Unsuspecting cannabis users are being warned that some deals they are buying are being sprayed with “toxic” synthetic versions of the drug, posing greater health risks.
Separately, EU health experts are alerting cannabis users to extremely strong cannabis resin in circulation, with average strength almost twice that of cannabis herb, which used to be more potent.
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (Emcdda) also said that cannabis products were becoming “increasingly diverse”, including extracts and edibles, with high content of THC, the active substance.
Gardai and Customs have seized increased amounts of cannabis products, including jellies, in recent years.
In its European Drug Report 2022, the Emcdda also confirms the ongoing rise in the production and trafficking of cocaine into the EU, with quantities seized again breaking records – with 213 tonnes confiscated in 2020.
SYNTHETIC CANNABIS FEAR
Agency director Alexis Goosdeel said he was “particularly worried” by reports they had received about the adulteration of cannabis products with synthetic cannabinoids.
The report said 15 new synthetic cannabinoids were identified in 2021, bringing to 224 the number of such chemicals being monitored.
It said criminal gangs were adulterating low-grade herb or resin with synthetic cannabinoids – chemicals with a similar, but stronger effect.
“Potent synthetic cannabinoids can cause more intense intoxication and mental, physical and behavioural effects than cannabis, with severe and fatal poisoning being reported,” the report said.
Source: Cormac O'Keeffe, The irish Examiner, 14/06/22