A nine-year-old child was taken to hospital after they had eaten "cannabis sweets" they had found on the ground.
The Drug and Alcohol Monitoring and Information System (DAMIS) says that it has received a report that a child attended the Royal Victoria Hospital emergency department with "detectable levels of cannabis" in their system after eating a sweet laced with THC.
The sweets were a 'Nerds Rope' that contained the psychoactive substance, Belfast Live reports.
The service has issued a warning to parents following the incident, saying that while the sweet packet had been labelled to show it contained THC, it looked like a normal packet of sweets marketed to children.
DAMIS said: "DAMIS has received information from the Royal Victoria Hospital following the assessment of a nine-year-old at the Children’s Emergency Dept. who had detectable levels of cannabis in their system.
"The clinician who assessed the child explained that the child had consumed a THC medicated sweet (‘Nerds rope’) after finding what they believed to be sweets on the ground.
"While on closer inspection the sweet packet is labelled as containing THC, the main psychoactive ingredients in cannabis, to all other purposes they look like a common brand of sweets which are marketed for children.
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"The effects of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) involves the central nervous and cardiovascular systems. In adults, the effects are generally mild and short-lived but ingestion rather than inhalation is associated with longer-lasting effects."
DAMIS says that in recent months there have been a number of seizures of cannabis sweets in Northern Ireland, labelled ‘Medicated Nerds Ropes, 400 mg THC per rope’ and ‘Medicated Nerdz Rope Bites, 600 mg THC’.
"The service continued: "The sweet edibles are available in a variety of flavours, and sold in branded packaging- SXEDIBLES.
Harmful effects of cannabis sweets on children
THC can have a stronger effect on children due to their low body mass with the effects including:
- Loss of coordination
- Lethargy, collapse or loss of consciousness
If you suspect your child has consumed a harmful substance, call 999.
"Other branded packaging from SXEDIBLES, ‘millionz bites, 600 mg THC’- also confirmed to contain THC, with the product available in multiple flavours.
"Other products have names which often have a slight variation of a familiar sweet product e.g. have received ‘Haribo Fruitilicious’- wrapped jelly-like sweets or Calibo Xtra Strong’
"Most branded packaging declares that product contains THC or a cannabis extract, some say 18+ or not for kids – however the packaging is colourful with familiar cartoon images and is appealing to children."
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