“I used to smoke pot until I had an anxiety attack and thought I couldn't breathe. marijuana affects the brain and how long the effects will last—especially after. Johns Hopkins expert shares his thoughts on the legalization of marijuana of ninth- through 12th-grade public school students found last year that roughly Here is every way to consume cannabis listed (I bet at least 3 of these you have never even thought of). Final Thoughts. There are active.
THC: Final Thoughts About
We believe it is more appropriate to use the term cannabis when engaging in a serious discussion of the goals and features of a new regulatory system for legal access. Indeed, Cannabis sativa is the botanical name for this ubiquitous herbaceous plant, which includes the drug type "marijuana" as well as industrial hemp. The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, during her plenary statement for the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem, outlined that "our approach to drugs must be comprehensive, collaborative and compassionate.
It must respect human rights while promoting shared responsibility. In moving ahead with its commitment to legalize, regulate and restrict access to cannabis, the Government set out its principal objectives in its Discussion Paper. These objectives were established to:. Paramount among these objectives are those intended to keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth and to keep profits out of the hands of organized crime.
Many have remarked that there is an inherent tension between these objectives. On the one hand, establishing a system with adequate protections that would seek to curb access to cannabis by youth suggests adopting a more restrictive model with numerous controls and safeguards, such as establishing higher age limits, adapting pricing strategies to discourage consumption, and imposing limitations to minimize promotion and commercialization.
On the other hand, seeking to displace the illicit cannabis market requires the establishment of a legal market that is competitive with the existing illicit market, including safe and reasonable access, price, variety of product choice and adequate consumer education. Therefore, excessive restrictions could lead to the re-entrenchment of the illicit market. Conversely, inadequate restrictions could lead to an unfettered and potentially harmful legal market.
Both extremes jeopardize the viability of the new system for cannabis. The different approaches to regulating popular, yet potentially harmful and addictive, substances are well illustrated by how Canadian society has, over several decades, approached tobacco and alcohol. In this time, tobacco has moved from being heavily marketed to being highly restricted, whereas alcohol has moved from being strictly controlled to being widely available and promoted. We were told on many occasions that we need to find a balance for cannabis.
The diagram in Figure 1 below helps to illustrate the spectrum of options shown against a curve of potential harms, where at one end prohibition leads to thriving criminal markets and at the other unregulated, legal free markets lead to unrestrained commercialization. At both extremes, there exist social and health harms that most Canadians would find unacceptable.
At the bottom of the curve lies the balance we are seeking with regard to cannabis: This graph depicts the relationship between the drug policy spectrum on the X-axis from left to right: The relationship forms a "U" curve, where social and health harms are minimized with strict legal regulation, and increase as drug policy moves in either direction away from the centre of the "U". If drug policy moves too far in the direction of ultra prohibition, the result is an unregulated criminal market.
If drug policy moves too far towards commercial promotion, the result is an unregulated legal market. Both extremes lead to increased social and health harms. In seeking this balance, we believe that it is necessary to adopt a public health approach. As such, our recommendations are shaped by our view that the decisions taken in determining the precise features of this new regulatory system should uphold and promote the health of Canadians while reducing harms.
In our discussions with experts, governments and others, strong support emerged for this public health approach, which includes:. While it is well within the authority of governments to choose to apply taxes, to collect appropriate licensing fees and to establish cost-recovery systems, it is also our view that revenue generation should be a secondary consideration for all governments, with the protection and promotion of public health and safety as the primary goals.
Ideally, all of our recommendations would be based on clear, well-documented evidence. However, we recognize that cannabis policy, in its many dimensions, lacks comprehensive, high-quality research in many areas. On many issues throughout our discussions and deliberations, we have found that evidence is often non-existent, incomplete or inconclusive. Being mindful of these limitations is imperative. It is more appropriate to refer to our recommendations as "evidence-informed" rather than "evidence-based", given that the relationship between evidence and policy is complex and that our recommendations were influenced by the concerns, priorities and values expressed by stakeholders and members of the public, as well as by the available scientific evidence.
Moreover, a clear reality underpins our discussions and deliberations: Some of these concepts are explored in greater detail in the section below, which describes the guiding principles behind our advice. Fulfilling our mandate required that we seek as many views as possible from a diverse and informed community of experts, professionals, advocates, front-line workers, policy makers, government officials, patients, citizens and employers in the time provided to us.
With this in mind, early in our work we identified a strategy for engagement that would rely upon various methods and means to reach out to Canadians and hear their views:. Moreover, nearly written submissions were submitted to the Task Force from various organizations. These submissions were often comprehensive presentations of the main issues of concern.
A complete list of all the organizations and individuals who provided submissions is included in Annex 3. A key requirement in our mandate was to engage with provincial and territorial governments.
We travelled to most provincial capital cities and to the North where we met with government officials representing multiple sectors and ministries. We participated in candid discussions and gained a clearer understanding of the diverse regional realities that will influence public policy in this area. We hosted a series of roundtable discussions in cities across the country, in order to engage with experts from a wide spectrum of disciplines, researchers and academics, patients and their advocates, cannabis consumers, chiefs of police and fire departments, and other municipal and local government officials, as well as numerous industry, professional, health and other associations.
Indigenous experts, representative organizations, governments and Elders were invited to participate in a variety of Task Force engagement activities, including in the expert roundtables, bilateral meetings and an Indigenous peoples roundtable.
Youth are at the centre of the Government's objectives in pursuing a new system of regulated legal access to cannabis. Their voices were therefore essential. The Task Force sought to engage youth by including them and youth-serving organizations in expert roundtables and by hosting a youth-focused roundtable.
The Task Force would also like to acknowledge Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy for their work in convening a youth roundtable event as a direct contribution to the Task Force's youth engagement activities. Access to cannabis for medical purposes is a major preoccupation for many Canadian patients, their families, caregivers and health-care providers. The emergence of a regulatory framework for non-medical cannabis access was seen by many to be a challenge to medical cannabis access, products and research.
In order to learn first-hand from those who have legalized cannabis, the Task Force conducted site visits to Colorado and Washington states. We were hosted by state officials and we participated in a range of briefings, meetings and site visits.
Similarly, senior officials from the Government of Uruguay provided a detailed briefing to the Task Force regarding Uruguay's unique experience as the only country to date to have enacted a regulatory system for legal access to cannabis.
The Task Force visited some of Canada's licensed producers of cannabis, in order to understand the realities of regulated cannabis production in Canada. We also visited the B.
Compassion Club Society, in order to learn from its experience of providing cannabis in a holistic, wellness-centered environment to patients in Vancouver for the last two decades. The Task Force acknowledges that we were not able to hear from everyone who wished to offer their views.
However, we are confident that we heard a diversity of views on the central issues in question. Our advice in this report is informed, and shaped, by the perspectives, knowledge and experiences shared with us by so many.
A list of persons and organizations consulted can be found in Annex 3. Given the complexity of the issues, the Task Force set out a series of guiding principles and values that we see as important building blocks for our recommendations. The following principles and values have been validated throughout our consultations:. Protection of public health and safety as the primary goal of the new regulatory framework, which includes minimizing harms and maximizing benefits;.
Compassion for vulnerable members of society and patients who rely on access to cannabis for medical purposes;. Fairness in avoiding disproportionate or unjustified burdens to particular groups or members of society and in avoiding barriers to participation in the new framework;. Collaboration in the design, implementation, and evaluation of the new framework, including communication and collaboration among all levels of government and with members of the international community;.
Commitment to evidence-informed policy and to research, innovation, and knowledge exchange;. Flexibility in implementing the new framework, acknowledging that there is much we do not know and much that we will learn over time. Most of the measures we propose seek to minimize harms in the population as a whole. We also consider more targeted means to minimize the harm to individuals, particularly children, youth and other vulnerable populations.
A discussion of the harms associated with cannabis-impaired driving can be found in Chapter 4, Enforcing Public Safety and Protection. Cannabis sativa is a plant that is used for its psychoactive and therapeutic effects and, like all psychoactive and therapeutic substances, carries certain risks to human health. Cannabis contains hundreds of chemical substances and more than cannabinoids, which are compounds traditionally associated with the cannabis plant.
Among these, two cannabinoids have received the most scientific interest: THC has therapeutic effects and is the compound chiefly responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis, while CBD has potential therapeutic but no obvious psychoactive effects. The effects of cannabis are due to the actions of its cannabinoids on biological "targets," a system of specific receptors and molecules found throughout the human body, together called the endocannabinoid system.
The current science also suggests that other compounds in cannabis, such as aromatic terpenes and flavonoids, may also have pharmacological properties alone or in combination with the cannabinoids.
Risk is inherent in all discussions on the health effects of cannabis, yet our understanding of risk is constrained by more than 90 years of prohibition, which has limited our ability to fully study cannabis. We know more about the short-term effects of cannabis use e. We are less certain about some of the longer-term effects e. The following is a snapshot of the risks of harms associated with cannabis use:.
As noted in Chapter 1, in addressing these risks we are sometimes faced with trade-offs when choosing among different regulatory approaches, since reducing some risks could result in increasing others. We often turned to our guiding principles to help us make difficult choices.
In our roundtable discussions and throughout the submissions we received, stakeholders often noted that, alongside the risks of use, there are also benefits, including for relaxation purposes, as a sleep aid or for pleasure. Notably, there is emerging evidence with regard to the use of cannabis as an alternative to more harmful substances, suggesting a potential for harm reduction see also Chapter 5, Medical Access.
The Task Force agrees that further research should be a priority. In assessing the measures presented in this chapter, at times comparisons are made with the ways alcohol and tobacco are regulated.
In some ways the substances are comparable, being associated with factors such as impairment, dependence, health harms and widespread use.
However, there are important differences in risks, social and health impact, and prevalence of use. The World Health Organization WHO ranking of leading global risk factors for disease includes alcohol ranked 3rd and tobacco 6th. Notably, it does not include cannabis. In comparing levels of risk, it is important to consider patterns of use and the high global prevalence of alcohol and tobacco use. As well, years of research data collection and evaluation have provided information on the individual and societal impacts of alcohol and tobacco use that is not yet available for cannabis.
Nevertheless, the Task Force acknowledges that, based on current levels of use and available information on mortality and morbidity, the harms associated with the use of tobacco or alcohol are greater than those associated with the use of cannabis.
In this report we recommend a series of measures that are, in some cases, stricter than those that exist for tobacco or alcohol in Canada. Given the relative harms, we acknowledge this contradiction but believe that the regulation of these substances has been inconsistent with WHO disease risk ranking and remains inconsistent with known potential for harm.
In designing a regulatory system for cannabis, we have an opportunity to avoid similar pitfalls. The Task Force recognizes that the regulatory regimes for alcohol and tobacco continue to evolve. It is our hope that our experience with cannabis regulation will be used to inform the further evolution of alcohol and tobacco regulations.
Setting a minimum age for the purchase of cannabis is an important requirement for the new system. The age at which to set the limit was the subject of much discussion and analysis throughout our deliberations. As with many of the other measures discussed in this chapter, a minimum age is intended to support the Government's objective to protect children and youth from the potential adverse health effects of cannabis by putting in place safeguards that better control access.
In Canada, minimum ages for alcohol and tobacco sales have been set by the federal government for tobacco and by the provinces and territories for both substances. Some have set the legal age for purchase at 18, others at However, we know that age restrictions on their own will not dissuade youth use; other complementary actions - including prevention, education, and treatment - are required to achieve this objective. The Task Force heard broad support for establishing a minimum age for the sale of cannabis.
However, the youth with whom we spoke did not believe that setting a minimum age alone would prevent their peers from using cannabis. Some health experts argued that there was no clear scientific evidence to identify a "safe" age of consumption, but agreed that having a minimum age would reduce harm. There was a general recognition that a minimum age for cannabis use would have value as a "societal marker," establishing cannabis use as an activity for adults only, at an age at which responsible and individual decision-making is expected and respected.
We heard from many participants that setting the minimum age too high risked preserving the illicit market, particularly since the highest rates of use are in the 18 to 24 age range.
A minimum age that was too high also raised concerns of further criminalization of youth, depending on the approach to enforcement. Ages 18, 19 and 21 were most often suggested as potential minimum ages. Health-care professionals and public health experts tend to favour a minimum age of A minimum age of 25, often cited as the age at which brain development has stabilized, was generally viewed as unrealistic because it would leave much of the illicit market intact.
There was considerable discussion regarding the importance of national consistency. Having the same minimum age for purchase in all provinces and territories was thought to mitigate problems associated with "border shopping" by youth seeking to purchase cannabis in a neighbouring province or territory where the age is lower. In this regard, we heard suggestions that governments could learn from the challenges associated with alcohol age limits, which are inconsistent across the country. A range of public health and other experts recommended that the federal government set the minimum age, and that the provinces and territories be able to raise the age but not lower it.
Others argued that, for the sake of clarity and symmetry, the minimum age for purchasing cannabis should be aligned with the current provincial and territorial ages for sales of alcohol and tobacco. Many suggested that 18 was a well-established milestone in Canadian society marking adulthood.
Research suggests that cannabis use during adolescence may be associated with effects on the development of the brain. Use before a certain age comes with increased risk. Yet current science is not definitive on a safe age for cannabis use, so science alone cannot be relied upon to determine the age of lawful purchase. Recognizing that persons under the age of 25 represent the segment of the population most likely to consume cannabis and to be charged with a cannabis possession offence, and in view of the Government's intention to move away from a system that criminalizes the use of cannabis, it is important in setting a minimum age that we do not disadvantage this population.
There was broad agreement among participants and the Task Force that setting the bar for legal access too high could result in a range of unintended consequences, such as leading those consumers to continue to purchase cannabis on the illicit market.
For these reasons, the Task Force is of the view that the federal government should set a minimum age of 18 for the legal sale of cannabis, leaving it to provinces and territories to set a higher minimum age should they wish to do so.
To mitigate harms between the ages of 18 and 25, a period of continued brain development, governments should do all that they can to discourage and delay cannabis use. Robust preventive measures, including advertising restrictions and public education, all of which are addressed later in this chapter, are seen as key to discouraging use by this age group.
For many in the legal and law enforcement fields, the key issue is not the minimum age itself but the implications for those who ignore it, including those who sell to children and youth, and those under the minimum age who possess and use cannabis. The Task Force recommends that the federal government set a national minimum age of purchase of 18, acknowledging the right of provinces and territories to harmonize it with their minimum age of purchase of alcohol.
In designing a system for the regulation of cannabis, we are creating a new industry. As with other industries, this new cannabis industry will seek to increase its profits and expand its market, including through the use of advertising and promotion. Because of the risks discussed earlier in this chapter, regulation aims to discourage use among youth and ensure that only evidence-informed information is provided to adults.
Restrictions on advertising, promotion and related activities are therefore necessary. Our society's experience with the promotion of tobacco and alcohol is instructive, since the promotion of these products is recognized as an important driver of consumption and of the associated harms.
In response, many governments have restricted how tobacco and alcohol may be promoted. In Canada, there are different approaches to each. The federal Tobacco Act restricts the promotion of tobacco products, except in limited circumstances. It also specifically prohibits promotion by means of a testimonial or endorsement, false or misleading advertising, sponsorship promotion, lifestyle advertising which evokes images of glamour, excitement, and risk and advertising appealing to young people.
Advertising that promotes a tobacco product by describing brand characteristics or providing information factual information about a product and its characteristics, availability or price are permitted in limited circumstances, such as in publications and in locations not accessible to young people.
Provincial and territorial laws also set stringent limits on promotion of tobacco products. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's Code for Broadcast Advertising of Alcoholic Beverages includes federal restrictions on the promotion of alcohol in radio and television broadcasting. It includes prohibitions on advertisements that appeal to minors, that encourage the general consumption of alcohol and that associate alcohol with social or personal achievement. Each province and territory also has its own rules restricting the promotion of alcohol.
Despite regulations such as the advertising code, alcohol is heavily marketed and promoted to adults in Canada. In the Task Force's consultations, the majority of health-care professionals, as well as public health, municipal, law enforcement and youth experts, believed there should be strict controls on advertising and marketing of cannabis. We heard that such restrictions would be necessary to counter the efforts by industry to promote consumption, particularly among youth.
There were also concerns expressed that companies would market products to heavy users or encourage heavy use, and exploit any exceptions that are left open. We heard strong support from, among others, educators, parents, youth and the public health community for comprehensive marketing restrictions for cannabis similar to those for tobacco. Such restrictions were considered to be necessary because the evidence from our experience with tobacco and alcohol suggests that partial restrictions send mixed messages about use.
Several public health stakeholders also recommended plain packaging for cannabis products, similar to the approach taken by Australia for tobacco products and which are soon to be applied to tobacco products in Canada.
Plain packaging refers to packages without any distinctive or attractive features and with limits on how brand names are displayed e. The industry representatives from whom we heard, while generally supportive of some promotion restrictions - particularly marketing to children and youth, and restrictions on false or misleading advertising - made the case for allowing branding of products.
It was suggested that brand differentiation would help consumers distinguish between licit and illicit sources of cannabis, helping to drive them to the legal market. As well, to achieve "brand loyalty," companies would have the impetus to produce high-quality products and would be more accountable to their customers.
In our online consultation, some were opposed to tobacco-style advertising restrictions for cannabis because, in their opinion, cannabis is less harmful than either tobacco or alcohol.
For some online respondents, allowing in-store advertising for cannabis brands offered a potential compromise: The Task Force agrees with the public health perspective that, in order to reduce youth access to cannabis, strict limits should be placed on its promotion. In our view, comprehensive restrictions similar to those created by tobacco regulation offer the best approach. There is also a concern that the presence of any cannabis promotion could work against youth education efforts.
The challenges with creating partial restrictions i. In practice, it is difficult to separate marketing that is particularly appealing to youth from any other marketing. The Colorado officials with whom we met echoed this concern, noting that their partial restrictions for cannabis advertising made it challenging to avoid advertising that reaches, or is appealing to, youth.
A partial restriction focusing on marketing to youth becomes even more problematic if one considers the to age group; it will be legal for those in this age group to purchase, but the evidence of potential harm suggests that use within this group should be discouraged as a matter of health. Trying to prohibit marketing that is appealing to this age group compared to people in their late 20s or 30s would be impossible. The Task Force believes that, while there should be a federal minimum age of 18 for the reasons explained above, other policies, such as comprehensive marketing restrictions, will be needed to minimize harms to the to age group.
Comprehensive advertising restrictions should cover any medium, including print, broadcast, social media, branded merchandise, etc. Such restrictions could still leave room for promotion at the point of sale, which would answer industry concerns about allowing information to be provided to consumers and some branding to differentiate their products from the illicit market and other producers. This assumes that the point of sale is a retail outlet not accessible to minors see Chapter 3, Establishing a Safe and Responsible Supply Chain ; the Tobacco Act allows information and brand preference advertising in places where young persons are not permitted, and those provisions could be used as a model.
If branding were permitted, along with limited point-of-sale marketing and product information, we are concerned that this information would still make its way to environments where minors would be exposed and influenced, much as they are today by alcohol and tobacco brands. The Task Force feels there is sufficient justification at this time for plain packaging on cannabis products.
Such packaging would include the company name, as well as important information for the consumer, including price and strain name, as well as any applicable labelling requirements see the "Cannabis-based edibles and other products" and "THC potency" sections in this chapter. Any promotion, marketing or branding that is allowed should still be subject to restrictions, such as lifestyle advertising similar to the Tobacco Act restrictions , false or misleading promotion as for food, drugs and any other consumer product , the encouragement of excessive consumption similar to standards for alcohol and therapeutic claims similar to restrictions for drugs or natural health products in the Food and Drugs Act.
In setting restrictions, the federal government should consider options for oversight and enforcement. This should include effective oversight by government, possibly supplemented by industry self-regulation as is the case with pharmaceuticals. Advice on the appropriate penalties for those companies that violate these requirements is outlined in Chapter 4.
In observing the manner in which illicit and legal markets for cannabis have emerged and continue to evolve, it is clear that cannabis is a versatile raw material that can be used to make a wide variety of consumer, medicinal and industrial products.
Extending far beyond the dried cannabis popularized in the s and s, today's cannabis is available in a wide range of cannabis-infused foods, cooking oils and drinks typically referred to as "edibles" , oils, ointments, tinctures, creams and concentrates e. These products can be made with different types of cannabis, with varying levels of THC and CBD, resulting in different intensities and effects.
The net result is that any discussion about regulating a new cannabis industry quickly leads to an understanding of the complexity of regulating not one but potentially thousands of new cannabis-based products.
Under Canada's current cannabis for medical purposes system, the Government permits only dried and fresh cannabis and cannabis oils. Although other cannabis products may not be sold, the regulations allow individuals to make edible products, such as baked goods, for their own consumption. Nevertheless, access to a broad range of cannabis products is possible via the illicit market, including through dispensaries and online retailers. Determining the extent to which the new regulatory system should enable or restrict the range of legally accessible cannabis products, both initially as well as over the longer term, and whether and how to limit the availability of cannabis and cannabis products with high levels of THC see "THC potency," later in this chapter are critical issues.
Edible products have emerged as a focal point in our discussions, given their variety and increasing popularity, as well as their particular risks.
Since legalizing cannabis, the states of Colorado and Washington have seen sustained growth in their cannabis edibles markets. Colorado officials acknowledge that a lack of regulation around edibles in the early days of legalization led to some unintended public health consequences.
Their experience provides the Task Force with a number of specific "lessons learned":. Expect edibles to have a broad appeal. Cannabis products such as brownies, cookies and high-end chocolates are attractive to novice users and those who do not want to smoke or inhale.
Colorado's prohibition on public smoking also gave a boost to the edibles market. In some respects, it is easier to control the amount of THC ingested when smoked or vaporized compared to when it is eaten.
This is because, unlike the more immediate euphoric and other psychoactive effects produced by smoking or vaporizing cannabis, it can take several hours for THC given orally to take full effect. In Colorado, this has sometimes resulted in accidental overconsumption and overdoses. A cannabis overdose is not known to be fatal, but can be unpleasant and potentially dangerous - including severe anxiety, nausea, vomiting, a psychotic episode, or hypotension and loss of consciousness.
Controlling the amount of THC or other cannabinoids in a product, as well as establishing a standardized serving size, is important to avoid or limit such incidents. On the basis of the risk of exposure to children, and also the potential of edibles to broaden the appeal of cannabis products, public health stakeholders have advocated to the Task Force that edibles not be allowed under a regulated system.
However, there are a number of points to consider in this regard. The period in question largely pre-dates the wider regulation of cannabis in Colorado in and regulatory changes in see below. And, despite the rise in rates, the absolute number of reported poisonings remains a small proportion of all reports: Many submissions to the Task Force suggested that Canada could learn from the way U.
In , Colorado set out new requirements for the sale of all edible cannabis products, including:. Such requirements have become the best practice for other U.
In October , Colorado took further steps to improve the safety of packaging of edibles by requiring that all standardized servings be imprinted with a symbol containing the letters THC and prohibiting packaging that appeals to children.
Among stakeholders, the Task Force heard several arguments in favour of allowing and regulating edibles, including:. In the illicit cannabis market, governments face an entrenched, sophisticated market that offers a wide range of cannabis products with no oversight and in which consumers are vulnerable to all the risks associated with unregulated products.
In weighing the arguments for and against limitations on edibles, the majority of the Task Force concluded that allowing these products offers an opportunity to better address other health risks. Edible cannabis products offer the possibility of shifting consumers away from smoked cannabis and any associated lung-related harms.
This is of benefit not just to the user but also to those around them who would otherwise be subject to second-hand smoke. This position comes with caveats. To protect the most vulnerable, any products that are "appealing to children," such as candies and other sweets, should be prohibited.
We acknowledge that there is considerable discretion in what constitutes "appealing to children. We are confident that with clear guidance to industry by the regulator and vigilant and predictable enforcement this is not an insurmountable barrier.
The Task Force is concerned by the reports of an increase of accidental ingestion by children in states where cannabis is legal. We acknowledge that a lack of regulation contributed to this risk. Should edibles be allowed for legal sale in Canada, they should, at a minimum, conform to the strictest packaging and labelling requirements for edibles currently in force in U. Since these measures are fairly recent, the markets Canadian and U. In the event that future research and monitoring identifies new risks with existing or new cannabis products, including increases in use, the Government should be ready to react.
The system must be flexible enough to adapt in a timely way to new information and to provide appropriate safeguards as evidence indicates. Participants raised concerns about the development of products that combine cannabis with other harmful substances, especially alcohol or tobacco, as this could magnify the health risks associated with these products see "Special Focus: Cannabis, tobacco and alcohol" on page Vaping devices play an increasing role in cannabis consumption as they have with nicotine.
We heard that the devices may offer a less-harmful alternative to smoking but that more evidence is needed about their risks and harms. We also heard concerns regarding specific synthetic cannabinoids, e. These products are not considered part of the mandate of the Task Force: In our discussions about cannabis products, the Task Force heard a range of views about the risks associated with consuming cannabis products with high levels of THC and about the dangers associated with manufacturing some cannabis products, particularly those where highly combustible solvents, such as butane, and potentially toxic solvents such as naphtha, are used to extract THC.
Over the last few decades, changes in growing and production techniques have resulted in cannabis products with higher levels of THC.
Despite studies showing that a typical user does not actually require large amounts of THC to experience the psychoactive effects of cannabis, the demand for, and availability of, products with higher levels of THC has persisted in jurisdictions that have legalized cannabis. Support for setting limits for THC content in cannabis products was strong among a range of stakeholders, particularly those with public health and health-care perspectives. Several also supported a ban on "high-potency products" when defined, these were the highest-potency concentrates, such as wax and shatter.
These arguments were based on assumptions regarding higher risks of harm associated with higher potencies. Based on the current evidence, the higher the potency of THC, the lower the amount of a product required to achieve the desired effect, the higher the likelihood of developing dependence and the higher the likelihood - particularly with novice and inexperienced users - of an overdose.
Products containing higher levels of THC may trigger psychotic episodes in individuals at risk and may further increase the risk of harms to vulnerable populations, such as those with illness associated with psychosis.
Submissions advocating THC limits rarely specified what those limits should be. Nevertheless, many saw a THC limit as a necessary precaution. There was also strong opposition from other respondents to the use of THC limits.
A range of stakeholders agreed that, due to a lack of evidence, any such level would be arbitrary. Respondents to the online consultation asserted that users accustomed to high THC would either need to smoke a larger quantity of lower-potency cannabis to reach the desired effect, leading to higher smoking-related harms, or would simply turn to the illicit market for high-potency products.
The argument that banned products would continue to be available on the illicit market was one we heard several times. However, in this case, we were told that the stakes were considerably higher due to the significant risks of illicit production of high-potency concentrates. Illicit producers often use highly flammable solvents such as butane to extract cannabinoids from plants, an inherently dangerous process that can also leave carcinogenic residues on the end product.
Product safety was also a concern, as the extraction process may also concentrate contaminants such as heavy metals and other impurities in addition to THC. Some roundtable participants believed that further research in this area could lead to innovations to modulate the effects of THC potency. The debate about whether to allow high-potency concentrates on the regulated market has similarities to our discussions on other cannabis-based products.
One side emphasizes the risks of use of the products themselves, while the other highlights the consequences of allowing an illicit, unregulated market to continue. While there may be risks of consuming high-potency concentrates, the dangers inherent in their production strongly suggest that they be included as a part of the regulated industry, subject to effective safety and quality-control restrictions.
The harms associated with high THC potency remain a concern, and should be minimized. However, we do not believe that limiting THC content in concentrates is the most effective way to do so, based on current information. We agree that, due to a lack of evidence, any chosen threshold would be arbitrary and a challenge to enforce. Even the standard THC content of today's dried cannabis is considered high by historical standards. We suggest that variable tax rates or minimum prices linked to THC level potency , similar to the pricing models used by several provinces and territories for beer, wine and spirits, should be applied to encourage consumers to purchase less-potent products.
We also recommend labelling all products with clear indications of their levels of THC and CBD, as well as appropriate health warnings. Such labelling must be based on mandatory laboratory testing that conforms to acceptable standards of accuracy.
The system must have the means to implement further measures, including THC limits and limits to other cannabinoids or their ratios , should future evidence warrant it. While government influence over price is often met with resistance in many industries, the risks associated with psychoactive substances can justify government intervention in this area. Used appropriately, price controls can discourage the use of cannabis and provide government with revenues to offset related costs.
They are flexible tools, able to respond relatively quickly to emerging evidence. On the other hand, missteps on price can lead to unintended consequences: Governments have a number of means to influence price, and therefore consumption, of a product. Many of these tools can be used together to control the price of a product:. The Task Force heard about the need to strike a balance on price: Tobacco was often cited as an example of how price controls can achieve public health goals.
This balance could be adjusted strategically. A lower tax rate, initially, could help to avoid repeating the experience in Washington, where a high tax at the start of legalization, combined with a shortage of legal product, strengthened the existing illicit market. Taxes could be adjusted over time to reflect changes in market conditions. We were cautioned that low prices could increase the consumption of cannabis overall.
Sudden drops in price could result from a decrease in production costs for regulated cannabis, or from "predatory" pricing i. There is evidence that a drop in the price of cannabis can lead to new users, particularly among youth. We heard that tax and price co-ordination between levels of government is critical. The federal, provincial and territorial governments have the authority to tax products such as cannabis, through either a unit tax or sales tax. Most participants, including provincial and territorial officials with whom we met, agreed with the view that cannabis regulation should prioritize public health and safety, not revenues.
However, there were opinions on how any resulting revenues should be allocated. Several stakeholders, including substance-use experts, law enforcement and municipalities, called on government to redirect revenues to support prevention and treatment programs for individuals with cannabis dependence. We also heard calls to direct a portion of tax revenues toward education programs, including targeted programs for youth, for Indigenous communities and for enforcement.
Stakeholders also called for the allocation of tax revenues to support research on cannabis. Putting public health concerns ahead of the generation of revenues is crucial to the success of a regulated cannabis market. Tax and price policies should therefore focus on achieving the Government's public health and safety objectives. Taxes should be high enough to limit the growth of consumption, but low enough to compete effectively with the illicit market.
Mechanisms such as a minimum price should be used to prevent predatory pricing, if necessary. The federal government, in co-ordination with its provincial and territorial counterparts, should conduct the necessary economic analyses to determine a tax level that achieves the balance between public health objectives and reducing the illicit market.
Municipalities and Indigenous national organizations and representatives should be included in discussions regarding the equitable allocation of revenues. Public health experts should also be included in this exercise to help ensure that the health burden is taken into account.
The Task Force also believes that building flexibility into the system will allow for adjustments based on new data. We also suggest that the federal government consider a THC potency-based minimum price or tax to shift consumers to lower-potency products see "THC potency" in this chapter. As we move away from prohibition, many stakeholders will turn to governments for information on how to assess the risks and harms of cannabis use and on how the regulation of cannabis will work.
There is significant misinformation that must be addressed. Public opinion research shows that youth and some adults do not understand the risks of cannabis use. Typically they are either exaggerated echoing the era of "reefer madness" or understated cannabis is benign. In the online consultation and in meetings with experts and officials, we heard that public education was critical to:. There was agreement that messaging about risks should be consistent across the country. Given the potential number of players delivering messages - including different levels of governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector - a need for co-ordination was emphasized, often with the federal government in a leading role.
We heard that reaching youth with this messaging may be a challenge. Health experts and educators stressed that we need a new approach. Whether in schools or in national campaigns, education should be evidence-informed, credible, informative and respectful of youth judgment. We heard that youth should be involved in the design and content of education that is targeted at youth. We heard that school programs should start at a young age. For adolescents, health experts recommended a focus on building competencies to help young people develop resiliency and critical thinking skills.
Some jurisdictions are taking this approach in their schools already. Education programs should not only be age-appropriate but also culturally appropriate. An Indigenous Elder who met with the Task Force called on the Government to work with Elders to develop culturally appropriate messaging on the risks of cannabis use for Indigenous youth.
In Washington and Colorado, funding for their respective education campaigns came from the states' cannabis revenues. As a result, campaigns did not begin until two years after legalization. Officials from both states strongly advised starting educational campaigns as soon as possible.
National campaigns and in-school programs are important components of an overall approach to public education on cannabis. Co-ordination between levels of government will be crucial. In meetings with the Task Force, provincial and territorial officials looked to leadership from the federal government on public education campaigns and health messaging. Where strong provincial or territorial education programs on cannabis use exist, a federal public education campaign should enhance rather than replace existing programs and should learn from success stories.
A discussion specific to education campaigns for cannabis-impaired driving can be found in Chapter 4, Enforcing Public Safety and Protection. While the regulation of cannabis aims to minimize harms for the general population, there are specific groups who may be negatively impacted, including youth with a history of early and frequent use, as well as adult heavy users and marginalized groups.
Targeted measures will be needed to mitigate harms for these groups. In roundtable discussions, the Task Force often heard that there were certain groups for which education and other "population-level" measures were insufficient to reduce harms significantly. Most frequently, participants highlighted youth with a history of early and frequent use, or dependence. Other groups mentioned included adult heavy users, those with mental illness, people who are homeless and other marginalized groups.
We heard that reducing harms among these groups requires a public health strategy that includes special, targeted measures such as mental health strategies and investment in prevention and treatment programs for individuals and at-risk groups. According to a number of health experts who work with youth, such approaches need to address individuals' underlying issues, such as social isolation, problems at home or mental illness.
They told us that some of the harms often attributed directly to cannabis use, such as dependence and lower academic achievement, can be better predicted by the existence of such life challenges. Recent studies support this view. Analysis of results of the B. Adolescent Health Survey shows that youth who lived in challenging circumstances or who had experienced stressful life events, such as discrimination or physical or sexual abuse, were more likely to use cannabis frequently.
The good news is that there are a few products and methods out there that can help you. Detox drinks and Detox pills are available to be purchased and are a relatively decent solution for how to clean your system, especially for the purpose of cleaning your urine to eliminate drug traces and detectable THC metabolites you can also try drinking excessive amounts of water to dilute your system.
However, keep in mind that if your urine is too diluted, you run the risk of voiding your drug screening. One of the more commonly used methods to pass a urine test a favorite among the most desperate consumers is the fruit pectin method. Fruit pectin is a starch which is derived from the cell walls of produce, and is often found in jams and preservatives.
The fruit pectin is mixed with an electrolyte drink like Gatorade, and then consumed at least two hours prior to a urine test and possibly a day or two before as well. The theory behind the fruit pectin method is that because it is a naturally occurring fiber, it makes THC exit the body through the bowels and not the urine, as it usually would. Moreover, some detoxes could even make you sick, given the presence of compounds that your body might not be used to.
Finally, we get to the question of how long does it take for marijuana to leave your system. Previous research that has been conducted has shown that the amount of time that marijuana remains in the body is affected by how much a person smokes, how often they smoke, and for how long they have been smoking.
For most people, marijuana will stay in the body in quantities that can be detected for anything between 10 days to a month. Individuals considered to be regular smokers have had drug tests that produce a positive result up to 45 days after their last use, and heavy smokers have reported positive tests up to 90 days after quitting.
For anyone wondering how long does weed stay in your saliva, we need to first determine how long the THC has been present. Typically speaking, THC is detectable for the least amount of time in the saliva, which is of course great news for anyone who undergoes drug testing via the means of testing the saliva.
THC metabolites will be detected in your saliva for about an hour after smoking, and can remain in your saliva for up to 24 hours — even after just a single smoking session. For regular smokers, it could even reach 72 hours. Heavy smokers are advised to wait at least a week before taking a saliva test, as THC has been known to accumulate in the salivary glands over time.
Hair is often a big concern when it comes to the length of time that weed is present in your system, and it is actually believed that cannabis has the longest detection window in hair. In fact, the hair drug test was developed to identify long-term users rather than one-time or infrequent users. Standard hair tests will typically look for drugs in the system over the last 90 days. So how long does marijuana stay in your hair? Generally speaking, Cannabis metabolites can be detected in the hair for up to seven days after the consumption of pot.
First time and infrequent users, for instance, can expect THC to show up in the blood for up to 24 hours after consuming weed. As we mentioned, blood tests for cannabis use are not very common. While this article has given insight and guidelines that have hopefully answered most of your questions regarding how long weed stays in your system for, it is very difficult to give an exact answer. As we have seen, there are a number of factors that can affect the outcome — the most obvious of which is frequency.
Here is a quick general recap:. We have also seen that the type of drug test that you undergo will have a major impact on the test results. For example, a urine test will show weed in your system for a much longer period than will a blood test. Want to know how long THC can stay in your system? I was a very heavy smoker until about last week maybe.
Pretty skinny for my height. Also have been staying extra hydrated since last week when I found out, and been to the gym a couple times. From my experience, there is no rule of thumb! How long does it take to clear system for a is test at the Dr thanks. Probation and am tested once a week. I took a hit last night and gotta test today.
Should I be clean by next Thursday? For anxiety and stress. I also use it for appetite. As , with the stress I tend not to want to eat. Used to weigh lbs. Now been down so low as lbs. If I smoke I tend to eat more. But the new doctor I have will not prescribe the pain meds I have to take do to spinal degeneration, if I test positive for thc.
Is what works best for me instantly. How do I address this to him in a way that he can understand? There are a LOT of us caught in this nonsense. Suffering for no reason other than someone else someone young, healthy, and self righteous thinks they know what is best for us and they seem to think that it is evil to take something to actually feel better… I mean, they add Tylenol and ibuprofen to opioids to make them more dangerous to your health.
It is all absurd. These things all grow on this earth and belong to us by birthright. I do drink allot of water also.
Marijuana Penny Stocks
FINAL THOUGHTS. If there's anything to take away from this article, it's that most drug tests ARE NOT looking for THC; they're going to pick up. Barriers to treatment, issues working with cannabis users cannabis federally along with several other drugs and replacing the. act .. FINAL THOUGHTS . For example, a urine test will show weed in your system for a much longer period .