A Guide to Consume Cannabis Safely and Responsibly

The amount of cannabis you should safely and responsibly consume will all depend on the format in which you consume it. The common method of “start low and take it slow” has been utilized by cannabis consumers for a long time because it helps to break beginners in and ensures they don’t consume too much prior to learning the ropes.

When it comes to cannabis consumption, it’s important to understand that cannabis formats affect the body in different ways. Another point to note is that if you’ve ever purchased cannabis products illegally, they’re likely to have different THC/CBD levels than those that can be purchased from cannabis stores and products tested by Health Canada. 

Like with all matters cannabis; education is key. Being a responsible cannabis user in Canada means understanding the risks of overconsumption and how you can avoid that scenario. Health Canada has supplied vital information for cannabis consumers in regards to the recommended dosage, consuming too much and if you can consume cannabis with alcohol or prescription medication. 

Let’s get right into it and answer the questions on everyone’s mind. 

Cannabis Dosage

As a responsible cannabis user, it’s essential to know the correct dosage that you should take to avoid over consumption. 

How much cannabis can I take?

Tolerance to cannabis will depend entirely on you and your body. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to cannabis consumption, so it’s important to start with small amounts and then slowly build your way up. If you’re just starting your cannabis journey and considering taking it for the first time; Health Canada suggests having another person with you to make you feel safe. 

The effects of cannabis products can vary, depending on the type of product and the way it’s consumed. Cannabis flowers and edibles affect the body in different ways. For example, you’re likely to feel the effects of smoking or vaping cannabis flowers within minutes, in comparison to consuming an edible (which can take between 30 minutes to 4 hours). 

Health Canada suggests that users should start with 2.5 mg of THC and even less for edible products to start off with. For cannabis products that you inhale, Health Canada recommends that users consume 100mg per gram of THC. 

Symptoms of Overdosing on Cannabis

There are plenty of symptoms to look out for if you think you’ve overdosed on cannabis. Watch out for: 

  • Confusion
  • Sleepiness/drowsiness/fatigue
  • Lack of coordination and clumsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Chest tightness and pains
  • Extreme paranoia (distorted reality)
  • Seizures
  • A pounding heartbeat

What to Do In Case of Cannabis Overdose

It’s important to seek medical assistance right away if you suspect that you’ve overdosed on a cannabis product. If you experience panic attacks, seizures, chest pains and a loss of contact with reality then call 911 immediately. 

How to Prevent a Cannabis Overdose 

Health Canada recommends that users wait at least 2 hours when consuming single doses of edibles or cannabis oils. This method of waiting between doses ensures that you can see how strong the effects are and significantly decreases your risk of overdosing. 

Consuming Cannabis With Prescription Drugs or Alcohol

When taking any type of cannabis product with a prescription drug, you need to be extra careful that you don’t consume it alongside psychoactive drugs. Psychoactive drugs could enhance could cause unwanted side effects because of their ability to interact with the brain and nervous system. It’s always best to consult your doctor or physician prior to consuming cannabis and it’s especially important if you’re on any prescription medication.  

Health Canada advises against consuming alcohol and cannabis together. The key ingredient that provides the “high” in cannabis called THC can combine with alcohol to increase how intoxicated you are and increase your risk of harm and even induce unwanted side effects. 

How Long to Wait Before Taking More Cannabis 

The safest rule to follow when consuming any cannabis product is to start low and take it slow. That applies to the smoking of cannabis, vaping and consuming edibles. It’s a safe and responsible practice to wait between inhalations and eating edibles until you start to feel the effects of the cannabis product.  

Health Canada states that users should wait around 30 minutes between inhalations and at least 2 hours after consuming oil or an edible.