Consumers have been warned about the dangers of eating jelly sweets and other edible products containing THC – the main psychoactive compound in cannabis.
Today’s warning from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) comes after jelly sweets containing THC were purchased online and consumed by a number of teenagers.
The FSAI says that one of the teenagers who ate the sweets required hospital treatment after suffering adverse health effects.
Gardaí and Revenue’s Customs Service have intercepted a number of edible products containing significant levels of THC in recent weeks.
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,” said Dr Byrne.
“They are dangerous, particularly for young people and those with prior health conditions who may consume them unwittingly. 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.”
Dr Byrne added that this new development 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.
The FSAI is working with other Government agencies including the HSE, the Gardaí and Revenue’s Customs Service to detect and stop the import and sale of these products.
The FSAI has urged anybody in a position of influence to educate children about the dangers of these illicit products and alert the FSAI or other enforcement agencies where they have information about the availability of these products.