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Food & Drink

Cannabis edibles can be unpredictable

Created forthe Ontario Ministry of Health

Cookies, sparkling water, soft chews, and more! Now that marijuana edibles are legal in Canada, it seems that there are endless ways to consume cannabis. That cookie may seem like a safe and easy way to enjoy cannabis, but there’s actually a lot you need to know before you can snack responsibly.

In the short time since cannabis was legalized in Canada, the ways in which users are consuming the substance are changing. This is especially true of edibles, which saw a 4% jump in usage among regular consumers of cannabis last year, making this the third most popular method of consumption after smoking and vaping.

While edibles can be a less harmful way to consume cannabis than smoking or vaping there are still risks to consider. It is possible to overconsume while waiting for the “high” to kick in. It is recommended to start off slowly, with a dose of THC no more than 2.5mg. If you do not feel the effects immediately, do not reach for that second bite. It can take between thirty minutes to four hours to feel the effects.

The consumption of cannabis is associated with short-term health risks including paranoia, dizziness, increased heart rate, and risk of poisoning. Furthermore, there can be more serious long-term risks to consider like addiction and risk of harm to decision-making ability, intelligence and memory. Mental health is also a serious factor to consider. There can be an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and psychotic illness. Frequent and prolonged use can increase these health risks.

Since edibles are becoming more and more common at social gatherings, it’s important to know how you can enjoy responsibly.

Individual circumstances vary and this article is not intended to provide advice relating to health care. Always consult a physician or nurse practitioner for advice on health care matters about cannabis use.

For more information on cannabis education, visit Ontario.ca/edibles

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