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"Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines" (LRCUG)

The Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines (LRCUG) are an updated evidence-based public health intervention tool, allowing cannabis users to modify and reduce their risks for health harms associated with cannabis use based on scientific recommendations. The updated LRCUG were developed by a team of renowned addiction and health science experts and were based on a rigorous review and expert guideline process led by Dr. Benedikt Fischer; The original LRCUG were published in 2011 in the Canadian Journal of Public Health. As cannabis was legalized in Canada in October, 2018, an update of the LRCUG was a timely and essential undertaking, as the guidelines offer a potentially valuable population-level tool to reduce the risk for adverse health outcomes from cannabis use among (especially young) users. The LRCUG include 10 core harm-reduction-based recommendations. The scientific version of the updated LRCUG has been published in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) (copy on request). 

The following knowledge translation materials for the LRCUG have been updated and are currently available for public use: 

  1. A revised ‘Public Brochure’ version (mainly for cannabis users; available in both English and French)
  2. A 'By Youth for Youth' version (mainly for young people; available in both English and French). A Youth Resource Link was also developed. 
  3. LRCUG Poster (mainly for public health professionals; available in both English and French)
  4. LRCUG Postcard (mainly for public health professionals; bilingual document)
  5. A ‘Summary Brief’ version of the LRCUG (mainly for health professionals)
  6. Infographic of the LRCUG Recommendations (mainly for media/online purposes; available in both English and French).

The products are available by order from the CAMH Store [Email:]

The LRCUG have received authoritative national endorsements from seven 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 (CCMOH), Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM), Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) 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).


LRCUG for Public Health Professionals:

In March, 2018, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) reached out to OCRINT to collaborate in order to translate the LRCUG into a suite of knowledge mobilzation tools specifically tailored to public health professionals. After consultations with a steering committee formed of members from key public health groups (e.g. Pan Canadian Public Health Network, Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health, Rural and Remote Public Health Network, Urban Public Health Network, the Canadian Public Health Association and the Canadian Nurses Association), the OCRINT team developed five distinct knowledge translation products, and hosted a webinar in March, 2019, aiming to help public health professionals better understand the guidelines and be able to confidently share this knowledge with their networks and clients. 

PHAC/LRCUG Knowledge Translation Products: 

Poster for Public Health Professionals (English) (French)

Post Card for Public Health Professionals (Bilingual)

Evidence Brief for Public Health Professionals (English) (French)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Public Health Professionals (English) (French)

PowerPoint Presentation Slide Deck for Public Health Professionals (English) (French)

Webinar recording for Public Health Professionals (English)