Article by Joel Schlesinger, The Leaf News
Canada’s marijuana consumers — medical and recreational — may do a little dance of joy come Oct. 17 when our nation becomes the first major, industrialized nation to legalize cannabis.
Undoubtedly, their past experience means they’re ready to consume the product that will be offered at retail outlets in Manitoba and online.
Yet for a significant number of adults, trying cannabis will be a novel experience — or at least one they haven’t embarked on in many years. With that in mind, here’s a primer on its effects on mind and body. That way, a mind-bending adventure are less likely to result in a bad trip.
First things first: Cannabis is relatively safe compared with other psychoactive substances, including alcohol, according to a 2015 comparative risk study. There has not been a clear-cut, documented death from an overdose of cannabis.
Still, cannabis may pose higher risk of adverse outcomes for individuals with mental illness and cardiovascular disease, cautions Daniel Sitar, a retired University of Manitoba professor of pharmacology.
One reason for cannabis’s relative safety is it doesn’t depress the respiratory system like opioids do, says Sitar, who runs seminars on cannabis’s interaction with other medications.