Windsor

Have a history of mental illness? Pregnant? Avoid cannabis altogether, says health unit

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has launched a new campaign on cannabis use prevention and safety.

Windsor health unit launches cannabis use prevention and safety campaign

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has launched a new campaign on cannabis use prevention and safety. (Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images)

Pregnant women, and those with a history of mental illness, should avoid cannabis use altogether, according to a new safety campaign from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

The health unit says the campaign, Cannabis — Your Questions, Answered, is "rooted in available research and evidence gathered about cannabis use across Ontario" and addresses a number of misconceptions about the drug.

"Some people think that just because a product has become legal, it might be safe," said Eric Nadalin, manager of chronic disease and injury prevention.

"But not unlike things like alcohol or tobacco, cannabis use involves a number of risks for both physical and mental health, including growth and cognitive development for people under the age of 25."

Health Canada is also getting involved in educational campaigns about cannabis consumption. This week, people in Windsor received these information cards in the mail. (Bob Becken/CBC)

Though the health unit advises "some populations" completely avoid cannabis altogether, Nadalin added there are safer ways of consuming the drug — like avoiding "deep inhalation" or "breath-holding."

The campaign notes that cannabis can cause "unpleasant, unwanted or negative effects" to the brain and body, like increased risk of injury, shortness of breath and uncontrollable vomiting.

As for long-term ramifications, the WECHU lists effects like addiction, the lowering of IQ, poorer decision-making skills and lung infections.

The full campaign can be viewed on the health unit's website.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sanjay Maru is a reporter at CBC Windsor. Email him at sanjay.maru@cbc.ca.

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