Controversy About ‘lazy Cakes’ Relaxation Brownies Raises Concerns Over Melatonin
Its a fast-paced, Red Bull slamming world we live in – and products peppering the store shelves around Ann Arbor have an answer for anyone looking to slow down: Melatonin-laced drinks and brownies with names Marleys Mellow Mood,Slowtivate, and Lazy Cakes.
Energy drinks got you all jacked up? Cage the bull! proclaims an advertisement for Slowtivate, adding, “Unergy has never felt so Bliss.
The relaxation brownies and similar products have captured the attention of health and public officials in recent weeks, buoyed by a recent New York Times article about the unregulated products.
Clockwise from left: Melatonin containing products Slowtivate, Marley’s Mellow Mood, and Lazy Cakes on May 19, 2011.
Angela J. Cesere |AnnArbor.com
But so far, drinks like Marley’s Mellow Mood, manufactured in Southfield, haven’t sparked the same kind of public health outcry – even though cans found on Ann Arbor store shelves list no dosage information for melatonin.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, melatonin is a hormone used for the treatment of sleep-related disorders it is not approved as an additive in food or beverages. The single-wrapped relaxation brownies that cost about $4 each have an answer for that little problem:
DIETARY SUPPLEMENT , the Lazy Cakes label reads.
The jury is out on relaxation products like Lazy Cakes, manufactured by Memphis-based Baked World/HBB. So far, the FDA han’t taken action.
Kush Cakes Relaxation Brownie
Chewy & Chocolatey:Kush Cakes were developed by a licensed pharmacist and are made with a proprietary formula to support relaxation and sleep.
Legal in all 50 StatesYup, thats right friendswhat we put in Kush Cakes is legal in every state. You can buy and sell them around the world too.
With Hemp. Not THC.All Kush Cakes are made with premium hemp protein. They do not contain any THC and are not psychoactive.
Lazy Cakes: A Sleepytime Snack Elicits Public
Public health officials and politicians are debating the safety of a new snack on the market sold as Lazy Cakes, Kush Cakes and Lulla Pies. Theyre brownies laced with the sleep aid melatonin.
Like other compounds sold as dietary supplements, melatonin doesnt need premarket approval by the Food and Drug Administration when sold in pill form. But used as a food additive, it would likely be subject to FDA regulation. Thats why the makers of the new melatonin-spiked brownies are marketing their products as dietary supplements not food.
It sounds to me like they are trying to claim that the entire brownie is like a tablet, which is, of course, preposterous, Dr. Charles Czeisler, head of sleep medicine Brigham and Womens Hospital, told the New York Times.
Each brownie contains 8 mg of melatonin , and the package suggests that people take half a brownie twice a day to relax and combat stress. Though the product is intended for adults, some health officials take issue with the fact that its packaging is so kid- and teen-friendly: Lazy Cakes are emblazoned with a cartoon brownie called Lazy Larry, whose drugged-out smile alludes to the illegal, hash-enhanced version of the chocolatey dessert. It doesnt help that theyre sold in head shops , which also sell drug paraphernalia.
The cakes retail for $2.50 to $4 a high price, considering that a 60-count bottle of 8-mg melatonin tablets costs $11.
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Fda Issues Warning Over ‘lazy Cakes’
PITTSBURGH – Brownies with a substance called melatonin are supposed to make you relax.
The brownies are called “Lazy Cakes,” but the FDA has a problem with them.
KDKA-TV’s David Highfield drove around Wednesday night and could not find any stores that still had them on the shelves.
A clerk at a convenience store in Lawrenceville said they sold out of them a couple of weeks ago.
However, Highfield did find its sister product called “Mary J’s Brownies,” which contain half as much melatonin.
There’s a warning on the Lazy Cakes website that says, “This product may cause extreme relaxation and excessive use of the word ‘dude.'”
The FDA is well aware of the brownies, which are also called Lazy Larry. They have sent a warning letter to its maker explaining that the melatonin in the baked treats is an unsafe food additive.
“Melatonin is sort of a sleep modulator, not necessarily something that makes you drowsy. It regulates sleep and it turns on and off with light and lack of light and so on,” Pittsburgh Poison Control Center Ed Krenzelok said.
The brownies are available for sale online and there is a warning that they are only for adults.
While some experts say large doses of melatonin can cause sleepiness and nausea, Krenzelok said he wouldn’t be too concerned even if a child ate one of the brownies.
Some people are concerned that kids will get a hold of these and eat a bunch of them because they’re chocolate brownies.
‘relaxation’ Brownies Found At Columbus Gas Stations
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said that he would like to change the way a different type ofbrownie is sold on gas station store shelves.
Lazy Cakes are billed as the world’s first relaxation brownie, 10TV’s Chuck Stricklerreported.
Each package contains 8 mg of melatonin and other herbal ingredients to “put a smile on yourface” and “let your problems melt away,” according to its Web site.
10TV News found Lazy Cakes at some Columbus gas stations, sold at the cash register.
The small print on the packaging says it is a sleep aid that is not for food use and intendedonly for adults.
DeWine said that the packaging looks like it is marketed for children.
” a cartoon character on there,” DeWine said.
The Drug Free Action Alliance issued a parental warning about Lazy Cakes, Stricklerreported.
“When you start to put different things in it to create different effects on the way your bodyhandles sleeping — or staying awake or getting a high or getting a low — then we know that wehave a problem,” said Marcie Seidel of the Drug Free Action Alliance. “It’s a legal product,and if people want to consume it, they certainly can, but what we need to do is make sure peopleknow what they are consuming.”
According to the co-creator of Lazy Cakes, Tim Barham, “We encourage parents to check the labelbefore providing this or any product to their children.”
Dr. Jeff Crecelius, a Hilliard pediatrician, told Strickler that Lazy Cakes are a product of ourfast-paced, stress-filled society.
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‘lazy Cakes’ Relaxation Brownies Not For Kids
If you’re looking for an instant jolt of energy there are countless ways to boost your caffeine level these days, but as Isaac Newton famously observed, what goes up, must also come down.
Enter the Lazy Cake, a so-called relaxation brownie sold in at least two dozen states.
Its purple packaging may conjure hazy impressions of a more illicit brownie, but there’s no marijuana here. The Lazy Cake contains melatonin, a common sleep aid sold over the counter.
It helps us calm down and lowers our core temperature and prepares us for sleep, said Dr. David Zich.
Too much melatonin can have a powerful effect, sending the user into a deep sleep.
Supplements have been known to prompt thousands of calls to poison control centers, with many cases involving children.
Arkansas has banned Lazy Cakes and one town in Massachusetts is working to do the same.
Its mayor says even though the package clearly says Lazy Cakes are for adult use only, Its psychedelic packaging and cartoon character known as Lazy Larry indicates otherwise.
The makers of Lazy Cakes say they encourage store owners to place them in areas with other dietary supplements intended for adults.
One Lazy Cake contains double the usual recommended dose for an adult. The serving size is half a brownie.
Lazy Cakes aren’t the only melatonin brownies on the market. Kush Cakes and Lulla Pies are also sold nationwide.
Pharmaceuticals Not Foods: The Case Of ‘lazy Cakes’
Lazy Cakes, a brownie filled with now 7.8 mg of melatonin, unknown amounts of valerian root and other “herbal” drugs, was recently banned by the Arkansas Department of Health. It also facing a ban in Fall River and New Bedford, Massachusetts. When I wrote about Lazy Cakes in early February, I did not expect the public outcry to lead to bans this early. Yet what to do with herbal supplements packaged as foods remains a major public problem.
Why are Lazy Cakes dangerous?
They are a food that contains drugs that is being marketed to children. And high doses of melatonin isn’t typically recommended for kids.
Why are Lazy Cakes legal?
Because they’re labeled as a “dietary supplement,” not a food — even though they look like, are packaged as and . I think they would probably be illegal if they were treated as foods. In small print, Lazy Cakes declare they are for adults only — though I doubt most five year olds will read the disclaimer.
How can Lazy Cakes harm kids?
Melatonin is the cause of more calls to Poison Control than any other herbal supplement. It can put kids to sleep for a very long time as well as cause nausea and diarrhea.
Where do people get Lazy Cakes?
Pretty much anywhere in what is now reportedly 24 states. They’re at your Stop & Shop and your local, 24-hour convenience stores. On the internet you can buy 12 cakes for $24.99, but usually they’re three or four dollars each in stores.
Does melatonin have other uses?
What’s wrong with wanting to relax?
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Relaxation Brownies Are Making Kids Sick
A campaign to ban the melatonin-laced Lazy Cakes came too late for some children
This article is from the archive of our partner .
This week saw the fiercest episode yet of the public health outrage over melatonin-laced brownies. Following a front page New York Times story on the melatonin-laced baked goods, many wondered how dangerous the cakes could be. One doctor told The Times, “Its a colossally bad idea to put melatonin in food.” Today, suspicions were confirmed with news that a 2 year-old boy in Arizona was hospitalized after eating a few bites of a Lazy Cakes relaxation brownie. The mayors of Fall River and New Bedford, Massachusetts now want to ban the sale of Lazy Cake, and given the lack of FDA-approval on the product, they may be successful.
If sick kids weren’t involved, we’d be laughing at Lazy Cakes. Sold in wide range of stores, from head shops to Harvard’s book store, they contain eight grams of melatonin, a naturally occurring brain hormone that helps control the body’s sleep cycle. On the Lazy Cakes website, there is a warning. Sort of:
There’s also the opportunity to rack up “Brownie Points” that can be cashed in for “Lazy Loot,” like more brownies. The marketing language is quite obviously pandering to stoners and fans of sleeping pills–“Pop another brownie!”–and despite saying explicitly that the product is not for children, the colorful cartoons everywhere suggest otherwise.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
Brownies With Melatonin Aka Lazy Cakes Draw Ire Of Officials
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Mayors in two Massachusetts cities want to ban Lazy Cakes, brownies laced with the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, because the psychedelic packaging with a cartoon brownie may be enticing to children, according to news reports.
Lazy Cakes, sold at some convenience stores and online, are touted on their website as a delicious, chocolate alternative to medication and harmful narcotics to help you safely relax and fall asleep.
The active ingredient, melatonin, is certainly a relaxerthe hormone is naturally produced in the body and is made synthetically as a supplement for sleeping disorders.
Medline Plus sums up the supplements uses:
People use melatonin to adjust the bodys internal clock. It is used for jet lag, for adjusting sleep-wake cycles in people whose daily work schedule changes , and for helping blind people establish a day and night cycle.
The site also breaks down those conditions for which the supplement is likely to work and those for which its unlikely to work. Dont bother taking it for depression, for example, as it might make symptoms worse.
The body typically produces less than 0.3 milligrams of the hormone each day, according to a University of Maryland Medical Center overview of melatonin.
For adults with insomnia, taking 1 to 3 milligrams of melatonin an hour before bedtime is usually enough for improved sleep, and even 0.1 to 0.3 milligrams may be enough, according to the site.
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Massachusetts Officials Want Lazy Cakes Banned
Lest you think that fruit-flavored concoctions mixing caffeine with alcohol were the extreme edge of the supplement industry, please meet Lazy Cakes.
After the Red Bull era, in which dozens of foods and drinks were laced with supplements to pump you up, come new offerings designed to calm you down and in the case of Lazy Cakes put you to sleep.
A Lazy Cake is a chocolate brownie-covered dose of melatonin 24 times greater than what Europeans recommend for adults. It comes wrapped in a package featuring a cartoon character, yet the maker of Lazy Cakes claims adults are its only target. The brownies sell for about $2.50 to $5 in head shops, convenience and health stores.
But in Fall River, Massachusetts, where local officials have been on guard after the recent controversy over alcohol and caffeine drinks, the relaxation brownies known as Lazy Cakes, Kush Cakes and Lulla Pies are proving to make people politically edgy.
Fall River Mayor William Flanagan announced at a May 12 press conference that the city would immediately be taking up a local ordinance to ban the sale of Lazy Cakes.
Mayor Flanagan charged that the brownie, with its psychedelic Larry Lazy Cakes cartoon character, is a child safety issue. Flanagan said this is a a brownie thats packaged to attract kids.
How are they able to sell this type of stuff?, one local official asked.
In Europe, the common Melatonin prescription for adults is only .03 milligrams.
Lazy Cakes Relaxation Brownies: Who Exactly Are These For
Laura HahnefeldMay 19, 20111:30PM
Poor Larry Lazy Cakes. The lackadaisical cartoon character and representative of Lazy Cakes, the “relaxation brownies” laced with melatonin and sold in food markets, may have helped to sell millions of the sleepy sweet treat but now two towns in Massachusetts are trying to ban Larry and his Lazy Cakes due the excess amount of melatonin making some kids sick.
A single, Lazy Cake costs $3 to $5 dollars and contains 8 milligrams of melatonin, a dietary supplement. The usual, over the counter dose is 3 milligrams. Melatonin is not a drug and therefore not regulated by the FDA.
So kids are eating them and getting sick. Why? And why the hell would adults want a Lazy Cake over a brownie of the more, um, interesting kind?
Here’s a few thoughts:
Lazy Cakes says says it clearly labels each brownie to show it advises consumption by adults only. Yeah, that usually works. But kids aren’t eating Lazy Cakes to relax. What do they need relaxation from anyway — too many hours of playing video games and hanging out with friends? No, kids are eating Lazy Cakes most likely because they are being marketed as a stoner treat.
Note to kids: stoner treats are lame. If you want something that will really put you to sleep, ask your folks how they met or go to work with your Dad.
Here’s the real answer: want some help falling asleep? The answer isn’t a nasty brownie. How about just taking a sleeping pill or better yet, actual melatonin? Sheesh.
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Lazy Cakes Relaxation Brownies: Better Than Space Cakes
Niki D’AndreaDecember 29, 201012:40PM
Lazy Cakes Relaxation Brownies kicked our ass.After trying the Drank Relaxation Beverage and finding it lacking, we had low expectations for these brownies, which are sold in head shops around the Valley . But we’d heard Lazy Cakes brownies were all the rage, and since we love desserts, we figured we’d give the brownies a shot.And boy, did the brownies shoot back.
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Fall River New Bedford Try To Ban ‘lazy Cakes’
May 13, 2011 / 5:36 PM / CBS Boston
BOSTON If you haven’t heard of Lazy Cakes, authorities in Fall River and New Bedford wish it would stay that way.
They want them banned from stores because they could be harmful to children.
So what is a Lazy Cake?
WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports
On the , they call it a “Tasty chocolate treat that brings on the ultimate state of relaxation.”
“The magic of Lazy Cakes, the original relaxation brownie, is in its proprietary blend that includes herbal relaxation aids melatonin, Valerian Root Extract, Rose Hips Extract, and Passion Flower,” the company says.
That’s the problem, according to Fall River Mayor William Flanagan.
“These brownies are laced with melatonin,” he said at a news conference Thursday. “Melatonin is a sleep aid.”
“If someone wants to buy melatonin, that’s fine, but it shouldn’t be in a brownie that’s packaged to attract kids,” he added.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports
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Lazy Cakes: A Hot Seller But Raising Questions
By Don Logana – bio |
SAVANNAH, GA – Have you heard of relaxation brownies? Not brownies made with marijuana, because these are legal and sold at local convenience stores.
The brownies are called Lazy Cakes. WTOC found them at the El Cheapo on Abercorn Street in downtown Savannah.
The Lazy Cakes are selling like hot cakes. At El Cheapo, they already sold out all 20 boxes in one week. Other stores are picking the product up, but what is in them that makes it so relaxing? We took the brownies to the experts and to the streets.
To some folks, they look like your typical brownie sold at any store.
“In my hand, it look like a brownie. That’s what it reminds me of,” one man said.
“It’s a dessert. It’s a cake,” one woman told WTOC.
” maybe like a Little Debbie cake or something,” Renee Puckett said.
Until they took a closer look at the label.
“Lazy Cakes. The original relaxation brownie,” Ken Richards told WTOC.
“Lazy Cakes. Relaxation brownies. Mmmhhh. What’s in it,” Puckett asked.
“With the green, is it herbie?” Richards said.
“I would say so,” Puckett said.
Inside the Ma’s Food Mart on Habersham Street, the box of Lazy Cakes sits at the front counter for $2.99 each.
“My supplier recommended I try to sell it here. I said bring one box and see what happens,” Nabit Bharucha told WTOC.
So far, the sales are not lazy at all. “I started selling them late last week and so far, more than half are gone,” Bharucha said.
Pope inspected further.