Consumer Information – Cannabis


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Organization: Health Canada

Published: 2018-07-11

The official version of this document, which has been incorporated by reference as part of the Cannabis Regulations, is the PDF version available for download at right. The document must be printed double-sided (one side English, one side French), in black and white, full size, on 8.5 by 11 inch white paper. Questions concerning the use of this document can be directed to:

Know the facts

If you have any health issues, are using cannabis for medical purposes, or have questions about the effects of cannabis on your health, you should speak with your healthcare practitioner.

Consumption basics

Start low and go slow

  • Start with small amounts
  • Choose products with a low amount of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and an equal or higher amount of CBD (cannabidiol)
  • Avoid combining cannabis with alcohol and/or other substances as it increases impairment 
  • Use cannabis in a safe and familiar environment and with people you trust
  • Avoid smoking cannabis
  • Avoid frequent use
  • Store cannabis securely and away from children and youth
Ways of using cannabis
  When effects could begin How long effects could last
Smoking/vaporizing Seconds to minutes Up to 6 hoursFootnote *
Swallowing (food/capsules) 30 minutes-1.5 hours Up to 12 hoursFootnote *
Under the tongue 5-30 minutes Up to 12 hoursFootnote *
Footnote 1

some effects could last as long as 24 hours

Return to footnote * referrer


If you use cannabis, you could experience:

  • Impaired ability to remember, concentrate or react quickly
  • Sleepiness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Anxiety, fear, or panic

Frequent use over a long time can:

  • Hurt your lungs and make it harder to breathe (if smoked)
  • Affect your mental health
  • Make you physically dependent or addicted

If you or someone you know needs support for problematic use of cannabis, contact your healthcare practitioner or your local addiction treatment centre.

Know the rules and stay safe

  • Don't drive high
  • Don't go to work impaired
  • Buy from a legal source
  • Know and follow the rules about where you can use cannabis in your community
  • Don't carry more than 30 g in public (unless authorized)

Bringing cannabis or any product containing cannabis into Canada or taking it out of Canada is illegal and can result in serious criminal penalties at home and abroad.

If you have comments, questions or feedback about a product, contact the manufacturer.

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