Choosing Cannabis Products

Celebrating Safely: 5 Harm-Reduction Tips for Consuming Cannabis

When you’re celebrating with cannabis — whether it’s New Year’s Eve, 420 or any other special occasion — you want it to be a positive experience. This not only involves personal factors but also practising harm reduction to help keep you safe. Whether you’re enjoying the night with your best buds or chilling at a neighbourhood joint, practise safe consumption with these easy harm-reduction techniques.

Dark and light green cannabis leaves on a mint green background

1. Choose smoke-free or safer-smoking alternatives.

Instead of smoking, which can carry risks for your lungs, you can ingest cannabis using an edible or oil. You can also inhale cannabis using a dry-herb vaporizer, which delivers THC in vapour rather than smoke. If you do prefer to smoke cannabis, there are ways to reduce the risks. It’s a myth that inhaling deeply or holding the smoke in your lungs increases the effects: About 95% of the THC is absorbed in the first few seconds — so take shallow puffs, which should decrease the amount of toxins in your lungs. If you’re ingesting edibles, there could be delayed onset. Remember: Start low and go slow.

Learn about the different methods of consuming cannabis.

2. Plan a ride.

Driving under the influence of cannabis is dangerous. Plan your ride home in advance, grab a lift from a sober friend, use public transit or call a rideshare service or taxi. Unlike with alcohol, there’s no scientific evidence to support a consumption limit that’s safe for driving or how long you should wait to get behind the wheel.

3. Know the legal limits.

Did you know that smoking or vaping cannabis on school grounds (including playgrounds after school hours) or within 20 metres of a school or community centre is forbidden under provincial legislation?

To ensure you’re celebrating responsibly, get the full list of where you can and cannot consume cannabis.

As for possession, you may carry up to 30 grams (1 oz.) of dried legal cannabis or its equivalent at any time. If you’re shopping online at, the legal limit is calculated for you as you add items to your cart.

4. Avoid mixing substances.

Combining cannabis with substances like alcohol or tobacco can intensify your high, alter it unpredictably or increase the potential health harms associated with use, increasing the likelihood that you’ll have a negative experience.

If you’re currently taking a prescription or over-the-counter medication, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist about possible interactions and adverse effects.

5. Choose legal products.

Consuming unregulated cannabis can pose health risks. Illegal cannabis products may not be rigorously tested and could contain harmful ingredients. That’s why it’s important to trust your cannabis source. Legal cannabis goes through mandatory testing so you can be sure of what’s inside every product. You can also expect consistency and quality: The THC and CBD content will be advertised, and nutrition and allergen details for edibles are listed right on the label. No surprises.

Ensure a safe celebration by purchasing your cannabis from a legal source, like your local Authorized Cannabis Store or Find out how to spot the differences between legal and illegal cannabis.

If you’re still new to cannabis, harm-reduction practices can make your experience more enjoyable. Even if you’re an experienced consumer, you may find these tips helpful.

Start with a very small amount, especially if you’re new to cannabis or are trying a new product or using a new method of consumption.

Consider the THC and CBD content in products. New users should opt for products with lower THC levels.

Consume a very small amount when ingesting cannabis and wait at least an hour to gauge its effects. In time, even a small amount can produce an intense effect.

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