Cannabis on campus

What you need to know about legal cannabis on campus.  

Safer cannabis use

If you choose to consume cannabis, there are ways to do it as safely as possible. This page contains lower-risk guidelines for cannabis consumption and information about laws and by-laws that could impact you.

In Alberta:

  • Anyone 18+ can purchase from a licensed retailer
  • You can buy or carry up to 30 grams (1.05 ounces) at a time
  • Driving high is illegal and cannabis should be transported out of reach of anyone in a vehicle
  • Four plants can be grown per household
  • Edibles aren’t legal to sell
  • Landlord/tenant agreements or condo bylaws may restrict cannabis consumption in rental units

In Calgary:

  • Recreational use of cannabis isn’t allowed in any public space, in vehicles or at cannabis retail outlets

  • Medically authorized cannabis can be used in areas included in smoking and vaping bylaws
  • Cannabis consumption is allowed on your private property

On Campus:

  • Recreational cannabis use isn’t allowed on campus – including residence, vehicles or facilities
  • Medically authorized cannabis can be used in designated smoking areas
  • If you have cannabis or cannabis accessories on campus, ensure they are stowed in sealed, scent-proof containers
  • Growing, selling and advertising cannabis isn’t allowed on campus

Read up on the UCalgary Cannabis Policy

Look for lower-risk products 

Cannabis products with higher THC are more likely to result in harm, while CBD can counteract some of THC’s adverse effects. Choosing products with a higher CBD to THC ratio reduces some risks.

Let the smoke out 

Avoid “deep inhalation” or “breath-holding.” While these practices are meant to increase psychoactive experiences, they also increase the amount of toxic material absorbed by your body.

Choose natural products 

Compared to natural cannabis products, synthetic products can lead to severe health problems, and have resulted in deaths.

Occasional use is best 

Daily cannabis use is linked to higher risk of health and social problems. Limit yourself to occasional use, like weekends or one day per week.

Wait a while before driving 

Cannabis use causes impairment and increases your risk of being involved in an accident. Wait at least six hours after using before driving.

When to avoid using 

If you or an immediate family member has a history of psychosis or substance use issues, you may have an increased risk of cannabis-related mental health concerns. Avoid using cannabis when pregnant.

Source: 2017 Canada’s Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

If you’re planning to consume cannabis, here’s some information about what you can expect. If you’re thinking about working, studying or driving, keep in mind functional impairment can last for 24 hours or longer after the duration of the initial high.


There’s a variety of cannabis strains, concentrations and potency that can be smoked in joint form or using a pipe, bong or other accessories. 

OnsetWithin seconds 

Duration of high: one to three hours


The cannabis is heated at a lower temperature than burning, and the vapour is inhaled. Vaping creates less odour and smoke than smoking and potentially less toxins. 

OnsetWithin seconds 

Duration of high: one to three hours


Cannabis butter or oil is used as an ingredient in a variety of baked goods, beverages or candy. The effects last longer, and it can be hard to determine potency. 

Onset: Up to 90 minutes 

Duration of high: four to six hours


Tinctures are usually made by dissolving cannabis in alcohol. Specific concentrations are made and taken under the tongue. 

Onset20-30 minutes 

Duration of highSeveral hours


Dabs are chemically concentrated products with high levels of THC. These can have stronger effects and more risks than other consumption methods. 

OnsetWithin seconds 

Duration of high: one to three hours

Source: 2018 Be Well: Safer Cannabis Use. University of Saskatchewan.

How often are UCalgary students using cannabis? 

  • 69.7 per cent reported no cannabis use in the past six months 
  • 17.3 per cent used cannabis monthly or less 
  • 5.8 per cent used two to four times a month 
  • 3.5 per cent used two to three times a week 
  • 3.7 per cent used four or more times a week

 Source: 2018 UCalgary Campus Experience with Cannabis Survey.

Reduce your risk

Do you have questions about lower-risk use of cannabis, or want help cutting back? There’s support here on campus:

Student Wellness Services

Medical, mental health and substance use support services are available to all UCalgary students.
Main Reception: 403-210-9355

Staff Wellness

Health and wellness support is available for faculty, post-doctoral scholars and staff from Staff Wellness
Phone: 403-220-2918