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Halloween warning over dangers of cannabis jelly sweets

This year, six children under the age of ten have been hospitalised after accidentally consuming jelly sweets containing cannabis

File photo
File photo

THE FOOD SAFETY Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has urged the public to be vigilant to the dangers of jelly sweets containing cannabis in the run up to Halloween.

Cannabis edibles are products such as jelly sweets containing the psychoactive cannabis component known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

The warning comes in the run up to Halloween, after concerns that there is an increased risk that children will unknowingly consume these products as their packaging resembles popular brands of jelly sweets in order to avoid detection.

So far this year, six children under the age of ten have been hospitalised after accidentally consuming THC-containing products which looked like normal jelly sweets.

There has been an increase in the availability of food products in Ireland that contain significant amounts of the cannabis component THC.

Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive of the FSAI, said reports of the accidental consumption of edible cannabis products by children is extremely worrying.

“We know adults and/or teenagers are ordering these illegal products from online or other illegal sources for their own personal use.”

“However, they often have no understanding of the real health dangers of these products and are careless or reckless in putting young children’s health at risk by allowing them access to these products,” said Byrne.

“The prevalence of these edible products containing THC in communities and schools around the country is a growing cause for concern and parents and guardians should be extra vigilant during festivities such as Halloween where parties will be underway, and the risk of accidental consumption of these products is considerably higher,” added Byrne.

The FSAI notes that children are not aware of the dangers of cannabis edibles and if they come across a bag of jellies, they will often eat more than one and as a result overdosing is a very likely outcome.

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This year, there have also been reports of teenagers becoming seriously ill, and in some cases needing hospitalisation after having seizures and falling unconscious from overdosing on these cannabis edibles.

The cannabis component THC is a controlled substance in Ireland with a zero tolerance under the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977. When found in food products, THC is considered a contaminant, with no permitted threshold in EU or Irish food law.


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