Vermont permits adults age 21+ to purchase and possess cannabis within legal limits. Decisions about how you use cannabis (marijuana, hashish, weed, pot, etc.) and what you choose to do afterward can make consumption risky. If you choose to use, be aware that different forms of cannabis can have very different levels of THC and can cause severe reactions. The information below can help you avoid harming yourself and others.

Is cannabis dangerous?

Smoke from cannabis contains many of the same toxins and chemicals found in tobacco smoke and inhaling it can increase the risk of developing lung problems. Cannabis use can also impair your judgement and coordination.

What are the risks of driving with cannabis?

Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal and increases the risk of getting into a crash. It is also illegal to use cannabis as a passenger in any sort of operating vehicle.

Learn more at: Impaired Driving (Alcohol and Drugs) | Vermont State Highway Safety Office

How long does it take to feel the effects of cannabis?

The effects of smoking or vaping cannabis are usually felt immediately. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to feel the effects of edibles, which often have higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the active ingredient in cannabis). If you eat too much too fast, you are at higher risk for adverse reactions to cannabis.

Can people who are pregnant use cannabis?

Leading doctors' organizations recommend that people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant soon, do not use cannabis.

How does cannabis affect children and youth?

Cannabis affects children more strongly than adults. They are at higher risk for poisoning from cannabis, especially with edibles. Secondhand cannabis smoke contains THC and other chemicals that can affect the health of children. Keep children safe by storing all cannabis products in a locked area. Never use cannabis around children.

If you think a child may have consumed cannabis, call the local Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222. If you think a child needs immediate medical help, call 9-1-1.

Young people who use cannabis regularly can harm their memory and ability to learn, and use can impact the developing brain. There is also a greater risk for depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

Is cannabis dangerous to pets?

Cannabis should always be stored safely out of reach of dogs, cats and other animals. In an instance where animals are exposed to cannabis, a veterinarian should be called right away.

What is synthetic cannabis?

Synthetic cannabinoids (K2, spice, spike) are not actually cannabis, but are made from another type of plant and sprayed with chemicals produced in a laboratory. Synthetic cannabinoids affect the brain more powerfully than cannabis, and may result in nausea, anxiety, paranoia, brain swelling, seizures, hallucinations, aggression, heart palpitations or chest pains. Synthetic cannabinoids are illegal in Vermont.

If someone you know has used synthetic cannabinoids and needs help, call 9-1-1 immediately if the person stops breathing, collapses, or has a seizure. These symptoms can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Call your Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222.

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Substance Use Programs (DSU)

Vermont Department of Health
280 State Street
Waterbury, VT 05671-8340


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