Frequently Asked Questions

What are slang terms for Cannabis?

Marijuana, Aunt Mary, BC Buds, Boom, Chronic, Dope, Gangster, Ganja, Hash, Herb, Hydro, Indo, Joint, Kif, Mary Jane, Mota, Pot, Reefer, Sinsemilla, Skunk, Smoke, Weed and Yerb.

What is the source of cannabis?

The leaves and flowering tops of the cannabis plant. Different strains of cannabis and different growing processes result in quite different quantities of THC, from an average of 10% to as much as 33% in some strains grown hydroponically.

What are the two most common active compounds in cannabis?

THC (Delta-9-Tetrahydropcannabindol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is the main active compound in cannabis which is responsible for the “high” a person feels. CBD is the second main compound in cannabis used widely for medical purposes and is non-psychoactive.

How does a person consume cannabis?

It can be smoked, ingested or inhaled from a vaporizer. Cannabis can be smoked as a cigarette (joint) or through a water pipe or bong. It can be ingested by baking into food or boiled in water to make tea. It can be vaporized by heating with a liquid until the active ingredient turns to vapor which is inhaled. Vaporizing is increasing in popularity because it is safer than smoking.

Are guidelines available for edible cannabis products?

Not yet. Guidelines are expected in mid to late 2019.

What products are available from dispensaries and online cannabis stores?

A variety of bud, oil, scatter, edibles and tinctures are available for purchase. All products are labeled with the amount of THC and CBD they contain, and different strains will provide different experiences. Employees, also called budsters or cannabis sommeliers, are often well trained to provide advice on selecting the product that will meet the client’s experience objectives.

Does illegal cannabis growing cause negative effects on the environment?

Yes, illegal cannabis growers may use chemicals, high amounts of energy and make changes to land structure leaving lasting damage to the surroundings. They may use pesticides and/or poisons to keep animals from destroying their crops and equipment. These carcinogens affect small animals that eat it but also larger animals that prey on them. These toxins can be harmful to people when affected cannabis is consumed.

What are some common effects of using cannabis?

Common effects include: Paranoia, short-term memory loss, relaxation, heightened sensory perception (brighter colors), laughter, altered perception of time, increased appetite and euphoria.

How does cannabis affect driving?

Drivers may swerve, follow too closely to other vehicles, keep a large distance away from other vehicles, miscalculate distances or spaces, lose the ability to draw upon information obtained from past experiences and have longer reaction times.

What does the blood test given for cannabis measure in a person’s blood? Is there a legal limit for driving under the influence of Cannabis?

The blood test detects the “active” THC ingredient which remains active in a person’s blood for up to 72 hours after consuming cannabis. The test does not measure CBD levels. Unlike alcohol, this test does not measure impairment. There is no legal limit that has been established for cannabis.

Can a person overdose on cannabis?

No one has ever died of marijuana overdose by itself. But it is possible to suffer serious effects of too much THC. Cannabis growers continually find ways to increase the THC content of marijuana, so that the average THC content has increased from an average of 4% in 1983 to an average of 10% in 2009. Some strains of cannabis test much higher. High doses of THC can result in mental confusion, panic attacks and hallucination.

What mental or physical problems can cannabis use cause?

According to the 2011 World Drug Report, cannabis products can produce temporary symptoms of psychosis, loss of ability to learn or remember recent events, reduced ability to carry out certain mental tasks, make certain decisions and pay attention. Physically, cannabis smokers have risks similar to those of smokers: bronchitis, emphysema, asthma.

Does legalization of cannabis mean employees can be impaired at work?

No. Employers will have the right to set rules for non-medical use of cannabis in the workplace in much the same way that they set rules for use of alcohol. In particular, employers may prohibit the use of cannabis at work or during working hours and may also prohibit employees from attending work while impaired. Workplace rules regarding non-medical use of cannabis may be enforced through the application of the employer’s progressive discipline policy.

Does the duty to accommodate extend to medical cannabis?

Yes. The duty to accommodate, as required by provincial and federal human rights legislation, extends to disabled employees who use medical cannabis. These employees are to be accommodated in the same way as an employer accommodates any other disabled employee who has been prescribed medication. Accommodation extends to employees who may have an addiction disability.

What can employers do to meet their obligations?

Employers may need to revisit workplace policies that address drug and alcohol use, bearing in mind two competing obligations: on the one hand, employers have a duty to accommodate disabled employees, and medical cannabis is used to treat medical conditions that can constitute a “disability”. On the other hand, employers must take every reasonable precaution to ensure the safety of their workplaces – therefore they have the right to prohibit impairment on the job. Assessment of impairment at work may prove to be the most difficult aspect of designing and implementing policies regarding use of cannabis, as testing for drug and alcohol use remains one of the most contentious up-and-coming issues in Canadian workplace law.

For what sorts of conditions is medical cannabis prescribed?

Conditions could include: Cancer; Post traumatic stress disorder; Migraines; Chronic pain; Depression; Premenstrual syndrome; Psoriasis; Psoriatic arthritis; Stress; Sleep disorders; Glaucoma; HIV or AIDS; Tourette’s syndrome; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy; Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis; Crohn’s disease; Terminal illness, with an estimated life expectancy of less than one year, if the illness or its treatment produces severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or severe wasting.

How can an employer confirm that an employee is a participant of the medical cannabis program?

An employer may request an employee to show the medical cannabis prescription certifying them a prescribed user.