“One of marihuana’s greatest advantages as a medicine is its remarkable safety. It has little effect on major physiological functions. There is no known case of a lethal overdose... Marihuana is also far less addictive and far less subject to abuse than many drugs now used as muscle relaxants, hypnotics, and analgesics."
— Grinspoon L, Bakalar JB. Marihuana as Medicine: A Plea for Reconsideration. Journal of the American Medical Association. 1995;273(23):1875–1876. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520470083037
Please keep the following in mind if you are using medical cannabis.
- Keep your medication safely out of reach of children and pets.
- Do not smoke or vaporize cannabis in the presence of children. (We recommend against smoking).
- Do not share your medication with anyone.
- Make sure your doctor and nurse are aware of other medications you are using.
- Do not take sedatives or alcohol while medicated with cannabis.
- Do not take cannabis if you are breastfeeding, pregnant, or planning to get pregnant.
- Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until at least 8 hours have passed since your last dose.
- If ingesting orally (e.g. oil drops or capsules), wait at least 2 hours between doses to ensure you understand or feel the first dose’s effect before taking more.
- Do not smoke cannabis.
- Purchase only from a Licensed Producer.
- If you are leaving Canada, leave your cannabis at home.
- Keep your medication in its original packaging and labelling, especially if transporting within Canada.
- If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency medical issues, call your provincial health hotline (ON: 1-866-797-0000; AB, BC, SK, NB, QC: 8-1-1; other provinces and territories: check your local phone directory).
Intoxication and overdosing
The component of cannabis responsible for its intoxicating effect is THC. Intoxicating amounts of THC are usually not required for medical applications, except in certain situations. There is also some evidence to suggest that the intoxicating effects of THC can be counter-acted (i.e. neutralized) by the presence of CBD, which is non-intoxicating. There are a variety of products that have different ratios between THC and CBD, including products with minimal or trace amounts of THC.
At Wayfare our aim is to get you to relief with minimum (if any) unwanted effects.
There are no documented cases of cannabis use directly causing death. If you find you have taken too much, remember the effects will wear off in a few hours. Stay calm and find a quiet place to relax until the unpleasant feelings go away. Here's an article on why overdose might be the wrong word when it comes to cannabis.
Cannabis interactions with other drugs
CBD does interfere with liver enzymes that are involved in metabolizing certain drugs, such as blood thinners. The result is that you may have more of these drugs in your system than you would without the CBD present. Your doctor may want to do additional blood testing to ensure that your other medications are at the right levels after you've begun taking CBD. A good rule of thumb is if your medication has a "grapefruit warning", there is a potential interaction with CBD as well. We always recommend using CBD only under the supervision of a health care professional.
A recent study in mice showed a potential negative interaction when CBD is taken with acetaminophen, but scientists are still trying to determine if these results translate to humans.
Medical cannabis and driving
There are many factors that influence how cannabis will affect you, including prior use, amount taken, amount of THC vs. CBD, whether you ingested it or vaporized it, whether you combined it with alcohol and/or food, and others. Unlike alcohol, there is no reliable formula for determining how much you can take, in what period of time, to remain under the legal limit.
Keep in mind that if you are using cannabis oil or edibles, it might take up to 2 hours before you feel the effect, and that cannabis effects can last 8-12 hours.
Many patients are using primarily CBD during the day and maybe adding a higher amount of THC before bed if required.
If you feel intoxicated, whether from cannabis, other drugs, alcohol, or even lack of sleep, don't drive.
Here are a couple of good resources on cannabis and driving:
Working while using medical cannabis
Some cannabis products are sedating, while others may be uplifting. Which product(s) is right for you depends on your needs and your body’s response to the products we try. Again, our aim is to get you relief with a minimum of unwanted effects.
Do not operate heavy machinery within 8 hours of using cannabis.
Employers have a “duty to accommodate” people with medical conditions, up to the point where it causes “undue hardship” for the employer to do so. This duty extends to individuals who have been prescribed medical cannabis.
That said, employers have a right to insist an individual is “fit for work” or “fit for duty”. That is, the employee must be medically capable of performing the work assigned to them. The employer may ask for an assessment by a medical professional to determine that this is the case. Where the safety of the employee or of others is at risk, the employer will exercise extreme caution before allowing the employee to perform their duties. You are advised to check with your Human Resources department prior to undertaking cannabis treatment.