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'Do research, take things slow': Advice from public health on legal pot edibles

The federal government says edibles and other 'next-generation' pot products will hit retail shelves later this year
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Edibles and other 'next-generation' cannabis products are set to be legalized in Canada on October 17.

However, the products will not be hitting the shelves until mid-December because federal cannabis licence holders will be required to provide 60 days notice to Health Canada of their intent to sell the products. 

Renee Charbonneau-Smith is a Public Health Nurse with Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services.

She said consumers need to be aware of the differences between smoking marijuana and ingesting it. 

"When you ingest cannabis, it can take up to 30 minutes to a couple of hours to start to feel the effect. That's when you potentially could run into trouble, because if you don't know or aren't feeling the effects right away, you may want to take more."

She added that misuse of edibles could have serious side effects.

"What can happen is you could consume perhaps a small amount and not feel the effects, and then consume more and consume more. Before you know it you have overconsumed and all of sudden you are in a toxic situation where you might end up in the hospital."

If you're looking to try edible pot products, Charbonneau-Smith said you should do some research beforehand. 

"They should be aware of the potency to try to understand how much cannabis is in the product they are consuming."

She also stressed that mixing alcohol and edibles is strongly discouraged as it could potentiate the effects of the alcohol. 

with files from the Canadian Press




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