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Cannabis Edible Products Category: Cannabinoids

Update January 2023: HSE issue risk communication on the adulteration of cannabis jellies with synthetic cannabinoids


The HSE advise the public that there is a high level of risk associated with THC edibles currently being sold in Ireland, as they may not THC but instead contain a synthetic cannabinoid.For people who use cannabis, we remind them of the current risk of synthetic cannabinoid exposure and encourage people not to be afraid or hesitate to get medical help if someone has an unexpected reaction or becomes physically or mentally unwell following use.

What are cannabis edible products?

Cannabis can be taken in different ways by smoking, eating or drinking in herbal tea. It can also come in oil format. 

Cannabis ‘edibles’ are food products infused with cannabis. Edibles come in many forms—including cakes, sweets, ’gummy bears’, 'cannabis gummies' chocolates and lozenges. They have many different names that include 'Space cakes', 'Gummies', 'THC sweets' 'Edibles', 'THC Lean'.

Food products containing cannabis have been available internationally in locations such as the Netherlands solad as cakes in coffee shops or in situations where a cannabis consumer independently prepares cannabis for cooking.

More recently, food products containing cannabis extract have emerged as products sold as part of the legalised market in Northern America and are not legalised in an Irish context.

The digestion of cannabis may be chosen by those who don’t want to smoke and consume tobacco. But with edible products, it is harder to know how a person will react as they can take a long time to kick in increasing the risks of unwanted effects or overconsumption. 

The amount of THC in edible products can vary across a single product and across batches made at different times, making it difficult a person to estimate how much THC they consume and how they react.

Any edible products seized in Ireland have not been subjected to quantitative analysis, meaning we are unsure of the amount of THC contained in products and if the packaging correctly shows the dose/strength. We are aware that risky substances known as synthetic cannabinoids have been found in some edible products seized in Ireland. 

Are there risks?

Each person will react differently to a substance. People may have a different experience if they use cannabis edibles compared to smoking cannabis. You can never be fully sure how you will react and there are always some form of risk or unwanted effects.

The effects a person experiences will depend on multiple factors, such as personal factors, their mind-set and mental health, their metabolism, their past experiences or tolerance to cannabis, the situation in which the substance is consumed (where they are and who they are with), if they have eaten, the potency of the product, how much is consumed and if the product contains unknown substances.

Although taking too much may not be fatal, taking too many edibles can cause paranoia, anxiety, vomiting, nausea, delusions or hallucinations which can be frightening, mentally difficult or lead to accidental injury.

Get more information about cannabis edibles in our factsheet here



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