‘Stress’ among symptoms medical weed can be prescribed for, says Thai FDA

Photo: Teirra Kamolvattaanvith/ Coconuts Media
Photo: Teirra Kamolvattaanvith/ Coconuts Media

The Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revealed the conditions and diseases for which medical cannabis can be prescribed. They include Parkinson’s, epilepsy, nausea caused by chemotherapy, and — wait for it — stress.

Yep. Stress. We’re already feeling less stressful just thinking about it.

FDA secretary-general Tares Krassanairawiwong unveiled that nugget yesterday during a press conference in which he discussed possible regulations that will soon be proposed to support the amendment made to the kingdom’s 1970 Narcotic Act.

The organization is classifying the conditions into three groups, Tares said, per Khaosod.

The first group consists of symptoms of diseases that has been scientifically proven to be treated by cannabis including epilepsy, chronic pain and cancer — namely during chemotherapy, when patients can experience nausea.

Next up are the conditions that weed may help such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and terminally ill patients. The last group consists of more experimental treatments like using cannabis oil to kill cancer cells.

Tares added that the last two groups may have some flexibility, however, they will still be under the jurisdiction of certified or licensed medical professionals.

Separately, the FDA secretary-general on Tuesday proposed an amnesty plan under which individuals and organizations currently in possession of marijuana will not be punished if they notify the administration within 90 days after the legalization law comes into effect, reported Manager.

This means you, recreational users. Who are we kidding? The stress thing means you, too.

Those with eligible conditions may even get to keep their stash — if they can prove that they are a real patient by retroactively obtaining a license under the new ministerial regulations.

Doctors, clinics and researchers must also disclose their possession and legitimate uses planned for their stashes in order to get a license.

“The regulations we’re preparing, it’s like setting everything back to square one before the law takes effect,” Tares said, according to Khaosod.

On Christmas Day, Thailand became the very first Southeast Asian nation to legalize medical marijuana. The government had said they wanted the legalization to be their New Year’s gift to Thai citizens.

The Department of Public Health was assigned the task of hammering out the details, and the law is expected to come into effect within 60 days from the announcement — which happens to be at the end of this month.

Towards the end of last month, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO), which is overseeing Thailand’s legalization of medical marijuana, announced their hope to start planting as early as this month in order to extract cannabis oil to be used by May or June.

As for the actual production of the extract, the GPO plans to use a 1,000 square meter area on the rooftop of their pharmaceutical chemicals department, also located in Thanyaburi district.

The budget to grow, select and improve strains is set at about THB120million (almost US$4 million).

Now that the marijuana revolution has officially arrived, it seems to be here to say.

To find out more about the kingdom’s medical marijuana awakening, check out Coconuts TV’s documentary mini-series available on Netflix now.


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