Santé Montréal

Spotlight on cannabis

Responsible use

Use responsibly and reduce your risks

Do you use cannabis or are you thinking of trying it? Here are some tips to help you make informed decisions and use responsibly.

Choose when to use

Cannabis affects the senses and impairs concentration and coordination. Use after you’ve completed your daily activities (e.g. after school or work).

Know your limits 

Cannabis affects people differently. Pick products with lower THC. High THC levels can produce intense effects and make you feel bad (rapid heartbeat, anxiety, disorientation). Using daily or almost every day can harm your health and have a negative impact on your performance at school and at work.

Opt for quality products 

Buy from legal outlets. In addition to knowing THC and CBD levels, you will also be sure the cannabis does not contain banned pesticides or mould. You will also avoid the very dangerous synthetic forms available illegally.

Be kind to your lungs

If you smoke cannabis, don’t hold it in your lungs. Taking a big hit and holding it in as long as possible won’t get you any higher. Don’t mix with tobacco; you risk getting addicted to nicotine.

Respect those around you, vaporize

If you smoke, don't expose people around you to second-hand cannabis smoke. You can vape dried flowers. While not risk-free, vaporizing produces fewer toxins and odours without reducing your high. It’s more pleasant for other people and less risky for your lungs. 

Go easy on the edibles

The effects of cannabis edibles are delayed and they also last longer (up to 12 hours). Start with low doses and wait until you feel the effects before taking more. Keep edibles in a safe place to prevent children and pets from accidentally eating them.

Be careful with mixes

Combining alcohol and cannabis increases the effects of both substances. Mixes can make you sick or dizzy, or make you vomit. Ask your health professional about the possible interactions between cannabis and any medication you are taking.

Plan your ride

Cannabis slows down your reflexes and decreases attention. If you use cannabis, be sure to designate a driver, take a taxi or use public transit. 

Consult the poster Use responsibly and reduce your risks (PDF)


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Is this for you?

…You’re an adolescent or a young adult

Put off first-time use as long as possible. Cannabis use affects brain development, especially during adolescence.

…You or someone in your family has a history of psychosis or addiction

You should avoid using because the risk of psychosis or addiction is greater.

…You’re pregnant or breastfeeding

You should avoid using cannabis during pregnancy. If you’re breastfeeding, you should cut down or stop altogether. There is no scientific evidence on what constitutes a safe amount of cannabis that can be used during these periods.

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Need help?

24 and -

  • Centre de réadaptation en dépendances de Montréal (FR et ANG)
    Evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation for people with alcohol, drug or gambling problems.
    3530, rue Saint-Urbain
    Montréal (Québec) H2X 2N7
    514 982-1232
  • Tel-jeunes
    Support, referral and help line for young people, accessible 24/7. Free, confidential and professional.
    1 800 263-2266
  • La ligne parents
    Support, referral and help for parents, accessible 24/7.
    1 800 361-5085

25 and +

  • Centre de réadaptation en dépendances de Montréal (FR et ANG)
    Evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation for people with alcohol, drug or gambling problems.
    950, rue de Louvain Est
    Montréal (Québec) H2M 2E8
    514 385-1232
  • Drugs: Help and referral
    Information, referral and help line, accessible 24/7.


  • accessible 24/7
    514 288-1515


For more information, contact your CLSC or call 8-1-1 Info-Santé and Info-Social.

To learn more about cannabis and its effects, visit

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Last Update : 04 December 2019