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Edibles - Topicals - Extracts

November 05, 2019

Did you know that three new classes of cannabis became legal on October 17, 2019 with the products becoming available no earlier than mid-December 2019. These products will be subject to strict regulations due to their unique health and safety risks. The three new classes of cannabis are:

 • edible cannabis products (e.g., candy, baked goods);

 • cannabis topicals (e.g., ointments, oils, makeup); and

 • cannabis extracts (e.g., oils, products used for dabbing or vaporizing).

​Children may mistake edible cannabis products (e.g., gummy bears, chocolates, brownies, lollipops, etc.) for regular food and eat it unknowingly. The Government of Canada has set the limit of 10 mg THC/serving. Edible cannabis products take up to four hours to feel the effects, which can lead to over-consumption potentially causing adverse effects requiring medical attention. The effects of over-consumption of edible cannabis can last between 6 to 12 hours after use. Over-consumption of edible cannabis may cause hallucinations, extreme paranoia, anxiety, increased heart pressure or require hospitalization.


Note: All edible cannabis products cannot appeal to a child or young person, and must be in plain, child-resistant packaging and include mandatory health warnings. The package label must display the standardized THC symbol, although in Canada, the symbol is not required on the actual product.


To reach their full potential, youth should not use cannabis. A young person’s brain is not fully developed until around age 25. The part of the brain that controls rational thinking, the prefrontal cortex, works differently in adults and teens. Teens process information using the emotional part of the brain and may act impulsively, while adults are able to consider actions and consequences before making a decision. There are a number of health effects that can affect youth, such as:

• ability to think and make decisions;

• ability to concentrate and remember;

• slower reaction time;

• ability to drive; and, 

• impair performance in sports and school.

Other health effects may include psychosis and schizophrenia, especially if cannabis use begins in adolescence and the use is frequent. 


How to support your teen?

It is normal for teens to be moody, have a larger appetite during a growth spurt or tire easily. Look for changes in your teen’s pattern or routine. It is also natural for teens to be curious and have questions about cannabis use. Have open, honest and ongoing conversations with your teen about the risks of using cannabis. 

For more information or to seek help:

Talk About Cannabis (EN – parent resources) / Parlons du cannabis (FR – ressources parent)

How to talk to your teen about drugs (EN) / Comment aborder le sujet des drogues avec son adolescent (FR)

Talking About Cannabis (EN) / Discuter du cannabis (FR)

Cannabis Talk Kit: Know How to Talk with your Teen, 2nd ed. (EN) / Parler cannabis: Savoir discuter avec son ado, 2nd éd. (FR)

Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) (EN) / Jeunesse, Jécoute (1)