File picture: Pexels

Pretoria - Thirteen people, including learners, were in hospital after smoking "an unknown substance" which has been described in the streets as "herbal blend", "puff", "blazing" and "crazy coconut" the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Pretoria said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson for the Tshwane West policing cluster, Captain Augustinah Selepe said the 13 have been in hospital since Sunday, after smoking the substance. Two more were treated and discharged.

"These products, it is alleged that they buy them over the counter at tobacco shops, tuck shops and adult shops then they mix it with cigarette tobacco or roll their own smokes," said Selepe.

The youngest of the patients is 14. Police said all the patients are in a stable condition in hospital.

"The substance has mainly been in Pretoria West, Pretoria Gardens, Daspoort and Hercules. One of the schools there contacted police. The unknown substance is packaged inside a black small bag. The substance is similar to marijuana," said Selepe.

"SAPS have urgently sent the substance to SAPS forensic lab for analysis. Police have opened an enquiry, and we are waiting for forensic results. Various government departments such as health, trade and industry have been contacted to look into this matter."

The police appealed to parents and guardians to monitor their children, and call police if they notice "any suspicious package".

"Parents are encouraged to speak to kids about the risks of using any type of drug or any unknown substance whether are illegal or not," said Selepe.

African News Agency (ANA)