Frequently asked questions
GENERAL CANNABIS INFO
In Ontario you’re allowed to grow up to 4 cannabis plants per private residence.
Regulations prohibit claims which reference special dietary requirements such as vegan or vegetarian. However, indicating possible allergens, gluten, or sulphites is a mandatory labelling requirement for all edible products. See nutritional label for a full list of ingredients.
Indicating possible allergens, gluten, or sulphites is a mandatory labelling requirement for edible products. All edible packaging will list potential allergens that are, or could be, present in the product which includes peanuts and tree nuts.
It depends on the Licensed Producer’s facility; however, all edible packaging will list potential allergens that are, or could be, present in the product which includes peanuts and tree nuts. Allergens are defined by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. To read more about allergen claims on food products, click here.
In short, no. The molecule remains the same, regardless of which type of plant it comes from.
“Hemp” and “cannabis” are terms for the same species of plant, cannabis sativa. While the two have a similar appearance, the term “hemp” is used to classify cannabis plants that contain no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). As with cannabis, Health Canada regulates hemp production and controls the type of hemp strains that producers are allowed to grow. Health Canada reports that because these strains contain so little THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, they cannot produce the “intoxicating effect” typically associated with cannabis use.
In its natural state, cannabis has a low level of active cannabinoids. When cannabis is decarboxylated, either through heating or processing, its cannabinoid levels increase. So, the CBD and THC content are displayed on every product label in two ways.
On package labels, the first numbers, listed as “THC” and/or “CBD”, represent the active cannabinoid levels in the cannabis as purchased. Dried cannabis will have a low level of active cannabinoids because it hasn’t been heated yet.
The second numbers are listed as “Total THC” and “Total CBD.” These figures represent the active cannabinoid levels in the cannabis when ready for consumption. Because oil and capsule products have been processed (and the cannabinoids heated already), the second and first numbers will be the same between products.
“THC” refers to the quantity of active cannabinoids contained in the product at the time of purchase before it is heated by vaping, smoking or cooking.
“Total THC” refers to the levels of active cannabinoids in the cannabis after it has been prepared for consumption by heating through vaping, smoking or cooking. The “Total” cannabinoid content numbers are most helpful in identifying the potential potency that the product may have when consumed.
Cannabis labels list the date that the cannabis was packaged, which indicates when the finished product was placed and sealed in its final packaging. Expiry dates, which are directionally used to communicate the stability of the product in regards to potency, are not mandatory in Health Canada regulations, so some licensed producers will provide them, but many do not.
If the product is properly stored in a dark, dry place and in an airtight container, it should maintain its full potency until opened.
Should you ever need to reach them, the licensed producer of every product must provide their name and contact details on the product label, including an email address and phone number.
Each product also includes a lot number which refers to a specific harvest, or “lot” of products, which helps trace it back to quality control processes. Take note of the lot number if making a product inquiry.
To be precise about the cannabinoid content within each product, it is measured differently by format. Dried flower products list cannabinoid content in percentage relative to the total cannabis purchased. Pre-rolls and capsule content is measured in totals per unit, and oil content is listed in milligrams per milliliter.
Cannabis plants require a lot of attention and very specific conditions to thrive. You’ll need an enclosed space where you can control light and humidity. On average, indoor plants require 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness to promote flowering. Watering your indoor cannabis plants regularly with filtered water will help encourage growth.
CANNABIS HEALTH & SAFETY
Every legal cannabis product is packaged in child-safe, tamper-proof packaging to protect youth from the harms of cannabis. Additionally, because THC is intoxicating, the package for any product containing THC above 10 micrograms per gram, will feature a red icon to indicate the presence of THC and a message highlighted in yellow carrying a health-related warning.
To help protect others, especially children or youth, Health Canada suggests that you make cannabis unfit for consumption prior to disposing it. One method of disposing cannabis is to blend the cannabis with water and mix it with cat litter, to mask the odour, and then place it in your regular household garbage.
No. According to the Cannabis Act, even parents or guardians can face significant legal consequences for distributing cannabis to a minor, including up to a 14-year prison penalty. The rules and penalties for distributing cannabis to minors are different than those set for alcohol distribution to minors.
Cannabis use has health risks that are best avoided by not using it. However, there are steps that can be taken that will reduce the health risks associated with use:
- Delay cannabis use until later in life (after the age of 25)
- Avoid using synthetic cannabis (e.g., K2, Spice)
- Avoid use of cannabis before operating a vehicle, and wait at least six hours after using cannabis before operating a vehicle
- Avoid mixing cannabis with alcohol or tobacco
- Avoid smoking cannabis
- Limit and reduce how often you use cannabis
There is no known safe amount of cannabis to use during pregnancy or when breastfeeding. Cannabis use during pregnancy has been linked to low birth weight, and can harm a child’s brain development. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not consume cannabis, as it could harm the fetus or baby.
There is limited evidence that suggests cannabis use is likely to precede the use of other legal and illicit substances and the development of addiction to other substances. The majority of people who consume cannabis do not go on to use other harder substances, such as stimulants or opioids.
Inhaling smoke of any kind can lead to lung damage and respiratory problems. Certain smoking practices such as deep-inhalation or holding one’s breath increases these risks. It is known that cannabis smoke contains chemicals and tar that are similar to tobacco smoke.
Consuming too much cannabis can result in significantly unpleasant effects, but they should be experienced temporarily. There is no documented case of death resulting from a toxic overdose of cannabis.
Combining cannabis and alcohol can elevate the felt effects and lead to extreme intoxication, dizziness and nausea. Combining cannabis with alcohol can also increase the risk of vulnerable people experiencing psychotic symptoms. Combining the two further lowers concentration and reaction times.
Driving while experiencing the psychoactive and intoxicating effects of cannabis containing THC is extremely dangerous. Do not drive after using cannabis, and ensure you are informed about the driving laws in Ontario. Although the effects of intoxication from cannabis that contains THC may wear off, cannabis stays in your system for some time. It is recommended that individuals who use cannabis refrain from driving (or operating other machinery or mobility devices) for at least six hours after using cannabis. If tested, you could test positive for cannabis content in your body.
There are strict penalties for driving and cannabis in Ontario.
For more information please visit the Ministry of Transportation website here. Also be aware that combining alcohol and cannabis can elevate the felt effects and cause severe impairment.