Children, aged 8 and 9, taken to hospital after eating cannabis sweets

Two children, aged eight and nine, are taken to hospital after eating cannabis-laced sweets which were disguised as Nerds

  • Children, aged nine and eight, found an unopened packet while playing outside
  • They assumed the sweets were real but began acting strangely after eating them
  • Their parents took them to hospital when they realised something was wrong 
  • Mother is speaking out to warn other parents about the dangers of THC edibles 

Two primary school children were rushed to hospital after accidentally eating ‘sweets’ laced with cannabis known as edibles.

The youngsters, aged nine and eight, found the unopened packet in Fernhill in Rutherglen, and thought they were the popular sweets brand, Nerds.

However, they were actually psychoactive candy, which contained 600mg of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – roughly equivalent to smoking 50 cannabis joints.

Packaging on the sweets is designed to resemble products from the American candy maker Ferrara and their Nerds sweets brand.

The mother-of-one of the children has spoken out about the incident to warn other parents in the area.

She said: ‘My son was out playing with his friend and there was an unopened packet of what they thought was Nerds sweets just left at a wall there.

‘I’ve always told him not to pick things up, but you know what kids are like with sweets.

A mother has spoken out after her child and his friend became ill when they ate cannabis laced sweets. Pictured: The ‘edibles’ which contain cannabis and looked like the image on the left are made to look like real children’s sweets (right) but actually contain a super potent level of THC

‘He and his friend ate them while out playing.

‘When they came back to the house me and his friend’s mum realised there was something wrong.

‘Both of them looked stunned, their eyes were large and they were laughing at everything.

‘I said to my friend that it was like they were high, but I never thought they actually were.

‘We had to take them to hospital as they were getting worse. That was when he mentioned they’d found this candy.

‘One of the nurses we spoke to said this wasn’t the first case like that they’ve had recently.

‘His friend had it worse then he did, she was screaming out in the hospital and was in a bad way.

‘My son is still a bit confused about it, and he’s not wanting to eat any sweets or anything like that as he’s worried it’ll happen again.

The two primary school children were taken to University Hospital Hairmyres (pictured) after ingesting the drug and one had to be kept in for treatment after suffering a bad reaction

‘I’m still in complete shock that this has happened because it’s not something I’d heard of before, where they’re designed to look like normal kid’s sweets. I just want people to be aware things like this can be found out there.’

One of the children had to remain in hospital overnight after suffering a bad reaction.

A number of similar instances have been reported across the country in recent months, with children believing the brightly coloured packets are sweets that can be bought in a regular shop.

Sarah Kittel, vice-president of corporate affairs at Ferrara, the company that make Nerds sweets, said: ‘Companies that infuse our Nerds products with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and then sell that product in packaging that is nearly identical to our own infringes our trademark and creates a genuine consumer safety risk.

‘These products imitate a trusted brand, making it difficult to distinguish between illegitimate, THC-infused product and legitimate candy.

‘Ferrara, the maker of Nerds products, is in no way associated with these deceptive products, and want to reassure consumers that Nerds products found at major retailers are safe to consume.

It comes just a week after police in West Yorkshire said three children, including an eight-year-old boy, had been left needing hospital treatment after ingesting cannabis sweets (pictured) 

‘We continue to pursue various means to limit – and eliminate – these products, including cooperating with law enforcement agencies, investigating dispensaries and other retail outlets selling these infringing products, and pursuing legal action, where and when necessary, to protect consumers.’

Dr James Saldanha, chief of medical services at University Hospital Hairmyres, said: ‘If you or a family member has a life-threatening emergency, you should call 999.

‘If you think you need to attend A&E but it’s not life-threatening, call NHS 24 on 111 day or night, where you will be directed to the right NHS service.’

It comes just a week after three children were left needing hospital treatment after two separate incidents in Bradford after consuming the super-potent cannabis sweets.

West Yorkshire Police said there were ‘genuine concerns’ that one child, an eight-year-old boy, would not survive but all three have since recovered from their illness. 

Cannabis edibles: Sweet and colourful but extremely dangerous

Cannabis infused sweets have become the latest craze among teenagers with authorities warning parents that they pose a serious danger because of their strength and if consumed to excess.

Known as ‘edibles’ they are freely available on the internet for around £20 for a packet of 30.

But street dealers are selling individual sweets for as little as £1 each, prompting a surge in popularity amongst school pupils, particularly in London and other urban areas.

The ‘edibles’ are attractively packaged in a way designed to appeal to young people while making it difficult to distinguish them from regular sweets. 

The ‘sweets’ come in a variety of different strengths of THC – the active component in cannabis, ranging from 75mg to a mind-bending 300mg, which can cause vomiting and other side effects.

Concerns have been raised however, that not all the packaging contains adequate information as to their strength and simply state ‘infused with cannabis.’

Some of the ‘sweets’ market themselves as a health treatment with one British website claiming: ‘Eating marijuana works better for LONG LASTING pain relief muscle spasms and similar conditions.’

Amongst the ‘edibles’ it lists are: Gummie Bears; Cherry Candy; Watermelon Rings and Peach Rings. THC laced fruit syrup is also available. All of it comes in stylised, colourful packaging.

While it is illegal to sell items containing THC in the UK for recreational purposes, it is legal for medical reasons, providing a dangerous loophole which many youngsters and dealers are exploiting. 

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