Thailand’s state-owned drug-maker presented its first batch of cannabis oil to the Health Ministry yesterday as the country readied public hospitals to prescribe the treatment.
A total of 4,500 5ml bottles of cannabis oil were delivered by the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO), less than a year after Thailand loosened restrictions on the narcotic last December.
“Doctors will diagnose each patient and prescribe each formula to be used,” Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said at a news conference. “This will not cause harm or addiction if it is used under medical supervision.”
While cannabis, also known as marijuana, is outlawed in many parts of South-east Asia, two of the plant’s key chemical compounds – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) – have been of particular interest to medical researchers trying to treat cancer, Parkinson’s disease and seizures. THC creates the intoxicating effect which produces a “high”, while cannabidiol is said to reduce