthy to inhale cannabis smoke?

Inhaling smoke of any kind can lead to lung damage and respiratory problems. Certain smoking practices such as deep-inhalation or holding one’s breath increases these risks. It is known that cannabis smoke contains chemicals and tar that are similar to tobacco smoke.

Is it possible to overdose on cannabis?

Consuming too much cannabis can result in significantly unpleasant effects, but they should be experienced temporarily. There is no documented case of death resulting from a toxic overdose of cannabis.

Why shouldn’t alcohol be consumed with cannabis?

Combining cannabis and alcohol can elevate the felt effects and lead to extreme intoxication, dizziness and nausea. Combining cannabis with alcohol can also increase the risk of vulnerable people experiencing psychotic symptoms. Combining the two further lowers concentration and reaction times.

Why shouldn’t tobacco be consumed with cannabis?

Tobacco is harmful on its own, and the co-use of tobacco and cannabis has been associated with developing a dependence on either substance, negative mental health outcomes, engagement in other risk-taking behaviours, and increased difficulty stopping cannabis use. There is some evidence that suggests combining tobacco with cannabis can lead to smoking initiation as well. In addition, using both substances may also lead to increased health risks compared to using just one or the other, such as the impact on the respiratory system.

Can I drive while or after using cannabis?

Driving while experiencing the psychoactive and intoxicating effects of cannabis containing THC is extremely dangerous. Do not drive after using cannabis, and ensure you are informed about the driving laws in Ontario. Although the effects of intoxication from cannabis that contains THC may wear off, cannabis stays in your system for some time. It is recommended that individuals who use cannabis refrain from driving (or operating other machinery or mobility devices) for at least six hours after using cannabis. If tested, you could test positive for cannabis content in your body.

There are strict penalties for driving and cannabis in Ontario.

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