Number Of Children Hospitalised After Consuming ‘Cannabis-Infused Edibles’

A number of children were hospitalised after consuming a product advertised as cannabis-infused edibles in West Dublin on Sunday night.

Gardai are conducting enquiries after the incident which occurred at a residence on Sunday, February 26 in the Irish capital.

The conditions of the children, aged in their pre-teens, are said to be non-life-threatening following the consumption of the product marketed as ‘Runtz’ sweets.

Cannabis
A number of children were hospitalised after consuming a product advertised cannabis-infused edibles in West Dublin on Sunday night. Photo: Gardai.

The FSI are to analyse the product after Gardai seized a small quantity of it. No further information is available at this time.

Gardai said in a statement to Extra.ie: ‘Gardaí are conducting enquiries after a number of children (pre-teens) required hospital treatment following an incident at a residence in West Dublin on Sunday 26th February.

‘It’s understood the children became ill having consumed a product advertised as cannabis-infused edibles. Their conditions are not life-threatening.

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The conditions of the children, aged in their pre-teens, are not life-threatening following the consumption of the product marketed as ‘Runtz’ sweets. Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto.

‘A small quantity of this product has been seized and is subject to analysis by FSI. As this incident involves young persons no further information is available at this time,’ they said in a statement.

Cannabis is illegal in Ireland, it is an offence to cultivate, import, export, produce, supply and possess cannabis except in accordance with a Ministerial Licence. The Government has no plans to legalise cannabis. 

The use of cannabis-infused edibles, such as jelly sweets, chocolates, cookies, and confectionery, is a relatively new trend in Ireland. Any product infused with THC is controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977/1984, and its possession is illegal.

garda operation
The FSI are to analyse the product after Gardai seized a small quantity of it. No further information is available at this time. Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

A small number of hospitalisations occurred in the Tipperary region in December 2022 following the consumption of edible products. Upon analysis from Forensic Science Ireland, these edible products were found to have contained new and risky substances known as synthetic cannabinoids. 

Synthetic cannabinoids are man-made chemicals produced to mimic the effects of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in cannabis.

Signs of concern for synthetic cannabinoid exposure include feeling dizzy, confusion, abnormal sweating, respiratory issues (difficulty breathing or lack of breathing), chest pain/rapid heartbeat, nausea and vomiting, agitation, aggression, psychotic behaviour, hallucinations, delusions, seizures or fits.

Guidance and safety advice around these substances has recently been made available by the HSE here and An Garda Síochána here.

Further information on Cannabis-Infused Edibles is available on the Garda.ie here, and the FSAI website here.

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