Well, the Legalization of Cannabis finally expanded on Oct 17, 2019, and Health Canada has released phase 2 or Cannabis 2.0. The roll-out of edibles, extracts or smokable concentrates like distillate, rosin, wax, kief, shatter and hash has begun. Topicals are also included in the phase 2 legalization, and all of these products can now be purchased online at the Ontario Cannabis Store or at a government-regulated retail store near you.
Most people are familiar with the cannabis edibles in the form of gummies, cookies, brownies, or lollipops. Some have had really bad experiences, stating they were too high for too long, while others had the experience of “I didn’t feel a thing”. There was no consistency in the legacy market, so 1 bite might be strong and another bite might be weak. Health Canada has allowed for clean tested and restricted dosing for the legal edible cannabis class and has given an allowance for infused sweet treats like cookies, chocolate gummies, mints, candies, infused beverages, and infused kitchen staples like sugar, salt, honey, and olive oil.
The federal government has limited the amount of THC in edibles to 10mg per pack and the edibles must also be in a plain appealing child-safe container to avoid accidental consumption. No health claims can be stated on the label (pppsssss…. even though we know it has health benefits tee hee.. ). Within the limitation of THC being 10mg per package, the items inside can be dosed at 2-5mg per bite. Health Canada recommends the new cannabis user to start low and go slow with 2.5mg or less. Everyone has a different response to cannabis, so its best to drive slow, baby. Edible cannabis generally takes longer to onset, ranging from 30 minutes to 4 hours due to metabolism. The effects last longer as well ranging from 12 to 24 hours. These 2.5mg dosings won’t do anything for some, while others will be right in the happy zone. Good for sleepy time and pain management, consumers who are trying not to harm their lungs while getting the benefit from cannabis without smoking.
Extracts are very new to the recreational public. Extracts used to be something you could only get from a medical professional or on the black market. For those that are new to the extract world, they are highly concentrated forms of THC extracted in different forms taken directly from dried cannabis flower for different unique results and products. These extracts can be ingested or inhaled. In this phase Health Canada will be allowing the recreational purchase of these extracts in different forms. Vape pens are now on the market, the famous 510 thread or universal battery cartridge combination model. These will be available in different strains, ranging in percentages of 60-85% THC. That’s outrageous!. There are also disposable pens for nights out at a concert for a discrete toke or for those times you don’t want to smell on your way into work and just need a little buzz. These disposable pens will come in .25g, .3g and .5g cartridge quantities and similar THC percentages. Wax, rosin, shatter and hash can all be smoked using a device like a rig or a water pipe. These extracts will have a limit of 1000mg per package with all the same requirements on the package as edibles. All of these products are safe, clean, tested products available for the retail public. Health Canada recommends new consumers start with 1-2 puffs. That’s the equivalent of 100mg of a smokable extract, as the THC amounts are much higher than dried cannabis flower. The onset of smokable extracts are similar to smoking dried cannabis, within minutes of inhaling and the effects can last up to 4-6 hours.
Topicals are also new to the recreational retail public. These products are now available for use on hair, skin, and nails – not ingestion. These products will also be sold at regulated retail stores and on the site mentioned above. Topicals have come on the market for the use and aid of pain management and skin care, however more products will come to market including bath bombs, suppositories, patches, and cosmetic products. THC and CBD are known for their aid in pain reduction and inflammation but they have many other benefits as well. Health Canada is allowing the purchase of cannabis infused shampoos, soaps, scrubs, bath bombs, lotions and salves, as well as cosmetics and beauty products. Topicals will be limited to 1000mg of THC or CBD per container. Similar label requirements apply to topical products as the edibles and extracts.
With the roll out of all these new products in phase 2 of Canadian cannabis legalization, it’s a very exciting time for this market and for the regulated grower/ manufacturer to create high quality products for sales. For the consumer to be able to purchase safe, clean tested, high quality products and be able to use cannabis for whatever they want whether it’s for medical use or recreational use, there is a world of discovery and we are all on an adventure of cannabis learning.
As always smoke responsibly and smoke in moderation!