Cannabis Information

Lock cannabis products up high, label them and keep kids safe

Cannabis products can be dangerous to children. Cannabis poisoning in babies and children is a medical emergency.

Signs of Cannabis ingestion in children include:

  • Changes in mood such as confusion
  • Agitation or sleepiness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Balance problems and difficulty breathing

If you or your child has accidentally consumed cannabis or other drugs or medication, contact the Ontario Poison Control Centre at 1-800-268-9017. 

If your child is ill and/or has difficulty breathing call 9-1-1

Woman in a thinking pose

Thinking of having a child?

Cannabis can affect the quality of the sperm or egg. Cannabis use during pregnancy can result in a higher risk of babies being born too soon or too small. Children may also develop learning problems as they grow. It is safer to not use cannabis before planning a pregnancy.

More info.

If you can’t or don’t want to stop using cannabis completely:

  • Try using less, and less often.
  • Choose a cannabis product with a lower amount of THC.
  • Avoid second-hand cannabis smoke. Make your home and car smoke free. If you smoke, do it outside and ask family members and visitors to do the same.
  • Avoid mixing or consuming cannabis with alcohol, tobacco, prescription and/or non-prescription medications.

  • Consider using cannabis products you can eat, such as oils, capsules or edibles rather than smoking to protect your lungs. Start with the least amount of THC possible and be aware the effects are delayed.

Learn about other substances and how to plan for a safe pregnancy. 

Toddler hugging a pregnant woman’s belly

Information for pregnant parents

Cannabis is a plant that has hundreds of chemicals. Some of these chemicals are called cannabinoids, like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is psychoactive, meaning it affects the way your brain thinks and feels. No matter how cannabis is used, THC can pass through the placenta to your developing baby.

More info.

Current research indicates that there is no safe amount or safe time to use cannabis during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.  The safest choice is to not use cannabis once you decide to get pregnant and once you are pregnant.

 

Using cannabis while you are pregnant can result in:

  • Low birth weight, meaning babies that are born too small.  Low birth weight babies can have health problems as they grow. 
  • Babies may not sleep well and may be fussier.
  • Children may have problems with behavior, learning, memory and mental health as they grow up.

What if you are pregnant and smoke cannabis?

The safest choice is to not use cannabis once you decide to get pregnant and once you are pregnant.

Burning cannabis and rolling papers produces smoke that has the same harmful chemicals and carcinogens as the smoke caused by burning cigarettes. These harmful chemicals are made by the process of burning and are not found in the cannabis plant.

To protect yourself and your baby from second-hand smoke, ask your partner, family and friends to not to smoke cannabis around you or your children. You can also encourage your partner, family and friends to use lower risk ways to use, like cannabis products you can eat, such as oils, capsules or edibles rather than smoking to protect your lungs. Start with the least amount of THC possible and be aware the effects are delayed.

Nausea and vomiting

Women who have nausea and vomiting during pregnancy should talk with their health care provider about safe treatment options.  Due to the potential harm of using cannabis during pregnancy, women should not self-medicate with cannabis to treat morning sickness.

Woman breastfeeding a baby

Information for breastfeeding and chestfeeding parents

Cannabis is a plant that has hundreds of chemicals. Some of these chemicals are called cannabinoids, like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is psychoactive, meaning it affects you brain and the way you think, act and feel. No matter how cannabis is used, THC is absorbed and stored in body fat and human milk. This means it can be passed to your baby through human milk. There is no known safe amount of cannabis in human milk. Although not much research has been done on the topic, it has been shown that babies who have been exposed to THC through human milk may have reduced muscular tone, increased drowsiness, poor sucking and slow weight gain.

More info.

Breastfeeding/chestfeeding is important for the health of baby and parent.  It is safest to stop using cannabis while breastfeeding/chestfeeding.

  • If you can’t or don’t want to stop using cannabis completely, try using less, and less often.
  • Use a cannabis product with a lower amount of THC.
  • Avoid second-hand cannabis smoke for both you and your baby. To protect you and your children make your home and car smoke free. If you smoke, do it outside and ask family members and visitors to do the same.
  • Consider using cannabis products you can eat, such as oils, capsules or edibles rather than smoking to protect your lungs. Start with the least amount of THC possible and be aware the effects are delayed.
  • Avoid combining cannabis with alcohol, tobacco, prescription and/or non-prescription medications.

Learn about other substances and how they affect breastfeeding babies.

Toddler holding and hugging baby

Information for parents of babies and toddlers

Babies and toddlers love to touch, hold, climb and explore. It is important for your home to be a safe place for them to explore. Homes often contain dangerous or poisonous substances within reach of a child. The leading cause of poisoning in children is eating medications.

More info.

Here are some tips to childproof your home and to keep harmful substances out of reach of children:

  • Keep track of all medicines and other drugs in your home including the ones of your visitors.
  • Keep harmful substances in the original packaging.
  • Keep harmful substances in a locked place that is out of reach and out of sight of children.
  • Never tell your child that medicine tastes like candy.
  • Keep important poison control numbers handy.

Edible cannabis products often look like foods that are very appealing to children. Don’t rely on the packaging alone to keep your child safe, child resistant and childproof is not a guarantee.

Second-hand cannabis smoke is harmful for everyone. It may result in illness in infants and young children, and can also affect their alertness, understanding and judgment. It is safest not to smoke cannabis in your home or around your child. To protect you and your children make your home and car smoke free. If you smoke, do it outside and ask family members and visitors to do the same.

For more information, visit second hand smoke.

If you or your child has accidentally consumed drugs or medication, contact the Ontario Poison Control Centre at 1-800-268-9017. 

Cannabis poisoning in babies and children is a medical emergency.

Symptoms of cannabis poisoning in children include:

  • Changes in mood such as confusion
  • Agitation or sleepiness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Balance problems and difficulty breathing

Call 9-1-1 if your child is ill and/or has difficulty breathing.

 

Three children reading a book

Information for parents of children 4 to 11

Children love to touch, hold, climb and explore. It is important for your home to be a safe place for them to explore. Homes often contain dangerous or poisonous substances within reach of a child. The leading cause of poisoning in  children is eating medications.

More info.

Here are some tips childproof your home to keep harmful substances out of reach of children:

  • Keep track of all medicines or other drugs in your home.
  • Keep harmful substances stored in its original packaging.
  • Keep harmful substances stored in a locked place that is out of reach and out of sight of children (includes alcohol, prescription and non-prescription medicines).
  • Don't rely on packaging - child-resistant does not mean childproof.
  • Medicine isn’t candy; never tell your child that a medicine tastes like candy.
  • Keep important poison control numbers handy.
  • Keep visitors’ belongings out of your child's reach just as you do your own. Visitors may have unsafe and dangerous products with them.

Edible cannabis products often look like foods that are very appealing to children. Don’t rely on the packaging alone to keep your child safe, child resistant or childproof is not a guarantee. Keep edible cannabis products out of reach of children.

Second-hand cannabis smoke is harmful for everyone. It may result in illness in infants and young children, and can also affect their alertness, understanding and judgment. It is safest not to smoke cannabis in your home or around your child. To protect you and your children make your home and car smoke free. If you smoke, do it outside and ask family members and visitors to do the same.

 

For more information, visit second hand smoke.

If you or your child has accidentally consumed drugs or medication, contact the Ontario Poison Control Centre at 1-800-268-9017. 

Cannabis poisoning in babies and children is a medical emergency.

Symptoms of cannabis poisoning in children include:

  • Changes in mood such as confusion
  • Agitation or sleepiness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Balance problems and difficulty breathing

Call 9-1-1 if your child is ill and/or has difficulty breathing.

Information for parents and their youth

Cannabis is now legal in Canada for people 19 years of age and older in Ontario. It remains illegal for those under 19 in Ontario.

The teen years are a time for major changes, both physically and emotionally. They are also a time when your teen may choose to use drugs, like cannabis.

More info.

To help you support your teen through this time, here are some topics you may find helpful in getting started:

If you consume cannabis and want help to reduce your consumption or would like help quitting, you can:

See System Navigation for more information.

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