Limerick Garda warning over cannabinoid sweets

Some of the cannabis jellies seized by Gardaí.

A NEW line of sweets promising a cannabis high are not the goody gum drops they claim to be.

That’s according to Limerick Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Ber Leetch who says that sweets and jellies purporting to contain the natural THC compound are actually made with a chemical alternative, which has been delivering horrific experiences to users.

She maintains that this is part of an effort to make cannabis more attractive to people who do not want to smoke the substance and who may be more inclined to ingest it.

“People may be aware of cookies containing cannabis, now that has been extended to jellies and sweets,” she explained.

“THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, but what is happening now is that a synthetic cannabinoid has replaced the THC in some edible products which are advertised as containing cannabis.”

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Synthetic cannabinoids are man-made chemicals made to mimic the effects of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and have been found here in recent times.

“The man-made cannabinoid will greatly increase the risks of a drug emergency happening because they produce more intense adverse effects like feeling dizzy, confusion, abnormal sweating, difficulty breathing, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, nausea and vomiting,” Sgt Leetch said.

“Users may also experience agitation, aggression, psychotic behaviour, hallucinations, delusions, seizures, fits, and can lead to sudden loss of consciousness.

“A number of hospitalisations happened in the Tipperary region in December, following the consumption of Jolly Rancher jellies.

“When these jellies were analysed by Forensic Science Ireland, they were found to contain new and risky substances known as synthetic cannabinoids.”

Sgt Leetch said the potency and contents of such edibles “cannot be guaranteed”, adding that “a number of these products have been found to contain new and extra risky synthetic cannabinoids and no THC as indicated on the packaging”.

“The HSE have already advised the public that there is a high level of risk associated with THC edibles currently being sold illegally in Ireland,” Sgt Leetch added.