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Cannabis Edibles and Extracts

Edible Cannabis

What do I need to know?

To reduce your health harms when using cannabis, it is recommended to avoid smoking. Edible cannabis products (edibles for short) are products containing cannabinoids that you eat or drink. All forms of cannabis that contain THC can cause serious health and development problems, particularly among a fetus, a breastfed infant, children and youth, and people with underlying mental illness, a history of mental illness or problematic substance use.

If you use edible cannabis, here are 7 things you need to know:

  • Be sure to read the label carefully – look for the concentration of THC and CBD and instructions for use.
  • The effects of ingesting cannabis last longer than inhaling cannabis – clear your schedule because ingesting edible cannabis has long-lasting effects.
  • The effects of ingesting cannabis can be more intense than inhaling cannabis – start low and go slow.
  • It takes time to feel the full effects (30 minutes to 2 hours) – be patient and go slow.
  • Edible Cannabis products are not food and should not be treated as such. Be sure to properly store your cannabis products – clearly labelled and securely stored away from youth, children and pets
  • Cannabis should not be mixed with nicotine, alcohol or other intoxicating stimulants or depressants – mixing substances can increase health complications and raise your risk of over- intoxication or impairment.
  • Regular use of any cannabis can affect your mental health – avoid daily or near-daily use of cannabis and choose products with lower THC.

What about Cannabis Extracts?

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction recommends if you have used cannabis and are considering trying cannabis extracts, consider the following:

  • Purchase your cannabis extracts from legal, licensed retailers.
  • Read the label carefully for concentration of lower THC to CBD, and instructions for use.
  • If you are new to Cannabis, avoid dabbing.
  • Start low and go slow.
  • Limit your use of high-THC cannabis extracts.
  • Be sure that your cannabis products are properly labelled and securely stored.
  • Avoid daily or near-daily use of cannabis and choose products with lower levels of THC.

Reduce your risk and use the Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines to inform your decisions about cannabis use.

For more information:

7 things you need to know about Cannabis Extracts (CCSA, 2019)

Edible Cannabis, Cannabis Extracts and Cannabis Topicals: What you need to know (CCSA, 2019)

Final Regulations of Edible Cannabis, Cannabis Extracts and Cannabis Topicals