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Safety alert: Canada-wide warning for cannabis products that may 'lead to overconsumption' of THC

These incorrectly labelled products may contain above the allowable limit of the psychoactive substance.
Health Canada has posted an advisory warning about the effects of large doses of THC that are found in some cannabis products.

Canadians are being warned about the dangers of consuming edible cannabis products that may have been labelled incorrectly and contain more than the allowable amount of the main psychoactive substance in the plant. 

The public advisory, issued by Health Canada, is a general warning to consumers aimed at reminding them to read product labels carefully.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly referred to as "THC," is responsible for producing most of the effects on a person's mental state. According to Health Canada, many of the edible cannabis products sold across the country were incorrectly labelled and sold as cannabis "extracts" and contain more than the allowable limit of 10 mg of THC per package. 

The non-compliant products Health Canada is warning consumers about include edibles like gummies, hard candy, and other confectionery products 

Some people experience side effects from consuming a large dose of the psychoactive substance, with a range of possible adverse reactions including paranoia, fear, an increased heart rate, a lack of concentration, drowsiness, anxiety, chest pain, slurred speech, psychotic episode, loss of consciousness, and more.

Edible cannabis products often have a pleasant taste, smell, and texture and do not appear different from conventional foods. While it takes a while for the effects of the product to kick in when they are eaten, the effects last much longer than when cannabis is smoked or inhaled. 

Since cannabis products look like regular food, there is an increased risk someone (particularly a child) may accidentally eat them.

Incorrectly labelled cannabis products: What you should do

Before taking a cannabis product, ensure that you understand the label that identifies how much THC per unit you will be consuming and take the appropriate amount. Start with a low amount and wait until you feel the effects before taking more.

  • If you are experiencing adverse effects, stop using the product, and seek treatment from poison centres or call 911.
  • Report suspected adverse reactions online. You can also report concerns, complaints or adverse reactions directly to the licensed cannabis. Provide as much information about the adverse reaction as you can (product details, company, lot or batch number, and THC and CBD content).
  • Store cannabis securely away from children and pets. Consider storing cannabis in a locked drawer or box.
  • Do not drive or engage in other safety-sensitive activities if you are consuming cannabis.
  • Only purchase and consume cannabis products that are sold by legally authorized provincial and territorial retail outlets.
  • If you have questions or concerns about cannabis and your health, consult your doctor.

For concerns and complaints that might represent a possible violation of the federal cannabis laws or regulations, you may contact Health Canada through the Cannabis Reporting Form.