Lubbock, TX (KCBD) - They're marketed as a chocolaty way to help your "problems melt away" and baked to "put a smile on your face." But, as one family found out, you have to be careful who you share them with.
"Lazy Cakes" aren't available at your local bakery. You'll find them in smoke shops or online.
The brownies have relaxation herbs and the over-the-counter hormone, melatonin baked right in.
Dr. Ray Smith said, "The body normally produces it in very small amounts, and it is part of your normal mechanism for falling asleep. I am more concerned about the Valerian Root extract that is in these brownies," Smith said.
"The Valerian root is comparable to Valium," Dr. Smith says and it has been used in the past as a sedative similar to the way we use tranquilizers today.
Dr. Smith says these lazy cakes have to be consumed by responsible adults and "when they are consumed in large amounts can become a problem."
An overdose—something the Cummings family thought their little boy had suffered, after one bite of a lazy cake.
"He was just acting all funny he wouldn't play or nothing," said Cameron Cummings, Michael's uncle.
Two-year-old Michael soon fell into a deep sleep and wouldn't wake up.
"He would sleep and he wouldn't wake up and when he was waking up he was crying a lot," said Cameron.
After a trip to the emergency room, they learned that even a small dose of melatonin can be dangerous for kids.
Something this doctor says is a powerful warning when it comes to clever marketing combined with the power of chocolate.
"I think its inappropriate that these Lazy Cakes are sold in a candy like packaging and sold as a dietary supplement. That is very sneaky because selling it as a dietary supplement allows the cakes to bypass the FDA," said Dr. Smith.
According to the label, a half a brownie is one adult dose. Lazy Cakes are not recommended for children.
The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate melatonin in products.
Copyright 2011 KCBD. All rights reserved. KLTV contributed to this report.