Public health urges caution as new cannabis products become available

WELLINGTON COUNTY – The local public health unit is urging caution as new cannabis products such as edibles and beverages are now legal to purchase.

“It’s important that people understand that cannabis edibles and beverages affect your body differently than smoking or vaping,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH).

“It takes much longer for the active ingredients to get into your system and you may not feel the effects for 30 minutes to two hours, which poses a higher risk of overconsumption.”

The new products, also including lotions and concentrates, were made available at pot stores on Jan. 6, though there was a delay at many locations.

The items are expected to be available for online purchase on Jan. 16.

Public health officials are urging anyone consuming cannabis, particularly the new products, to follow Canada’s Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines.

“If you choose to consume, choose lower-strength products and monitor how much you’re taking,” said Mercer.

“Some people could have a bad reaction from overconsuming, especially if they are first-time users.”

Public health also recommends:

  • keeping all forms of cannabis hidden in a secure (locked) location, out of the reach of children, teens and pets;
  • delaying use if under 25 years old as cannabis can affect brain development;
  • avoiding all forms of cannabis while pregnant or breastfeeding;
  • avoiding the mixture of cannabis with alcohol or other drugs; and
  • abstaining from driving or using heavy machinery after consuming cannabis.

For more information, including safer edible consumption and how to talk to youths, visit WDGPH’s “Talking about weed” campaign at