Use responsibly

If you are planning to use, follow these tips to help you make a responsible choice:  

Start low. Go slow.

Different cannabis products and the way you use it can have different effects.  Use products with low THC and an equal or higher amount of CBD. If you are smoking or vaping, start with 1 or 2 puffs of 10% (100mg/g) THC or less.

THC Content Anticipated Potency
0 – 1.99% Little to minimal
2 – 6.99% Very mild
7 – 11.99% Mild
12 – 16.99% Medium
17 – 20% Strong
> 20% Very Strong

Source: Ontario Cannabis Store

Edible products can have up to 10 mg THC per package. Start with 2.5 mg THC or less.

After you use, wait to feel the effects. Use this chart as a guide:

Ways of using cannabis When effects could begin When effects could peak How long effects could last

Smoking/vaping

(inhalation)

Seconds to minutes 30 minutes Up to 6 hours or more

Eating/drinking/swallowing

(ingestion)

30 minutes to 2 hours 4 hours

Up to 12 hours or more

Source: Government of Canada

Find out more: www.canada.ca.  

Go easy on your lungs.

Ingesting or vaping cannabis are less harmful than smoking, but be aware that these may have their own risks.

If you vape, watch for symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath and chest pain. Seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health. Only dried cannabis is legally available for use with a vaporizer.

If you choose to ingest cannabis (e.g. edibles, oils), review the Start Low. Go Slow section for more information.

Obtain cannabis from legal sources. Products from illegal or unregulated sources, are not subject to any controls for safety or quality.

If you smoke cannabis, avoid inhaling deeply or holding your breath.

Secure your stash.

Keep cannabis products in its original packaging and in a locked place that is out of reach, and out of sight of children or pets.

According to the Canadian Pediatric Society, unintentional ingestion can cause overdose symptoms like severe drowsiness and breathing problems. If this happens, your child needs urgent medical care and may need to be hospitalized. If a child has consumed cannabis, contact the Ontario Poison Control Centre at 1-800-268-9017.

Stick to one drug at a time - leave tobacco out of the mix too.

Using more than one drug at a time can lead to unpredictable changes to how you think, feel and act. Tobacco contains nicotine that is also addictive and can make it hard to cut down or quit.

Plan a safe ride.

The effects of using cannabis can last 6 to 12 hours. Plan a safe ride with a sober friend, use OC transpo, Lyft, Uber, or a taxi.

Share with care.

Try to avoid sharing joints and equipment with other people to reduce your risk of sharing germs and infections. If you are sharing, try to find ways to avoid direct contact where someone else’s mouth has been.

Have more cannabis free days.

Regular use can increase the negative effects on your mind and body. Limit your cannabis use to one day a week at most.

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 include:

  • 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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