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About Cannabis

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How can you be safer when using cannabis?

Cannabis is used in lots of different ways and can effect everyone differently. It is a good idea to think about the ways you can be safer when you use. 

If you are using edibles, wait an hour to feel the effects before taking more. When cannabis is smoked, the effects kick in quite quickly. However, when you take cannabis in an oil or in an 'edible' (like a weed brownie) it takes a bit longer to feel high. Waiting for an hour before taking more orally will reduce the chance of greening out. 

Try to avoid mixing cannabis with tobacco. Tobacco is highly addictive, and if you are mixing it with cannabis often and smoking them together, you might find yourself craving nicotine regularly. It can also do more damage to your lungs. 

Avoid using cannabis regularly to help you sleep. This can lead to dependence if it becomes a regular part of your sleeping routine. It can also cause insomnia if you stop using cannabis, which can make withdrawal much harder. 

Check your cannabis for signs that it is synthetic cannabinoids. It is a good idea to smell your cannabis before you use it. If it has an usual or chemical smell it is likely to be synthetic cannabinoids. These drugs have much different and more dangerous effects than cannabis. Unfortunately, cannabis is plant material, so it is difficult for it to be tested at a drug checking clinic using a spectrometer.  There are other machines that can more reliably test these drugs, but they are not currently available in New Zealand. There are also no reagent tests available for cannabis. 

For more information on how to be safer when using drugs and alcohol, see Safer using

To order PotHelp Workbooks that support people to make changes to their cannabis use and other free resources for safer use, see Resources

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