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Warning as teenager hospitalised after eating cannabis-infused sweets

The Food Safety Authority issued the warning today.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Shutterstock

THE FOOD SAFETY Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has issued a warning about what it has described as the “dangers” associated with eating cannabis-infused sweets. 

The FSAI said it has released this warning following several seizures of edible products containing significant levels of the “psychotropic cannabis component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)”  by gardaí and Revenue in recent months.

In at least one incident, the FSAI said sweets containing cannabis oil were consumed by a number of teenagers, one of whom subsequently suffered serious adverse health effects requiring hospitalisation.

The particular sweets were apparently purchased online with the packaging carrying explicit warnings to eat the sweets cautiously and that a significant concentration of THC was present.

THC is the psychotropic cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that results in the euphoric high in people who consume it by smoking, vaping or eating.

THC is a controlled substance in Ireland with no tolerance level set in the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977. In food, THC is considered a contaminant, with no permitted threshold in the EU.

According to Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI, THC is a toxic contaminant and should not be added to any food.

“Sweets containing cannabis components are being sold online or by other means. They are dangerous, particularly for young people and those with prior health conditions who may consume them unwittingly.

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“We are warning consumers about the dangers from eating these sweets with cannabis products added. People should only ever buy food from reputable sources and be sure they check the food labels. THC is not classified as food in the EU and is a controlled substance in Ireland,” said Dr Byrne.

Byrne added that this new trend is “a sinister attempt to sell narcotics in the form of sweets” and those involved are obviously not concerned about the consequences of these products getting into the hands of “vulnerable people like children who could consume these products unwittingly to the detriment of their health,” added Dr Byrne.

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