The FDA has issued a warning to all consumers about potential accidental THC ingestion among children due to copycat products.
The agency said edible products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can be easily mistaken for commonly consumed foods such as breakfast cereal, candy, and cookies, and accidentally ingested, and that it can lead to serious adverse events, especially in children.
"Some edible products are designed to mimic the appearance of well-known branded foods by using similar brand names, logos, or pictures on their packaging. These copycats are easily mistaken for popular, well-recognized foods that appeal to children," the agency wrote. "The FDA is aware of reports of copycat products packaged to look like Cap’n Crunch, Cocoa Pebbles, Cocoa Puffs, Froot Loops, Fruity Pebbles, Nerds Ropes, Starbursts, Sour Patch Kids, and Trix, among others."
The FDA said it's aware of multiple media reports describing children and adults who accidentally consumed copycat edible products containing THC and experienced adverse events. Additionally, from January 2021 through April 24, 2022, the FDA received over 100 adverse event reports related to children and adults who consumed edible products containing THC. Some individuals who ate these edible products reportedly experienced adverse events such as hallucinations, increased heart rate and vomiting, and many required medical intervention or hospital admission. Seven of the reports specifically mention the edible product to be a copycat of popular foods, such as Cocoa Pebbles, Nerds Rope, Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, and Starburst.
The agency said it is actively working with federal and state partners to further address the concerns related to these products and monitoring the market for adverse events, product complaints, and other emerging cannabis-derived products of potential concern.