Cannabis impairment and safety risk

Impairment can last for more than 24 hours after cannabis use, well after other effects may have faded.

The THC in cannabis can impair your ability to drive safely and operate equipment. It can also increase the risk of falls and other accidents. This is because THC can affect your:

  • coordination
  • reaction time
  • ability to pay attention
  • decision-making abilities
  • ability to judge distances

Cannabis use can increase the risk of accidents that lead to injury or death during high-speed activities, such as:

People who use cannabis regularly may have trouble with certain skills needed to drive safely. This may persist for weeks after their last use.

Combining alcohol with cannabis greatly increases the level of impairment. This increases the risk of injury or death from accidents.

Combining cannabis with other psychoactive substances, especially ones with sedative effects such as opioids and benzodiazepines, can increase the effects of the drugs. This could increase the risk of injury or harm, particularly with activities like driving.

Health and safety risks of illegal cannabis

Obtaining cannabis from illegal sources may involve serious safety risks such as:

  • criminal charge and prosecution
  • interacting with criminals or criminal organizations

There are also potential additional health risks, including:

  • unknown THC potency (concentration or strength) - you could end up using a stronger product than expected
  • no safeguards for product quality and purity

Unlike cannabis for medical purposes obtained from legal sources, which follow strict requirements, cannabis from illegal sources may be mixed with or contain:

  • pesticides
  • heavy metals
  • moulds or fungi
  • other contaminants

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