Two Lanarkshire primary school children rushed to hospital after unknowingly eating cannabis laced sweets

By Jonathan Geddes & Laura Ferguson

Two primary school children have been rushed to hospital after eating sweets that had been laced with cannabis.

The eight and nine year olds discovered an unopened packet of what they thought was the popular brand Nerds in Fernhill, Rutherglen.

However, the sweets were in fact psychoactive, containing 600 mg of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - roughly the equivalent of smoking 50 cannabis joints, the Lanarkshire Live reports.

The packaging on the product is designed to replicate the American candy maker Ferrara and their Nerds sweets brand.

The mother of one of the children contacted Lanarkshire Live to warn other parents in the area about the incident, with the candy discovered near Kirkmuir Drive.

She explained: "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.

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"He and his friend ate them while out playing. When they came back to the house both 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.

"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 that 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 kids continually 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.

"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. "

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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. "


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