Edibles, topicals and extracts

On October 17, 2019 under the Cannabis Act, production and sales of cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals became legal. Cannabis regulations have been created to control the legal production and sales of cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals.


Edibles contain cannabis in the form of food or drinks (such as baked goods or infused non-alcoholic beverages). When cannabis edibles are ingested, it can take longer for its effects to be felt by the brain and body. Effects can be felt as quickly as 30 minutes or up to four hours and can last up to 12 hours. Some residual effects can last up to 24 hours.

Since there may be a delay between the time of use and the time it takes to experience effects, this can cause a person to consume more in a short amount of time, resulting in over-intoxication. Over-intoxication can include symptoms of severe anxiety and panic, nausea and vomiting, and symptoms of psychosis (paranoia). It’s safest to start with low strength THC and wait for the effects before consuming more.

If you are choosing to use cannabis, it’s safest to start with low strength tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and wait for the effects before consuming more.

Nutrition and edibles 

  • There are no known nutritional benefits to consuming edible cannabis.
  • Edible cannabis may come in the form of highly processed foods such as baked goods or beverages, which are not intended to be consumed regularly as they are low in essential nutrients and may be high in saturated fat, sugar or salt. 

For more information on ingestible cannabis products, read 7 Things You Need to Know about Edible Cannabis.

Topicals are cannabinoid-infused oils, creams and lotions that are intended to be used on skin, hair or nails. The risk of intoxication and impairment after applying these products are believed to be low, but more research is needed to understand these potential effects.

Extracts refers to a wide range of products that contain higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinol (CBD) than what is found in the cannabis plant. Cannabis extracts can be smoked, vaped or ingested. These cannabis products pose an increased risk of over-intoxication. It is important to note that regular use of high-strength cannabis extracts can lead to tolerance, dependency and addiction. 

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