Edibles, extracts, topicals, and vapes are finally legal in Canada. Billed as Legalization 2.0, the regulations came into effect on October 17, 2019 and products have slowly begun to trickle onto the market ever since.
From how to consume, to what to consume, here’s everything Canadians need to know about Legalization 2.0.
Cannabis-infused edibles are now available for sale through licensed retailers in Canada, though there are strict rules around marketing and dosing, including a limit of 10 mg of THC per packaged item.
Edibles in the form of food products, lozenges, and beverages can produce effective, long-lasting, and safe experiences. These forms of cannabis can also produce unpredictable effects that may feel like overdose symptoms. The difference is, of course, the dose, although it’s worth noting that while consuming too much can feel very unpleasant, no one has ever died from it.
It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours for an edible to fully kick in. Health Canada suggests that adults who use cannabis, regardless of how they consume it, shouldn’t combine it with alcohol, nicotine or other drugs.
Topicals are cannabis-infused products intended for your skin. Common types of topicals include creams, lotions, balms, bath products, and transdermal patches.
With the exception of transdermal patches, which are designed to breach the bloodstream, topicals are typically not intoxicating, and are valued for their potential to provide localized relief from pain and inflammation without a high.
Extracts and concentrates are umbrella terms for a broad range of cannabis products regulated by Health Canada. Inclusive of cannabis oils (for both ingestion and inhalation), hash, tinctures, dabs, and vape cartridges, extracts are subject to a maximum of 1000 mg THC per package, and must be free of additives such as vitamins, minerals, caffeine, alcohol, sugars, sweeteners or colours.
Vaporizing, or vaping cannabis, is a smokeless process that involves heating dry flower or concentrate to a temperature below combustion, usually in the range of 180 to 200°C (356 to 392°F). The heat releases active compounds, like cannabinoids and terpenes, and turns them into a vapour that can be inhaled.
Devices for vaporizing dry cannabis flower have been available on Canada’s medical market since long before adult recreational use was legalized. With Legalization 2.0, extract-filled vape pens have become popular for their ease of use, portability, and because they offer more consistent dosing than other methods of inhaling marijuana.