What’s with Weed: NICHE Canada launches website to educate Canadians on cannabis

By NICHE Canada

Questions or concerns about cannabis? NICHE has launched a new tool for educating Canadians on cannabis that is designed to help people make informed choices and promote their well-being.

The website is called What’s with Weed? (WWW) and covers current evidence, helps examine your relationship with cannabis, provides tips and tools to reduce harms, and more. No matter where you stand, this website has something for you.

Although the tool has been around for a decade or so and was used by a Canadian charity called Parent Action on Drugs (PAD), with support from Canopy Growth Corporation, it received a complete overhaul in 2017 to ensure it was evidence informed, up to date on the latest science, and reflected a new, legal context.

It was created for youth and parents to navigate the complexities of cannabis in a pragmatic way. Earlier this year, PAD closed its doors due to a lack of funding and NICHE took over the tool.

It was built from the information included in the Sensible Cannabis Education Toolkit, which was created by Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP), a national grassroots network of student and youth chapters working on drug policy issues facing their communities.

While talking to young people about cannabis can be uncomfortable, it is important to remember that there is a broad spectrum of cannabis use, ranging from very occasional to more frequent and perhaps problematic use. Shifting the conversation away from the traditional “just say no to drugs” messaging to harm reduction speaks to young people much more because it offers them realistic options.

From the 101 section and information on the legal landscape, to exploring ways to reduce harms and finding out which risks seem to be higher for youth, the tool is evidence-based and a comprehensive resource to help people get or stay informed.

It also includes an SMS texting tool where young people can sign up to receive tailored facts and harm reduction messaging on cannabis. The texting tool was developed for teens and young adults to provide factual information about cannabis, the risks, harm reduction and an opportunity for youth to reflect on their cannabis consumption to prevent problematic use and promote well-being.

Over the next six months, NICHE will be enhancing the tool and further updating the information to reflect new cannabis products available legally and the scientific progress that has taken place since the current research was collected in 2017. 

Check out the website at whatswithweed.ca.

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