Cannabis was legalized in Canada on October 17th, but as with anything legal, there are stipulations around how it can be used and purchased. We’ve gone over many of the essentials of purchasing and using cannabis in our blog already; today, we’re going to look into edible cannabis products. We want to address if they can be purchased and used, and what to be aware of if you’ve used edible cannabis.

You can purchase cannabis through licensed distributors, and the cannabis products you purchase can come in many forms, including sprays, oils and dried flower. One of the Government of Canada’s goals when legalizing cannabis was to reduce use among youth, who are particularly at risk to suffer detrimental effects due to the use of the drug. That’s part of the reason the government introduced laws regulating how cannabis can be advertised, and stiff penalties for distribution to youth. Edible cannabis is often found in the form of sweets; candies, brownies, and other sugary snacks. These appeal disproportionately to youth, so the Government of Canada has not legalized the retail sale of edibles at this point in time.

While you cannot purchase edibles, you can make them yourself with the cannabis you purchase. This post won’t go into detail about how this is done, but it’s worth mentioning that once you’ve done it, you’ll have a product that will affect you quite differently than smoking dried flower. Edible cannabis is metabolized differently, and can often have much more potent effects, even with the same amount of THC consumed. That means you should be cautious when consuming edible cannabis, as you might get higher than you initially anticipated.

Edible cannabis takes effect more slowly that its smoked counterpart, which is another reason to proceed with caution. There’s many a naive consumer who has decided to eat too much cannabis because they “didn’t feel anything”. When it all kicks in, they’ve taken too much; while it’s almost impossible to have a life-threatening dose of cannabis, it is definitely unpleasant and debilitating when you over consume. That’s problematic, but it’s worse if after eating edible cannabis you decide it hasn’t taken effect and get behind the wheel. When the cannabis kicks in (it can be quite sudden), you’ll be putting yourself and other drivers at risk. Should you be pulled over for reckless driving, you may also face legal ramifications; if you’ve eaten cannabis, be very careful and patient, and don’t start driving.

Should you find yourself facing legal consequences for driving high, there are always options. Hiring an experienced DUI lawyer is your best bet for creating a solid case for yourself; given how new the cannabis laws are, you want someone with a lot of experience in DUI cases in order to navigate these new legal waters. Driving impaired is driving impaired, whether it’s alcohol or marijuana, so there can be steep consequences if it’s found that you’ve violated the law. Know the law, and don’t drive high!