Composition of Cannabis

  • Cannabis contains hundreds of chemical substances; over 100 are known cannabinoids.
  • Cannabinoids - class of chemical compounds that act on receptors in cells in the brain and body.
  • Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - most studied component of cannabis and is the chemical responsible for the psychoactive effect or “high”.
  • Cannabidiol (CBD) may be useful in treating treatment-resistant epilepsy in children and adults.
  • CBD does not produce a high.
  • Some low THC strains have been used in patients with chronic pain who do not want the psychoactive effect. (Goldsmith et al., 2015).

Forms of Cannabis

Cannabis is most often inhaled as smoke as a dried herbal product, either alone or as a concentrate mixed with tobacco, but can also be vaporized.

The flower of the cannabis plant can be made into a variety of products, including:

  • Dried herbal material (i.e., “marijuana”),
  • Oil (e.g., “hash oil”),
  • Hash (i.e., compressed resin),
  • Concentrates (e.g., “shatter”), or
  • Foods and beverages containing extracts of cannabis (Government of Canada, 2015).
  • Cannabis can also be ingested by pill form or in food, or absorbed through the skin via creams, salves, or skin patches.

Ontario Legislation

  • Ontario has strict rules in place to make sure workplaces are safe.
  • Consuming recreational cannabis in the workplace remains illegal after legalization which occurred on October 17, 2018.
  • Employers (and supervisors):
    • need to know the rules for medical cannabis
    • are required to address workplace hazards, under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)
  • Employees and workers:
    • who are unable or unfit to work safely could be a hazard to themselves or to others in the workplace
    • have a duty to perform work safely and to report any hazards to their supervisor or employer under the OHSA

Where Smoking & Vaping Of Medical And Recreational Cannabis Is Prohibited And Permitted

  • Smoking or vaping cannabis in an enclosed public place or enclosed workplace is prohibited.
  • Employers can still restrict cannabis use in non-enclosed workplaces as they do for tobacco smoking.
  • The smoking and vaping of cannabis is not prohibited in private dwellings, unless the private dwelling is also an enclosed workplace (e.g. long-term care homes).
  • The use of cannabis in private dwellings may be restricted in lease agreements and condominium by-laws.
  • There are some exemptions for the smoking and vaping of cannabis in indoor rooms in certain specified residential facilities – that also serve as enclosed workplaces (e.g. long-term care homes) – if control requirements for the room are met.


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