This 4/20, Alberta Health Services is reminding the public to use substances safely. AHS does not recommend mixing cannabis with alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes, or other drugs because it can increase impairment. Increased impairment can lead to injuries, or risky behaviors.

Here are some tips on how to lower your risk for serious side effects and injury when using cannabis:

  • Delay use. The younger you are when you start, the higher your risk of developing physical and mental health problems, such as anxiety, difficulty concentrating and, in some cases, psychosis. Some people are more likely to develop problems from cannabis use; specifically, those with a personal or family history of psychosis or substance use problems.
  • Choose low-strength cannabis products with low THC (less than 10 mg or 10 per cent) and equal or higher CBD content. 
  • Don’t mix/combine cannabis use with tobacco/nicotine, alcohol or other drugs.
  • If you are smoking cannabis, don’t inhale deeply or hold your breath, so it’s not as damaging to your lungs.
  • Choose other forms of cannabis that you don’t inhale, such as edibles. Remember that they still have health risks.
  • Don’t use cannabis or other substances if you’re pregnant, think you might be, or are trying to get pregnant.   
  • Don’t smoke or vape cannabis or tobacco in your home or around children. Second-hand smoke and vapour is harmful, especially to children or people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. 
  • Keep all drugs (including cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, and tobacco-like products) locked up, out of sight, and out of reach of children and pets. Keep cannabis and all drugs in their original containers. Make sure products are clearly labelled, especially for homemade products. Cannabis packaging bought from a legal source is marked with the universal symbol for THC. 
  • Do not drive or operate machinery while under the influence of cannabis and/or other substances. 

AHS says that if you are concerned about your own or someone else’s use of substances you can contact health link at 811 or the Addiction Helpline at 1-866-332-2322.