Cannabis extract legalization: Canadian Lung Association cautions potential users

The Canadian Lung Association is and always has been concerned about the lung health of Canadians. It is our responsibility to ensure that Canadians are educated about the harms that certain products may pose to their lung health.

Today, cannabis extracts become legal. While it will be a few months before these products are available, it is important that Canadians know the facts. We urge all Canadians who are considering vaping cannabis to learn about the potential side effects. Smoking and vaping can have negative effects on the lungs.  While vaping may be less harmful than smoking, more research needs to be done to fully understand the long-term effects of vaping cannabis.

Although the potential harms of vaping cannabis are still unknown, we do know that the inhalation of any product other than medication or fresh air can be harmful to the lungs. We know now that vaping of cannabis can lead to chronic cough, shortness of breath and chronic bronchitis. We know that the use of "vape pens" to inhale cannabis concentrates or liquids may have similar negative respiratory health effects as e-cigarette use.  If you choose to vape cannabis you should monitor and report to a medical professional any symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain and vomiting.

The Canadian Lung Association strongly cautions all Canadians to avoid smoking and vaping recreational cannabis.

Those considering vaping medical cannabis should discuss this form of usage with their healthcare providers.

We need to be cautious, vigilant and continue to push for more research and education. Legal shouldn’t be synonymous with harmless and we urge everyone to consider the potential harms before choosing to vape or smoke cannabis. Meanwhile, we will continue to advocate on behalf of all Canadians for more research and education.

Terry Dean

President and CEO

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Page Last Updated: 17/10/2019