Thailand flip-flop over cannabis

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha with a spectacled marijuana leaf costume called Dr.Ganja. Children were also present, carrying their own Dr Ganja dolls

Many months after Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha made a case for the use of medicinal cannabis at the Unesco Creative Cities Network roadshow on 11 Dec 2019, followed by Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Sukhum Karnchanapimai, Bangkok police still frown on the public growing these plants on their own.

Din Daeng police went to check a house in the Chom Thong district of Bangkok on 26 June 2020 and upon finding 35 cannabis plants, arrested a Spanish man aged 42 – who was charged with producing the narcotic marijuana.

Thailand opted to legalize medical marijuana last year and the ruling party unveiled draft legislation in September 2019 that allows individuals to cultivate up to six cannabis plants for personal use.

The reason why was explained in the Thai language website launched by the Thai PM – www.medcannabis.go.th – which provides information about medical marijuana use to the public. He had then said substances from cannabis needed to be handled carefully and that medical use was aimed at helping people with low income access affordable medicines. He, however, warned that without supervision by medical professionals, it could be harmful.

Medical use of cannabis has largely been focused on cannabidiol (CBD) oil extracted from the cannabis plant – which isn’t an addictive substance, according to the World Health Organization. There are about 130 of such extracts from the plant itself and CBD typically accounts up to 40% of the plant’s extract.

Given its potential side effects, a person would need a doctor to help determine the best CBD product – including the right dosage, and schedule that will be safe with other prescribed medications.

While CBD oils are almost proven to be very efficient for people with sleeping issues such as insomnia and other sleeping disorders, people who aren’t suffering from any sleeping disorders might feel extremely sleepy or drowsy after taking it. CBD oil can also make one dizzy or lightheaded if the individual has normal or low blood pressure.

Extremely high doses of CBD have been known to cause side effects such as diarrhea and vomiting. It also has long-term effects which are a lot more drastic – like dryness of the mouth. While most people may disregard it, this could quickly lead to other issues such as caries and periodontitis as saliva protects gums and soft tissue of your mouth – dryness of the mouth could expose the inside of your mouth to bacteria and corrosion.

Possibly the hardest long-term side effects of CBD oil products is an increased liver enzyme. When this happens, it often results as a marker of inflammation which could also lead to liver damage – but strangely enough, CBD oil can actually help patients who have liver failure. Hence it is best to consult a doctor when this occurs.

Further, CBD oil contains properties like histamine and pollen that can trigger allergic reactions. Also, marijuana products can affect babies – especially in pregnant women and should therefore be avoided as with other harmful consumption such as drinking alcohol or smoking.

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