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What is cannabis? 🤔

Cannabis refers to the plant Cannabis sativa. The cannabis plant originally comes from Asia. It is now grown around the world, including in Canada. The Government of Canada legalized, regulated and restricted access to cannabis on October 17, 2018.

Learn more about cannabis (marijuana), its uses, and forms here.

Cannabis can be consumed in many ways. But have we talked about what the potential effects of consuming alcohol and cannabis at the same time are, or might be?

The “Ganja” talk.

Cannabis affects you differently than your friend. You can also consume it in very different ways – which can have an impact on how you feel emotionally and physically, as well as how you behave.

Let’s debunk some common myths about cannabis:

Myth 1: All cannabis strains are basically the same.

Debunked: There are significant differences between cannabis strains, which can be broadly categorized into indica, sativa, and hybrids. These strains can produce vastly different effects, from the energizing and uplifting effects often associated with sativa strains to the relaxing and sedative effects commonly attributed to indica strains.

Myth 2: Inhaling and digesting cannabis has the same effects.

Debunked: Inhaling cannabis (like smoking) works faster than other forms, making you feel it in minutes while digesting cannabis has a “delayed” effect, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to feel the effects. Sometimes, it’s easy to take too many edibles because of that “delayed” effect.

The effects of inhaling cannabis usually last 2 to 3 hours while the effects of digesting cannabis can last much longer, often 4 to 8 hours, sometimes even longer depending on the dose and the individual.

Myth 3: Cannabis doesn’t have any side effects.

Debunked: Like any substance, cannabis use comes with potential side effects. These can include dry mouth, red eyes, increased heart rate, short-term memory impairment, altered judgment, etc. Cannabis can affect everyone differently so make sure you know what you’re taking.

Myth 4: Driving under the influence of cannabis is safer than driving drunk.

Debunked: Driving under the influence of cannabis is not safe and can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. While the effects of cannabis and alcohol on driving can differ, both substances impair your ability to drive safely, including reaction time, judgment, motor coordination, and concentration.

It is advised that you shouldn’t drive or operate other machinery for at least 6 hours after using cannabis.

Myth 5: Mixing cannabis and alcohol doesn’t enhance their effects.

Debunked: Combining cannabis and alcohol can amplify the effects of both substances. This combination can lead to increased impairment compared to using either substance alone.

It is not recommended to mix both substances. See below for more info!

⚠ Potential effects and risks of consuming alcohol and cannabis at the same time:
  • More THC in the blood – Alcohol can lower your blood pressure and may cause your blood vessels to expand, allowing more THC to enter the bloodstream.
  • Faster speed of intoxication – You may feel the effects faster (and stronger) than if you were only doing one. This can cause you to “hit a wall” or feel “the dizzies” and can be risky if you do not know how much you are consuming.
  • Longer lasting intoxication – Your body still needs time to process the alcohol (about 60-90 mins for each standard drink size), plus your body will also have THC to process.
  • Increased frequency of consumption – Example, smoking cannabis may lead to feeling thirsty (dry mouth), which may lead to you drinking more.

Other facts you should know: Canada’s Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines.

We know that cannabis is legal now and 4/20 is no longer a protest but more of a celebration. However, just like alcohol or other substances, it is important to understand how cannabis can affect your body so you can make the right choices for yourself. 👍✅