Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines

On October 17, 2018, the adult use of cannabis will become legal in Canada. Legalization provides an opportunity not only to regulate the use and supply of cannabis, but also to educate and inform cannabis users to prevent or reduce cannabis-related health problems.

The Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines for Canada (LRCUG) represent a public health approach to reduce the health risks and burden of disease associated with cannabis use. The LRCUG are an evidence-based intervention tool, allowing cannabis users to modify and reduce their risks for health harms by following scientifically grounded recommendations.

The Guidelines were developed by the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) and published in the June 2017 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

While the first guideline recommendation is to abstain from cannabis use to avoid all risks, the remaining recommendations address the elevated potential of risks related to initiating use at a young age, high potency products, alternative delivery systems, heavy use and driving, as well as identifying people at higher risk of problems – with concrete recommendations for risk reduction in each case.

Evidence summary for health professionals:

Public brochure for people who use cannabis:

The full guidelines can be found here:

Other resources:
Sensible Cannabis Education: A Toolkit for Educating Youth (Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy):

Let’s Talk Cannabis (Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research):

Coming Up… BCCSU is developing brand new cannabis use disorder modules for the online diploma coming December 2018.