At AlbertaCannabis.org, a big part of our job is helping Albertans like you make responsible choices. That means encouraging responsible cannabis use through smart policies and regulations and offering information to help you decide if cannabis is right for you.
Our priorities are:
- Keeping cannabis out of the hands of children and youth.
All customers must verify their age before they’re able to purchase cannabis, and public consumption is banned in areas frequented by children.
- Protecting public health.
We’ll offer Albertans access to safe, regulated cannabis, and provide public education so everyone’s aware of potential risks.
- Promoting safety on the roads, in the workplace and in public spaces.
We’ll raise awareness about the consequences of drug-impaired driving, working while impaired and using cannabis in unauthorized public spaces.
- Limiting the illegal cannabis market.
By providing Albertans with a legal way to purchase cannabis that’s safe, regulated and high quality, we aim to eliminate the illegal market for cannabis.
Whether you’ve been indulging for years or are ready to see what all the fuss is about, here are a few important things all users should understand about cannabis.
Driving under the influence of drugs like cannabis is illegal, just like driving drunk. Even if you think you know your limits, research shows cannabis negatively affects reaction times, judgment and concentration. Young people in particular are more likely to drive after using cannabis than drinking, according to the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. Bottom line: don’t drive high.
It can be more difficult to gauge the effects from edibles. High THC levels in concentrates and some edibles can increase impairment. It can also take much longer to feel the effects after eating a cannabis product. Waiting a minimum of two hours before taking an additional amount can help reduce the risk of taking too much.
Pay attention to how you feel after using cannabis. If you start to feel paranoid, panicky or nauseous, or notice your heart rate increasing, you may have used too much. Until you have a better understanding of how different types, strains and quantities of cannabis affect you, start low and go slow. It’s also a good idea to limit yourself to occasional use and choose products with lower amounts of THC. People who consume daily, or consistently choose high potency strains put themselves at risk of developing dependencies.
Finally, be aware of how cannabis can aggravate health conditions. If you’re pregnant (or think there may be a possibility you are), don’t use cannabis – the chemicals found in cannabis can be harmful to your unborn baby, plus THC is carried in breastmilk. Additionally, if you or someone in your family has a history of mental health problems including schizophrenia, psychosis or substance abuse disorders, play it safe and avoid cannabis altogether.
The long-term effects of vaping are inconclusive so use with caution.
Children can also be poisoned from eating butts, papers or other residue. If your child accidentally eats or drinks cannabis and/or is experiencing adverse effects or shows signs of distress, call Poison & Drug Information Service (PADIS) toll-free 1-800-332-1414 or 911
The effects of consuming any amount of cannabis can have severe consequences for a pet. Call your veterinarian if your pet eats or drinks any cannabis products.
It’s up to you to make sure your cannabis products, including plants, dried flower, edibles and topicals, are kept out of reach of kids and pets.
- If growing cannabis, secure your grow space. Keep it away from children and pets.
- Clean up after every use and safely dispose of waste.
- Store products in a locked area out of sight and reach of children and teens.
- Edibles like brownies or candies can look enticing to children; keeping them away from areas that are easy to access, such as purses or suitcases can reduce the risks of them being found.
- Edibles can also be easily mistaken for regular food products, so keep them in the original packaging which is marked with the universal symbol for THC.
Cannabis is best used on its own. Mixing it with alcohol can be dangerous as using the two together significantly increases the impairment rate than if you used each product alone. You could think of it as 1 + 1 = 3.
Smoking cannabis alongside tobacco increases the risk of nicotine addiction and mixing with other drugs can have adverse effects.
Unsurprisingly, getting high at work is not recommended. Your impairment can endanger yourself, your co-workers and negatively affect your job performance.
It’s recommended you talk to your health care practitioner before you try cannabis, particularly if you are on other medications. You can also call the Medication & Herbal Advice Line at 1-800-332-1414 for confidential information about how different drugs interact with cannabis.
If you are concerned about your own or someone else’s use of cannabis, contact Health Link at 811.