Be aware of risks using cannabis with other substances

April 20, 2022

EDMONTON – This 4/20, Alberta Health Services (AHS) reminds Albertans that mixing cannabis with alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes or other drugs can increase impairment that leads to injuries and/or risky behaviours, such as driving or operating machinery after using, or risky sexual practices.

As such, AHS does not recommend using cannabis in combination with other substances.

According to the 2021 Canadian Cannabis Survey, a quarter of Canadians over the age of 16 reported using cannabis for non-medical purposes in the previous 12 months. Of people who had used cannabis in the previous 12 months, about two-thirds had used cannabis and alcohol in combination, and about a third had used cannabis and tobacco in combination. In 2017, in Alberta, those with a current smoking status were more than four times more likely to report using cannabis at least weekly than those who do not smoke.

Smoking both cannabis and tobacco together is harmful to health. Smoking directly damages lungs and can cause breathing problems. Smoking both cannabis and tobacco is particularly harmful due to exposure to chemicals and compounds from both, such as benzene and tar, which are known to cause cancer. Smoking tobacco and cannabis together can also cause nicotine dependence and increases the risk of cannabis dependence.

All forms of cannabis and tobacco have health risks. The only way to completely avoid these risks is by choosing not to use. If you choose to use cannabis, here are some tips to lower your risk:

If you are concerned about your own or someone else’s use of cannabis, alcohol, or another drug, please contact Health Link at 811 or the Addiction Helpline at 1-866-332-2322.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.