The Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines (LRCUG) are an evidence-based public health intervention tool, allowing cannabis users to modify and reduce their risks for health harms associated with cannabis use based on science-based recommendations. The original LRCUG were published in 2011 based on a (CIHR-funded) ‘Applied Public Health Chair’ project; the present version is the result of a comprehensive scientific update and revisions by a team of renowned addiction and health science experts, and based on a rigorous review and expert guidelines process led by Dr. Benedikt Fischer (NPI/Ontario CRISM Node). With impending cannabis legalization in Canada, the LRCUG offer a potentially valuable population-level tool to reduce risk for adverse health outcomes from cannabis use among (especially young) users, based on the LRCUG’s 10 core recommendations.

As one of CRISM’s initial evidence-based intervention projects, the LRCUG have received authoritative national endorsements from six leading national medical, public health and substance use organizations: Canadian Medical Association (CMA), Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA), Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health (in principle) (CCMOH),Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM), Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). The LRCUG have, furthermore, been welcomed and supported by the federal Minister of Health and endorsed by the Ontario government in its official cannabis legalization strategy (see under Prevention & Harm Reduction).

The LRCUG were officially launched and tabled nationally in Ottawa on 23 June 2017. Following their launch, the LRCUG will be ‘knowledge translated’ and distributed to governments, public health education and prevention authorities and professionals at all levels for implementation and further dissemination – supported by initial KT materials available – through the CRISM’s four Nodes as well as other collaborator and partners.

The scientific version of the LRCUG have been published in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) (copy on request). The following KT materials for the LRCUG are currently available for public use:

  1. ‘Summary Brief’ version of the LRCUG (mainly for health professionals)
  2. A ‘Public Brochure’ version (mainly for cannabis users; available in both English and French)
  3. Youth-specific Brochures (available in both English and French)
  4. Infographic of the LRCUG Recommendations (mainly for media/online purposes; available in both English and French).
  5. NEW – Webinar and slide deck are now available here
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