Cannabis Use Guidelines


What's the limit?

No one’s tolerances are the same—weight, size, family history, stress, past experience with cannabis and more all play into the way cannabis can affect you. Canada’s Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines are based on science and will help you stay informed on how to lower negative effects.

What does safer use look like?

Cannabis is legal for adults (18+), but like many substances, there can be negative health effects. Canada's Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines will help you stay informed on how to use safer if you choose to use.

Light green cannabis leaf

Some people shouldn't use cannabis

These include people with a personal or family history of mental health concerns or substance use disorders.

What are the tips for lower-risk use?

Consider waiting and using cannabis later in life.

  • Although cannabis is legal for adults 18+, your brain continues to develop until your mid-20s. Cannabis can affect brain development.
  • Evidence suggests using cannabis in early adolescence can cause greater negative effects on brain development and increase your risk of long-term cognitive impairments.

Choose lower-risk products such as products with low THC content.

  • High THC products are associated with higher risks for mental health and behavioural problems. It's better to use products with higher CBD to THC ratios.

Limit and reduce your use of cannabis.

  • Frequent use of cannabis is linked to higher health and social problems. 
  • Limit to occasional use on weekends, or one weekday at most, depending on concentration/potency and method of consumption. 

Avoid combining cannabis with alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.

  • Using alcohol and cannabis together results in greater impairment and an increased likelihood of undesirable effects, including addiction to nicotine and harmful use due to increased dependency.
  • Prescription drugs can be affected by cannabis, so avoid combining them unless supervised by your doctor. Do not stop taking prescribed medication to consume cannabis without consulting your doctor.

Don’t use and drive.

Don't use if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or are planning to become pregnant.

  • Avoid smoking in favour of alternative methods of consuming cannabis.
    • Like cigarettes, smoking cannabis harms your lungs.
    • If you do choose to smoke cannabis, avoid inhaling deeply or holding your breath. Breathing normally decreases the toxic substances going into your lungs and body.
  • Don’t use synthetic cannabinoids (e.g. K2, Spice).

Be aware of bad reactions.

  • The symptoms of using too much cannabis can include anxiety or panic, an increased heart rate, confusion, nausea or vomiting or, in extreme circumstances, paranoia
  • If you or someone you know is having trouble breathing, has gone pale, or is unresponsive, call 911.

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