Health effects of consuming cannabis edibles
Learn about the health effects and risks of cannabis edibles.
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If this is an emergency and you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital or emergency department.
About cannabis edibles
The federal government amended the Cannabis Act on October 17, 2019 to allow the legal sale of cannabis edibles.
Cannabis edibles are food or drink items made with cannabis or cannabis oils. You can use cannabis edibles as an alternative to smoking or vaping cannabis.
If you choose to consume edibles, start low and go slow. Cannabis edibles can be more potent than other forms and may affect you for longer periods of time. Take your time to understand how your body reacts.
Edibles come in many different liquid forms and food types such as:
- baked goods
- soft drinks
- cannabis infused butter
It takes longer to feel the effects of cannabis when you consume edibles compared to other forms of cannabis. The feeling of getting high is often delayed. If you take too much too soon you can experience cannabis poisoning.
Consuming edible cannabis has some of the same health risks as consuming other forms of cannabis.
The health harms and addiction risk of using cannabis is especially high for youth. Learn about the health risks for youth who consume cannabis.
No amount of cannabis is safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Learn about the health effects of consuming cannabis during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Consuming too much cannabis at one time can lead to temporary adverse effects, known as cannabis poisoning.
It is easier to be poisoned when consuming cannabis (eating or drinking) compared to inhaling cannabis (smoking or vaping).
Learn more about cannabis poisoning.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital or emergency department.
Reduce your risk
The effects of consuming cannabis can be unpredictable as everyone’s tolerance level is different.
Start with a low level of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) — for example, 2.5 mg or less. Take your time to understand how your body reacts.
While edibles can be a less harmful way to consume cannabis than smoking or vaping, they still contain THC, the chemical that causes the psychological effects known as feeling high.
When you are buying cannabis edibles be sure to:
- get your edibles from the Ontario cannabis store or an authorized cannabis retailer
- look for products that contain 2.5 milligrams of THC or less
- read the label before consuming, as some edible cannabis products might have expiry dates or ingredients that could cause allergic reactions
When you consume cannabis edibles, remember:
- it can take 30 minutes to two hours to start feeling the effects
- you might not feel the full effects for up to four hours
- effects can last up to 12 hours
- follow the laws about cannabis and driving
Edible cannabis products can look the same as other foods or ingredients such as brownies or candy. That’s why it is extremely important to keep all cannabis products locked up and out of reach of children and pets.
Avoid using edible cannabis from an unauthorized cannabis retailer to ensure that products are safe to consume and free of contamination.
Preparing cannabis edibles at home
You can cook with cannabis and cannabis oil to make your own edibles, as long as they are for personal consumption — you cannot sell them or share them with anyone under the age of 19.
If you prepare cannabis edibles at home, make sure you follow safe food handling practices.