HARRISONBURG -- THC is the chemical that gives marijuana its potency and now it's in a candy called, “Cheeba Chews.”
Unwrapping one may not be the same as smoking pot, but health experts say the effects are.
“People usually report hearing music clearer, seeing colors brighter. Some people can focus better,” said Kelly Sharpes a substance abuse counselor at Rockingham Memorial Hospital.
Cheeba Chews is a Colorado-based company. It calls the chews "medicine" to relieve pain for medical marijuana patients, but the hash in the taffy makes it a powerful piece of candy and a powerful temptation for teens.
“It's very subtle. It seems to do no harm to most people, until you've used for quite a time, and the THC begins to accumulate,” said Sharpes.
Sharpes said when a person ingests marijuana instead of smoking it, he or she gets the drug's full effect.
“You don't get a rush or a quick high. It comes on slow, and lasts long.”
He wanted to warn people, especially kids, to stay away.
“I've referred to it as the 'frog in the kettle' drug. The whole analogy of putting a frog in cold water on the stove, and he won't jump out. If you gradually heat the water up, he'll stay in there until the boiling point and die. THC is sort of like that,” said Sharpes.
A WHSV reporter spoke with law enforcement on the phone. A representative said Cheeba Chews are illegal in Virginia and that the chews are not a problem here in the Valley.
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