There is no indication that red licorice is less healthy than any other sugar-filled candy. However, black licorice does pose some health risks. Black licorice contains a compound called glycyrrhizin, which can "cause potassium levels in the body to fall," according to WebMD.
As a result of this compound, black licorice can cause an irregular heart rhythm in individuals over 40 years of age who consume at least 2 ounces of black licorice daily. Black licorice can also interact with certain medications, so it is advisable to consult with a doctor if any concern arises.
Licorice, although used in candy, is actually a shrub that grows in Greece, Turkey and Asia. Licorice root has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy.