The Government of Canada has legalized the sale of new types of cannabis products for non-medical purposes: edibles, extracts, and topicals.
About inhaled extracts:
- These products can contain very high levels of THC (60% and higher).
- Effects are felt in seconds to minutes, although it can take up to 30 minutes to feel the full effects.
- The higher the THC content of a product, the higher the risk of injuries related to impairment, feelings of panic or anxiety, or psychotic episodes.
- If used frequently, long term effects include impact on mental health, ability to think and concentrate, and addiction.
- Cannabis vaping products may be flavored, and therefore appealing to young people.
- Second-hand cannabis smoke can be harmful, especially to young children.
Food (chocolates, candies), beverages, oil, capsules
- 10 mg THC is the maximum amount permitted per unit for cannabis edibles. Note that this is four times what Health Canada recommends for a new consumer/to minimize risks.
- It can take up to 4 hours to feel the full effects from eating or drinking cannabis. Consuming more in this time period can result in adverse effects that may require medical attention.
- The effects of edibles last much longer than smoking or vaping—up to 12 hours, and some residual effects could last up to 24 hours.
- Length of effect depends on many factors such as how much was taken and cannabis potency.
- Children may consume cannabis edibles and drinks accidentally as they may look like regular food or drinks.
Cream/lotion, lip balm
- These products won’t make you high.
- There may be health effects and risks associated with cannabis topicals but these are not fully known or understood at this time.
To Reduce Risks
The only way to avoid health and other risks is to not use cannabis.
Cannabis should not be used if:
- pregnant or nursing
- personal or family history of mental health problems, including psychosis or substance use disorders
- drinking alcohol
- driving or operating vehicles, tools or machinery
- taking medication that may interact with cannabis.
If using or thinking about using these products:
- Check THC content.
- Avoid higher THC products.
- For extracts, look for a product with less than 100 mg/g (10%) THC, with equal or higher levels of CBD.
- For edibles, look for a product that contains 2.5 mg of THC or less . Exercise caution when eating or drinking products containing 2.5 to 10 mg of THC. Be most cautious when eating or drinking a product containing 10 mg of THC or more.
- Stash your stash: Keep cannabis out of reach of children and pets.
- Do not smoke or vapourize cannabis in front of children.
- Watch where you use cannabis; be aware that children learn from watching and doing what adults do.
- Never drive while using cannabis.
- If you think a child may have consumed cannabis, seek medical help right away. Watch for these signs and symptoms that may vary and could take several hours to appear: anxiety, difficulty breathing, lack of coordination, drowsiness, and slurred speech.
Prince Edward Island Laws
Existing provincial laws apply to all of these new types of cannabis products.