BANGKOK â€“ Authorities in Thailand have announced that more than a ton of seized marijuana will be turned into 600,000 bottles of cannabis oil extract.
The Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) is transferring the confiscated marijuana to the Department of Thai Traditional, Alternative Medicine and the Department of Medical Sciences to process
The haul will turn into 600,000 bottles of cannabis oil extract, the ONCB director said, adding that this move is not violating any convention on narcotics.
Niyom Termsrisuk, ONCB secretary-general, transferred the cannabis after gaining approval from Food and Drug Administration. He said the two departments will process the drug using traditional methods.
They are expected to use one ton of the marijuana to produce 660,000 bottles of cannabis oil, while the remaining 5 kilos will be used for medical experiments.
Thailandâ€™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 Organization (GPO), less than a year after Thailand loosened restrictions on the narcotic last December.
â€śDoctors will diagnose each patient and prescribe each formula to be used,â€ť Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said at a news conference. â€śThis will not cause harm or addiction if it is used under medical supervision.â€ť
While cannabis, also known as marijuana, is outlawed in many parts of South-east Asia. Two of the plantâ€™s key chemical compounds â€“ tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) â€“ have been of particular interest to medical researchers. Using cannabis oil to treat cancer, Parkinsonâ€™s disease and seizures.
THC creates the intoxicating effect which produces a â€śhighâ€ť, while cannabidiol is said to reduce seizures.