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CANADA: The impact of cannabis smoke on non-smokers remains unknown.

CANADA: The impact of cannabis smoke on non-smokers remains unknown.

With the legalization of cannabis, many questions arise, in particular about the impact this can have on non-smokers. Currently, the lack of scientific studies on the subject is glaring.


Second-hand smoke from cannabis is perceived as a significant problem by many Canadians. However, there is nothing to clearly define whether it represents a health risk. Since cannabis has always been illegal in Canada, there is little, if any, research on the potential harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

Studies have, however, taken place in other countries. " Among the research that exists, there is information that indicates that there are likely risks somewhat similar to smoking. Says Ms. Poulin.

The health risk of non-smokers appears to vary with the concentration of smoke in the air. " Some of the research has shown that the more space is closed and the more smoke, the more risk She continues. However, it adds a precision: " If you walk outside next to someone who smokes cannabis, you will not be under the influence [of the effects of cannabis]. ».

Some studies suggest that second-hand smoke can affect the behavior of non-smokers, adds Ginette Poulin. " There were changes in [automobile] behavior afterwards, the cognitive level [of the subjects] was reduced. Higher concentrations of THC have also been found in blood and urine She says.

The lack of studies in Canada on the harmful effects of cannabis smoke has led the Task Force on Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis to recommend that legislators expand « current limitations on smoking in public places to include the consumption of cannabis products, and cannabis vaping products ". These recommendations also supported Information for Healthcare Professionals Published by Health Canada in 2013.

Ginette Poulin supports this position. It advocates a certain precautionary principle, which is similar to current practice in the case of tobacco, " where it is recommended to try to avoid smoking near other people who do not smoke, near young people and children, or to smoke outside ».

The number of studies on the effects of marijuana smoke on non-smokers should increase once cannabis is legalized. " We need more research to know more The situation of Canadians, says Ginette Poulin. Canada is, in fact, a case apart from the other countries that have legalized marijuana, since, with the winter, Canadians spend a good part of the year locked up. " These are factors that can play a role She adds.

Some universities have, in any case, taken the lead. According to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, a team from the University of Toronto is conducting a study to find out the effects of second-hand smoke exposure to cannabis. The results will not be known before 2019 at the earliest.

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About the Author

Passionate about journalism, I decided to join the editorial team of in 2017 in order to mainly deal with vape news in North America (Canada, United States).