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Cannabis is not a cure-all, doctors warn

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“Even paracetamol can be lethal if it is wrongly used, so we should not idolise cannabis as a panacea and entirely replace conventional medicines with cannabinoid medicines.”

Consumers are being warned that cannabis is not a panacea and cure-all for many illnesses and must be used cautiously under the management of health professionals. The warning comes from medical experts at Chulalongkorn University at a forum yesterday.

Many scientific studies have debunked claims of cannabis as a cure for certain illnesses, while it can have harmful side-effects when improperly used, according to doctors at the forum.

Dr Thiravat Hemachudha, head of the Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, says there are many claims about the alleged ability of cannabis to cure a variety of serious diseases, and increasing numbers of people were seeking cannabis to treat their ailments.

But he cautioned that not all these diseases could be effectively treated with cannabis and said cannabinoid medicines should only be used under strict medical advice.

“Even though it has been proven that cannabis has many exceptional medical properties, its ability to cure the many diseases as claimed by some people has not yet been scientifically verified,” Thiravat said.

“So far, there are just six medical conditions for which cannabinoid drugs have been tested as an effective treatment, and even for these, cannabis-related treatment should be done under the supervision of doctors.”

He said the six conditions treatable with cannabinoid medicines are some pain conditions, muscle spasticity, seizures, some brain disorders, some depressions and the side-effects of chemotherapy for some people.

However, he emphasised that, like all other medicines, cannabinoid drugs can have side effects, sometimes serious.

“Patients must be very careful when taking cannabinoid medicines, as too large a dose can lead to serious side-effects such as partial paralysis.

“The use of cannabis is strictly prohibited for patients with bipolar disorder, because it can worsen this mental disorder,” he cautioned.

Chulalongkorn University’s vice president for research and innovation Dr Kiat Ruxrungtham agreed that cannabis can be used to treat many diseases, but said patients should remember everything had both pros and cons, so they should use cannabis cautiously.

“Even paracetamol can be lethal if it is wrongly used, so we should not idolise cannabis as a panacea and entirely replace conventional medicines with cannabinoid medicines. Otherwise, the very useful medical cannabis could also be harmful,” Kiat said.

Cannabis is not a cure-all, doctors warn | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Thailand

House votes to remove kratom from Thailand’s narcotics list

Caitlin Ashworth

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House votes to remove kratom from Thailand’s narcotics list | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

The Thai House of Representatives voted to remove the plant kratom from the Thailand’s narcotics list and classify it as a controlled substance to be used for medicinal purposes. Kratom, a plant in the coffee family, is known for its relaxing effects and has been used in traditional medicine.

In a 319-7 vote, with 3 abstentions, the House agreed to remove kratom from the narcotics list. It’s now up for Senate approval and will become a law 90 days after it is published in the Royal Gazette.

The draft amendment allows those with permission from the Narcotics Control Board to be allowed to produce, import and export kratom. Kratom sales will be strictly regulated.

People under 18 years old and pregnant women will not be allowed to purchase kratom. Minors are also not allowed to sell kratom. Those who sell kratom to minors or hire minors to sell kratom will face up to 2 years in prison a fine up to 200,000 baht.

Kratom sales are prohibited at schools, dormitories, public parks, theme parks and online. Violators will face a fine up to 40,000 baht. Advertising and market kratom is also prohibited and those who violate the ban face up to 6 months in prison and a fine up to 500,000 baht.

Kratom is currently classified as a Category 5 narcotic along with cannabis and psilocybin mushrooms. Under Thailand’s Narcotic’s Act, those who produce, import or export kratom face up to 2 years in prison and a fine of up to 200,000 baht. Those who possess kratom face up to 2 years in prison and a fine up to 40,000 baht. Those who possess more than 10 kilograms of kratom face up to 2 years in prison and a fine of up to 200,000 baht.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Hotels and restaurants raided, 50 arrested for allegedly cheating “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme

Caitlin Ashworth

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Hotels and restaurants raided, 50 arrested for allegedly cheating “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

Several hotels and restaurants in Phuket and Chaiyaphum were raided this morning and 50 people were arrested for allegedly stealing from the government subsidy scheme “We Travel Together.” The scheme was launched to help businesses that were financially hit by the lack of tourists during the Covid-19 pandemic and to stimulate the battered economy.

Last month, the Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn filed a criminal complaint against 312 hotels and 202 shops for allegedly cheating the scheme which covered 40% of room rates and offered e-vouchers. Instead of lowering prices to draw in more travellers, some hoteliers and restaurateurs allegedly raised their prices to get more subsidies.

This morning, police arrested 38 people in Chaiyaphum and 12 people in Phuket suspected of cheating the subsidy scheme. Suspects, including hotel and restaurant operators, face charges ranging from fraud and false identification to misusing electronic cards and adding fraudulent information to the computer system.

Nation Thailand says the verification system for the scheme was not stringent and people were able to register fake hotels and list fake bookings. Some hotel operators recorded higher prices for rooms to get a bigger payoff from the government.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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27 migrants allegedly disguised as monks arrested on illegal entry charges, Bangkok abbot under investigation

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27 migrants allegedly disguised as monks arrested on illegal entry charges, Bangkok abbot under investigation | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Immigration police arrested 27 Cambodians for allegedly entering Thailand illegally and impersonating Buddhist monks. Police say the migrants allegedly disguised themselves as Buddhist monks at Wat Talom in Bangkok’s Phasi Charoen district. The temple’s abbot is also under investigation for allegedly assisting and hiding illegal migrants.

Police searched the temple after receiving a tip that hundreds of monks lived in crowded rooms, conditions that officials worry could lead to a cluster of Covid-19 infections.

“We received a tip-off that the temple had several hundred monks living in a crowded space that could become a hotspot for Covid-19… People also reported that some monks from this temple were selling food they received from the public in the morning to merchants at nearby markets for reselling.”

Police asked for identification documents from the more than 200 migrants at the temple. 181 monks from Myanmar, India, Cambodia, Laos and Bangladesh had proper documents, but police say 27 Cambodians had no identification documents. The 27 Cambodians were arrested and charged with illegally entering the country and impersonating Buddhist monks.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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