Cannabis and your health

At Yukon Liquor Corporation and Cannabis Yukon, we encourage and promote the responsible use of our products. We will ensure cannabis distribution and sales will prioritize restricting access to minors, eliminating the criminal element, ensuring health and safety standards, and providing public education. We highly recommend reading and following the Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines. Also available in French.

If you or someone you know needs support for problematic use of cannabis, contact your healthcare
practitioner or your local addiction treatment centre.

Health topics

Health effects of cannabis use while pregnant or breastfeeding

You should not use cannabis if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It poses a risk to the fetus or newborn child. Heavy cannabis use is linked to lower birth weight. There may also be other health risks associated with cannabis use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

At any age, cannabis use affects the way the brain functions. This includes impacts on:

  • Attention 
  • Memory
  • Learning
Short-term effects of cannabis use

Short-term effects of cannabis include:

  • feeling happy;
  • relaxation;
  • increased sociability;
  • heightened sensation;
  • problems with memory and learning;
  • distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch);
  • trouble with thinking and problem solving;
  • body tremors;
  • loss of motor coordination;
  • increased heart rate; and
  • anxiety.

It is important to remember that the effects of cannabis are different for every person. Mixing other drugs or alcohol with cannabis may make these effects even greater.

Using cannabis, like alcohol and tobacco or any other drug, can lead to addiction.

You can find more information on the potential health harms of cannabis from Health Canada and the Government of Yukon.

Cannabis addiction

Estimates show that 1 out of 11 (or 9%) of those who use cannabis in their lifetime will become addicted to cannabis. This rate increases to 16% for those who start using cannabis during adolescence and up to 1 out of 2 people who smoke cannabis daily.

If you need to talk about your consumption or have questions call 1-866-456-3838 (toll-free).

Choose lower-risk cannabis products

Cannabis products with higher THC content are more likely to result in harm. Conversely, products with high CBD-to-THC ratio have lower risks. You should check the packaging and/or ask cannabis retail employees for information about what you’re buying.

Mixing cannabis and alcohol

Mixing cannabis and alcohol can have unpredictable effects:

  • It makes the risks associated with each drug more severe.
  • It substantially increases the risk of motor vehicle crashes.
  • Decreased awareness, increased chance of risky sexual behavior.
  • Increased feelings of anxiety, panic, or paranoia.
  • Getting too intoxicated, vomiting, dizziness or fainting.
Avoid smoking cannabis

Smoking cannabis, especially when combined with tobacco, can harm the lungs and respiratory system. You should instead choose other methods such as vaporizers or edibles, but should recognize that these also come with risks. For example, because the psychoactive effects of edibles are delayed people may consume a larger dose and experience more severe intoxication.

Synthetic cannabis products

Compared to natural cannabis products such as marijuana, synthetic cannabis products (such as K2 or Spice) can lead to more severe health problems, or even death. If people use cannabis, they should choose natural cannabis products available through legal sources.

Responsible sales

It is important that all cannabis retailers have the training they need to sell cannabis responsibly. The Yukon Liquor Corporation has a mandatory cannabis server course, BARS-Cannabis, to insure retail staff have the knowledge to conduct sales responsibly.

Through this training retail staff will help consumers make informed and safe choices and understand their responsibilities to their customers. This includes educating customers about lower-risk cannabis consumption, as well as recognizing visible signs of intoxication by cannabis and/or alcohol. As with alcohol, it is illegal to sell cannabis to a person who appears to under the influence of an intoxicate or is underage.

Contact the Yukon Liquor Corporation at Yukon.Liquor@gov.yk.ca or 867 393-6306 for information on how to take the BARS-Cannabis course. 

Protecting minors

As an adult who uses cannabis it is your responsibility to make sure people, who are under 19 years of age, do not have access to cannabis or cannabis plants that are in your possession.

Only those individuals who are 19 years of age or older may buy cannabis online and may receive it in the mail through Canada Post. 

The brain does not stop developing until around age 25. The younger you are when you begin cannabis use and the more often and the longer you use it, the more likely that it will have a bigger impact on your brain.

The difference between non-medical cannabis and medical cannabis

Both medical and non-medical cannabis products may contain THC and/or CBD. Although medical and non-medical cannabis products are similar, the products fall under different laws and a different set of rules.

Retail staff at non-medical cannabis stores are not authorized to give medical advice.

Yukon’s Cannabis Control and Regulation Act applies to non-medical cannabis only.

For information about how to access medical cannabis visit Health Canada or if you require advice on using cannabis for medical reasons, please speak to your doctor or another medical professional.