Know how cannabis affects you

Cannabis smoke can be harmful to your lungs. 

Burning cannabis makes smoke that has the same harmful chemicals and carcinogens as cigarette smoke. The chemicals are not in the cannabis plant but are made from burning the plant material. Smoking cannabis often can lead to lung infections and chronic bronchitis.

Cannabis use can lead to dependence.

Regular use can lead to a cannabis use disorder or dependence. The risk for dependence is higher for regular users and people under 25. If you are dependent it will be hard to cut back or stop using. It can cause unpleasant feelings like:

  • Feeling irritable or anxious,
  • Having an upset stomach,
  • Trouble sleeping,
  • Loss of appetite and
  • Sweating.

If you are concerned about your use or someone else’s use, there are places you can turn to for help.

Cannabis use can lead to mental health problems.

Using cannabis can increase the risk of experiencing psychosis and schizophrenia. The risk increases if you are a teenager, use regularly, or someone in your family has or had these conditions.

Cannabis use impairs your ability to drive safe.

Cannabis containing THC can impair judgement, response time, attention and coordination. If you are 21 and under, there is a zero-tolerance law for impaired driving, meaning you cannot have any alcohol or drugs in your system. Plan a safe ride with a friend, use OC transpo, Lyft, Uber, or a taxi.

For more information: canada.ca/dontdrivehigh.

Know where to go for help 

Don’t hesitate to get help if using cannabis is affecting your life. There are places to go to if you need help managing your use or if you have withdrawal symptoms.

If you are concerned about yourself or someone else, seek help from: 

Signs you may need help with your cannabis or other drug use inclue:

  • Ignoring responsibilities at work, school, or home.
  • Giving up activities that you find important or enjoyable.
  • Using the drug more often.
  • Feeling unable to cut down or manage your use.
  • Changes in mood (e.g., feeling irritable and paranoid).
  • Changing friends.
  • Having difficulties with family members.
  • Being secretive or dishonest.
  • Changing sleep habits, appetite, or other behaviors.

Learn more about local mental health and substance use services.

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