Children and pets are at greatest risk of cannabis poisoning due to accidental consumption. Cannabis should be stored out of sight and locked away from children and pets. To prevent serious harm, know the signs of cannabis poisoning and actions to take to seek help for yourself and others.
Cannabis can be overconsumed, meaning there are high levels of THC in your bloodstream causing unwanted effects. Effects are often temporary, but can lead to dangerous situations, sometimes requiring emergency medical attention. Symptoms can include:
- Chest pain
- Rapid heartbeat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Severe anxiety or panic attacks
- Suicidal thoughts, and/or psychosis (paranoia, hallucinations, delusions)
If you are concerned about your cannabis experience or are experiencing harmful effects, help is available:
- Stay calm
- Do not use any more cannabis
- Have something to eat and drink water
- Do not drive
- Call the Ontario Poison Control Centre at 1-800-268-9017, or call 9-1-1
If you believe your child has consumed cannabis, act immediately:
- Call the Ontario Poison Control Centre at 1-800-268-9017, or
- If the child has lost consciousness, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Ingesting cannabis (i.e., edibles) has greater opportunity for cannabis poisoning as products can be confused with non-cannabis products or have a delayed onset of desired effects causing individuals to consume more, thinking effects will happen quicker.
Eating cannabis raw will not produce any intoxicating effects, rather products must be heated to activate THC and other cannabinoids when consumed. In the case of purchased edibles and some oils and tinctures, the THC has already been activated and can be consumed as prepared.
Cannabis and Driving:
There is no safe level of cannabis use for driving. Driving a vehicle or operating machinery after cannabis use is illegal and dangerous. A vehicle includes cars, trucks, boats, snowmobiles, and off-road vehicles. Cannabis affects coordination, attention, concentration, and slows reaction time, increasing chance of accidents that can cause harm to self and others, including death. Impairment from cannabis varies, therefore it is best to delay driving after use for as long as possible.