The first clinic to use cannabis to treat its patients opened in a public hospital in Nakhon Ratchasima province in early August. It will be led by a doctor and three accredited traditional medicine practitioners, while 10 others will be sent for training. An amendment in July had allowed traditional Thai doctors to prescribe cannabis for therapeutic use to their patients.
The clinic will allow two groups of patients to treat themselves with cannabis in the initial phase. The first concerns people suffering from diseases that can be alleviated by cannabis oil, such as muscle aches caused by multiple sclerosis, epilepsy that can no longer be treated by modern medicine, neuropathic pain and nausea caused by chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer.
The other group consists of patients treated with traditional Thai medicine, such as those with chronic diseases causing certain symptoms such as sleep disorders, lack of appetite, acute chest pain, hoarseness, constipation, muscle pain and limb weakness in stroke patients.
About a hundred people came for treatment in the first group, and 500 in the second.
“The treatment will be supervised by qualified doctors and practitioners,” said Bhumjaithai party leader and Minister of Public Health, Anutin Charnvirakul. He added that practitioners who prepare their cannabis formulas based on olive oil and coconut could submit them for validation. If they are not harmful, they will be allowed for supervised use in clinics and hospitals across the country. Indeed, earlier this month, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization authorized the use of three forms of cannabis oil. The Thai government then delivered 4500 5 mL bottles of cannabis oil to the Ministry of Public Health, which were redistributed to health institution.