Cannabis and your health: 10 ways to reduce risks when using

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Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada

Published: 2018-10-16

Cannabis use is now legal for adults, but it does have health risks.
If you use non-medically, you can make informed choices for safer use.

  • Delay using cannabis as late as possible in life, ideally not before adulthood.
  • Avoid using if you're pregnant, or if you or family members have a history of psychosis or substance use problems.
  • Choose low-potency products - those with low THC and/or high CBD content.
  • Stay away from synthetic cannabis products, such as K2 or Spice.
  • Use cannabis in ways that don't involve smoking - choose less risky ways of using like vaping or ingesting.
  • If you do smoke, avoid deep inhalation or breath-holding.
  • Occasional use, such as one day per week or less, is better than regular use.
  • Don't operate a vehicle or machinery while impaired by cannabis. Wait at least 6 hours after using. Remember that combining alcohol and cannabis makes you more impaired.
  • Your actions add up. The more risks you take, the more likely you are to harm your health.
  • Not using cannabis at all is still the best way to protect your health (unless you use with a medical recommendation).

When using cannabis, be considerate of the health and safety concerns of those around you. Don't hesitate to seek support from a health professional if you need help controlling your cannabis use, if you have withdrawal symptoms or if your use is affecting your life.

All rights reserved. ©2018 CAMH.
Canada's Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines (LRCUG).

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