The sweets are illegal in France, but the centre has said that it can be very easy to buy them online.
The items are usually gummy sweets, biscuits or cakes, which appear very similar to normal varieties, but are instead made with cannabis as a key ingredient. More precisely, they contain tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the principal psychoactive element of the plant that can make you “high”.
THC is illegal to sell in France. It should not be confused with CBD, which is another more commonly available non-psychoactive element that is legal in some cases.
The Paris anti-poison unit, le Centre Anti-poison et de Toxicovigilance de Paris, has warned that it has received several reports in recent weeks from people suffering health problems following the ingestion of these kinds of THC cannabis sweets.
One man was reported to have fallen into a coma, it said, after having eaten a “space cake” - a cake baked with THC.
The effects of the THC from these kinds of food products can be “more severe” than smoking cannabis, the centre warned. They can cause what is known as a “bad trip” - a negative reaction to the drug.
This can include neurological problems, paranoia, breathing problems, panic, and other similar symptoms.
The risks are even more severe for children, who may accidentally eat the products without realising that they contain THC. This is especially true in the case of gummies that are brightly-coloured and look very similar to normal sweets.
No deaths have yet been reported, but children are at particular risk. According to the latest figures from medicine safety agency l’Agence Nationale de Sécurité du Médicament (ANSM), 194 children accidentally ingested cannabis in the past two years, of which 140 required hospitalisation.
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