Jelly sweets and other edible products which have significant amounts of the illicit narcotic drug THC are becoming more widely available. The main problem is when children unwittingly eat these. Many of the products have been packaged to look like popular brands of regular products.
In addition to the kids’ cases, there have also been reports of teenagers falling seriously ill, and in some cases requiring hospitalisation, after having seizures and becoming unconscious from overdosing on these cannabis edibles.
According to the FSAI, high concentrations (up to 50mg/jelly) of THC in these illicit edible sweets can pose a serious health risk, particularly to kids and teens of all ages. Neurological, physical and physiological development could be impacted negatively.
Depending on the THC concentration, eating one of these jellies can mean ingesting a level of THC that is 5-10 times higher than that inhaled when smoking cannabis.
We all know that eating one sweet out of a packet and stopping at one is unlikely when it comes to things that look like “sweets” so if children eat more than one, overdosing is a very likely result.
The other problem is that, unlike smoking cannabis where the person feels an immediate effect, there is at least a 30 minute time delay from consumption of cannabis edibles until the initial effects are felt.
Cannabis toxicity can cause cognitive and motor impairment and in the case of children this can be extreme, lasting up to 24 to 36 hours after consumption.