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Cannabis Facts and Risks

Health Resources

What is cannabis?

Cannabis sativa, also known as the hemp plant, has been cultivated for centuries for industrial and medical use, and for its psychoactive, or mind-altering, effects. Marijuana (grass, weed, pot, dope, ganja and others), hashish (hash), hash oil (weed oil, honey oil) all derive from the cannabis plant.


Medical Cannabis vs. Recreational Cannabis

Medical cannabis is used to treat certain health needs. It is used under the supervision of a trained health care professional whereas recreational cannabis is not.


Cannabis Regulations in Ontario

  • You must be 19 and older to buy, use, possess and grow recreational
  • You are permitted to purchase up to 30 grams (about one ounce) of dried recreational cannabis at one time for personal use.
  • You are permitted to possess up to 30 grams (about one ounce) of dried cannabis in public at any time.
  • You are permitted to grow up to four plants per residence (not per person).
  • Driving impaired by cannabis is illegal and you can face criminal charges. Zero tolerance for young (21 or under), novice (G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence) and commercial drivers.
  • Consuming recreational cannabis in the workplace remains illegal.
  • Please check local municipal bylaws, lease agreements, and the policies of employers and property owners, to see where you can use cannabis, both medical and recreational.


People can have very different experiences with cannabis.

Some may feel relaxed, lively, talkative, giggly and even euphoric, while others feel tense, anxious, fearful and confused. The kind of experience you may have can vary from one drug-taking episode to another, usually because of the amount taken, the method used and the frequency of regular cannabis use.


How cannabis affects you depends on:

  • how much you use
  • how often and how long you’ve used it
  • whether you smoke, vape or eat it
  • your mood, your expectations and the environment you’re in
  • your age
  • whether you have certain pre-existing medical or psychiatric conditions
  • whether you’ve taken any alcohol or other drugs (illegal, prescription, over-the-counter or herbal).