Ayrshire's public health director and a detective chief inspector have warned of drug-laced sweets in the area.

The confectionary, referred to as edibles, which contains cannabis oil and eating them can have longer lasting effects than taking the drugs by other means.

The criminal enterprise of packaging the drugs to attract children has been described as 'immoral and abhorrent'.

Dr Joy Tomlinson, NHS Ayrshire and Arran's Joint Director of Public Health, warned that the impact of children can be more serious due to their smaller body mass.

The effects can range from a loss of coordination, hallucinations and vomiting to collapse, loss of consciousness and cardiovascular problems.

She said: "If you suspect you or someone else has consumed these sweets, please seek medical advice immediately.

"The effects of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol - the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) involve the central nervous and cardiovascular systems. In adults the effects are generally mild and short-lived.

"As children often have a smaller body mass than adults the effects may be more profound."

Detective Chief Inspector Scott McCallum, of Ayrshire Division, said: "Selling controlled drugs is illegal, and packaging them to attract younger and more vulnerable members of our communities is also immoral and abhorrent.

"Anyone who is offered these drugs should know that there is no safe way to take illegal substances and taking them can place you at risk of serious harm."

Dr Tomlinson said that while the risks of members of the public coming in to contact with these sweets is very low, she would encourage residents and parents to be vigilant, and to report any suspicions to Police Scotland by calling 101.