Algoma Public Health

Cannabis

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As of October 17, 2018, non-medicinal cannabis is legal across Canada for all adults aged 19+ to purchase, possess and consume. Find out all you need to know for safe use guidelines and what impacts the new Cannabis Act will have in Canada and more specifically here in the Algoma district. Stay informed on how the legalization might affect you and your family.

Learn more about cannabis legislation in Ontario here

What is Cannabis?

 

Other than alcohol, cannabis is the most commonly used illicit substance in Canada.

 

Cannabis contains more than 100 chemicals, called cannabinoids. THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main “mind-altering” cannabinoid and is most responsible for the “high” associated with cannabis use.

 

Note: the term "cannabis" is preferred over the commonly used word marijuana. Cannabis refers to the whole plant (Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica), and the substances extracted from it, whereas marijuana is a term that originally refers to the leaves and flowers of the plant.

 

What are the immediate (short-term) effects of cannabis use?

 

  • Euphoria and relaxation
  • Body tremors
  • Acute psychosis - hallucinations and paranoia
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increase blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils and red eyes
  • Increased appetite 
  • Dry mouth
  • Trouble thinking, learning and remembering
  • Delayed reaction time

 

What are the long-term health consequences of regular cannabis use?

 

  • Decrease in memory, attention and ability to think logically
  • Increased risk of acute and chronic psychosis (especially in those with predisposing factors)
  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety
  • Lower life satisfaction
  • Decreased ability to develop and maintain healthy relationships

 

  • Increased risk of heart attack (4 - 8 times more likely)
  • High risk of lung infections
  • Increased risk of developing schizophrenia or psychosis – particularly in those who have a predisposition to, or a family history of mental illness.