Not using cannabis is the best way to prevent risk. If you are going to use cannabis, consider these guidelines to reduce your risk:
- If you are going to use cannabis, try a small amount at first to test its strength. Wait for it to take effect before having more. This is especially important when eating cannabis, which may take longer—up to a few hours—to have a noticeable effect on the body.
- Avoid cannabis products that have high THC content as these have been associated with greater health risks and negative health outcomes.
- Avoid using synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., Spice or K2), since these are known to cause serious health problems, including death.
- Do not operate a motor vehicle or heavy equipment (e.g., car, truck, four-wheeler, skidoo, boat, etc.) after using cannabis.
- Cannabis can impair decision making, judgment, balance, coordination, and reaction times. It is recommended that those who work in safety sensitive roles or who provide care to the public avoid cannabis intoxication while engaged in their workplace duties.
- Avoid starting cannabis use at an early age. The later you begin using cannabis, the lower the risks of negative health outcomes.
- Avoid daily or near-daily cannabis use. If you are going to use cannabis, once per week or less is recommended.
- Avoid cannabis use if you or your family members have a history of experiencing mental illness or substance use problems.
- Avoid using cannabis if you are pregnant or breastfeeding since cannabis use can have negative and lasting impacts on the developing fetus/child.
- Avoid using cannabis with tobacco as this can increase health risks and respiratory problems.
- Avoid using cannabis in combination with other recreational or prescription drugs, including alcohol.
For more information on Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines, please visit: The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)