How can I reduce the risks of cannabis use?

Not using cannabis is the best way to prevent risk. If you decide to use cannabis, you can reduce the risks by following the lower risk recommendations for non-medical cannabis use below.

  • Try a small amount at first to test the strength of the cannabis that you are using. Wait for it to take effect before deciding whether to have more.
  • Avoid using cannabis with high amounts of THC since these products can be worse for your health. Try to find products that are low in THC and high CBD. Click here to learn more about THC and CBD. 
  • Avoid using what are called synthetic cannabinoids. Examples include Spice and K2. These are made with dangerous chemicals. They are known to cause serious health problems, including death.
  • Do not use cannabis and drive. This includes cars, trucks, four-wheelers, snowmobiles, boats and other vehicles.

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  • Delay cannabis use for as long as possible and avoid using at an early age, especially before the age of 16. The later you begin using cannabis, the lower the risks are to your health.
  • Avoid smoking cannabis. Smoking it may damage your ability to breathe easily.  Be sure to educate yourself on the risks of using cannabis in other ways.
  • Avoid using cannabis every day or nearly every day. If you are going to use it, once a week or less is recommended.

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  • Avoid cannabis if you or your family has a history of mental illness. You should also avoid it if there is a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
  • Avoid using cannabis if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Cannabis can have negative and lasting impacts on the baby.


  • If you decide to smoke cannabis, avoid inhaling it deeply or holding your breath since this can increase the amount of toxins that the lungs take in.
  • Avoid using cannabis with tobacco. This can increase health risks and breathing problems.

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You should avoid mixing cannabis with other drugs or alcohol. This includes prescription drugs.

For more information on how to lower the risks from using cannabis for youth and adults, click on the links below.

For Youth

For Adults



Choose to be Informed

Cannabis Rack Cards