In October 2019, cannabis edibles became legal in Canada. As of January 6, 2020 cannabis edibles will become available through licensed retailers in Ontario and through the Ontario Cannabis Store. Here’s what you need to know about cannabis edibles:
Read the label carefully.
Always read the label before ingesting edible cannabis. Edible cannabis products vary widely in their appearance and ingredients, including how much THC and CBD they contain. The package must also contain information on recommended storage and intended use. Other information you may find on the package is directions for use, product form, or other warnings or precautions.
Start with low THC products.
For some people, the effects of edible cannabis can be more intense than inhaling a similar dose of dried cannabis. This intensity is partly because when you ingest THC, your liver turns it into a stronger form. Individuals who are new to cannabis edibles should start with products containing no more than 2.5mg of THC and wait to feel the effects before taking more.
Go slow and wait for the effects.
With edible cannabis, the intoxicating effects or “high” do not kick in for about 30 minutes to 2 hours. The effects peak at about 4 hours. Because it can take up to 4 hours to feel the peak effects, consuming more cannabis within this time period can result in over-intoxication. Over-intoxication can take the form of anxiety and panic, nausea and vomiting, and symptoms of psychosis or paranoia.
Store edibles safe and securely.
Cannabis edibles look like regular food items. Unintentional ingestion of edible cannabis by children and pets can lead to severe health problems. So, if you have edible cannabis at home, make sure that it is properly labelled, stored in child-resistant containers and stored out of the sight of children and pets. Seek medical attention right away if you think a child has eaten cannabis or products that contain cannabis.
If you choose to use, pick just one.
Alcohol can increase the intoxicating and impairing effects of cannabis. Consuming cannabis and alcohol at the same time could result in anxiety, panic, nausea, vomiting, and paranoia. Avoid mixing cannabis with alcohol or other drugs.
Buy from a licensed retailed.
Whether you’re making your own cannabis edibles or buying ready-made cannabis products, get your cannabis from a legal source, such as the Ontario Cannabis Store or a licensed cannabis retailer. Cannabis products from licensed producers are heavily regulated to ensure they are fit for human consumption, including mandatory testing for the presence of solvent residues and contaminants such as pesticides, mold, bacteria, and heavy metals. They’re also tested to confirm THC and CBD levels.
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