Thailand is set to launch five new medical cannabis products next month, according to reports.
Thailand’s Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine (TTAM) has announced that it intend to release two manufactured and three “ready-to-mix” recipes for cannabis-based medicines to hospitals and doctors across the country next month, providing it can acquire enough cannabinoid-extracts.
The products will be prescribed to patients suffering a range of medical conditions, from cancer to haemorrhoids.
The two two pre-made products, known as “Sanan Traipop Oil”, will mainly be reserved for those suffering liver cancer and associated ascites.
The “ready-to-mix” recipe for the three remaining products will contain a range of herbs as well as cannabis, including chopper pepper and moonseed. The responsibility to mix these ingredients will fall to medical practitioners prescribing them.
Discussing the announcement with the Bangkok Post, Dr Marut Jirasrattasiri, chief of TTAM, said:
“By approving cannabis medications slowly and only after due consideration, we are confident that the plant can become another effective medical tool while minimising the chances of misuse.
“We hope to send these new medications to the hospitals and provincial public health offices by the end of next month.
“However, this assumes that we are able to source enough cannabis extract in order to meet our production timeline.”
“By approving cannabis medications slowly and only after due consideration, we are confident that the plant can become another effective medical tool while minimising the chances of misuse.”
– Dr Marut Jirasrattasiri, chief of TTAM
Doctors who have been granted a license to prescribe medical cannabis in Thailand have currently approved 16 recipes for cannabinoid-based medications, with a further 10 awaiting final approval by Thailand’s national narcotics board.
Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, Thailand’s Public Health Minister, added that while the World Health Organisation (WHO) still officially views the cannabis plant itself as a narcotic, individual cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, are recognised as medical substances:
“We have not gone beyond the WHO’s recommendation. We have begun the process of regulating cannabis for medical use only.
“If the country were to completely liberalise the use of the drug, the number of people addicted to it for recreational purposes would increase.”
Medical practitioners hoping to prescribe medical cannabis must attend training sessions held by the TTAM in order to receive a license to prescribe from Thailand’s FDA.
So far, 2,984 medical professionals have registered to participate in these training sessions.
Local cannabis campaign groups have been fighting for less restrictions on cannabis, with the Bhumjaithai Party prioritising the end of the prohibition of cannabis as one of its key campaign promises.