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Pharmacy teams warned to look out for patients presenting with symptoms of cannabis oil ingestion

By Isabel Shaw

21 Jul 2020

Pharmacy teams in England have been issued a warning following the discovery of large quantities of industrially manufactured Nerd Rope sweets containing cannabis oil.

The warning, which was issued by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) yesterday (20 July), urges pharmacy teams – along with other healthcare professionals – to look out for people presenting with symptoms which could be the consequence of ingesting cannabis oil.

The symptoms include: loss of coordination, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, collapse or loss of consciousness, and cardiovascular issues.

On the adult body, the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) – are generally mild and relatively short-lived. However, on children, who often have a smaller body mass, the short-term effects may be more profound, the warning notice said.

It added that large quantities of the drug-infused sweets were found in West Yorkshire last week and while it is not thought this issue extends beyond West Yorkshire, the possibility ‘cannot be ruled out’.

Earlier this month, Dan Holland, the lead Paramedic for the Yorkshire Ambulance service published a clinical alert highlighting the recent instances of confectionery laced with cannabis oil.

It said: ‘If you have any interaction with this type of product, or suspect that you have any cases where this has been ingested, then please report these via Datix. In all cases where children or vulnerable adults have potentially been intoxicated a safeguarding referral must also be made.’

According to the alert, the sweet packaging has been made to a ‘professional standard and heat sealed’.

‘As such, it would be very difficult to tell if these are the real confectionery product or the counterfeit drug-laced version,’ it said.

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