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From Moto GP to Weed Fest, Buriram leads the way

Thaiger

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PHOTO: A Pan Ram supporter can’t wait for the ‘cannabis festival’ next month in Buriram province – Khaosod English

They pulled off the MotoGP event with flair and great organisation. Now Buriram is bracing for a very different crowd heading for the next big event. Taking advantage of the new liberalisation of laws governing marijuana and cannabis, the north-east festival hopes to bring together the many aspects of culture, opportunity and information.

Set to run three days at the F1 speedway in Buriram, “Pan Ram” expects to draw more than 20,000 daily attendees to celebrate ‘cannabis culture’ at the dawn of the legalization age.

The new pro-cannabis festival will feature everything from music and art to educational workshops and vendors selling, well we really have no idea.

Former political powerbroker Newin Chidchob, the man revered locally for delivering a world-class football stadium and racing circuit to what had been a neglected and impoverished rural province, is the man behind the new festival. Newin, now 60 and president of Buriram United FC, is throwing the ‘weed party’ together with several pro-marijuana advocates. Promotion of cannabis as a new cash crop in post-legalized Thailand is one of the central policies of the party he founded, Bhumjaithai.

The festival, a first for the northeastern region, aims to promote awareness and understanding of the plant which has been illegal since the Narcotics Act of 1979.

Marijuana is like a genie kept in the lamp a long time, and now it’s out. It’s our chance now to make use of it.

Clearly an advocate, Newin says he regards marijuana as a “nation-altering plant” and that legalisation will lead to saving lives and creating economic value.

The Bhumjaithai has even campaigned on allowing every household to grow six marijuana plants which could be sold to authorised agencies, something it says could generate over 420,000 baht income per year, per family.

Heading the project is his daughter, Chidchanok “Nan” Chidchob. She said the three day festival will welcome cannabis activists to lead talks and Rangsit University professors to host educational workshops on medical marijuana.

Nan says the event’s goal is to push for marijuana liberation and give everyone a “full-immersion experience” that covers all of marijuana’s benefits – economic, medical and recreational.

Pan Ram will run April 19-21 at the Chang International Circuit. The Formula 1 track is located in Buriram city, about 400 kilometers from Bangkok.

Tickets are listed at 420 baht per day, and 1,000 baht for all three days. More details will be announced at a later date. Those bringing valid medical certificates for one of the conditions that can now be legally treated with cannabis can enter free of charge.

The Thaiger does not condone or promote the use of marijuana or cannabis and provide this information for the entertainment and education of our readers.

 

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Cannabis

Cannabis drinks now available in Thailand convenience stores

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Ichitan is now selling cannabis drinks across Thailand. (via IchitanGroup.com)

From darkened back alleys to brightly lit 7-11 aisles, people in Thailand can now get their once-illegal cannabis fix in flavoured drinks at convenience stores and vending machines. The nation’s biggest bottled tea producer Ichitan Group has launched 2 new drinks with terpenes, the compounds that give that ganja smell.

The cannabis drinks Ichitan launched are not aimed at the party crowd like other combinations of drinks and controlled substances – they are less Four Loko at the club and more sipping while curled up with a good book. One is a terpene scented sugar-free camomile green tea and the other is a lemon and terpene infused sweet green tea. Cannabidiol or other psychoactive elements have been left out of the teas.

These cannabis drinks are selling for 30 baht across Thailand in 7-11 stores, malls, conveniences stores, and more than 13,000 vending machines. Ichitan is hoping to sell 500 million baht worth of the teas this year as the first company to nationally mass market cannabis products. Their CEO said the “urban new generation” is their target demographic and that being first to market is an important strategy.

Thailand first legalised registering medicinal marijuana in 2019, but in January restrictions were loosened to open the gates to various products and usage. Restaurants and cafes sprung up cooking hemp dishes, and bars created hemp-infused cocktails. People can now get a permit to grow hemp and manufacture and sell cannabis products. Thai law still treats hemp and cannabis differently as hemp is almost completely free of THC and is traditionally used for making clothes, rope, paper and similar products from its strong fibres.

Ichitan admits that the cannabis used in their drinks aren’t fully legalised yet, though they expect the entire supply chain and process to be approved soon as the cannabis legalisation trend grows around the world. Farming is still only allowed with strict government observation, and the narcotic use of ganja is only allowed for cultivation, research and medical use.

Recreational use is not permitted in Thailand yet, though 16 states in the US allow it, and Mexico has legislation pending. Medicinal marijuana is legal in 50 countries already.

Covid-19 has delayed a surge of cannabis progress in Thailand, with businesses on lockdown and a Bangkok cannabis convention postponed from April 19-20 (4/20 – cannabis enthusiast’s magic number) to July 19-20, as well as a seminar on cannabis extracts cancelled yesterday.

But in Thailand, the government sees huge potential, with MFC Asset Management planning Thailand’s first hemp-related mutual fund with expectations of over 17% annual growth over the next 5 years. Farmers could grow hemp and cannabis with large profits, and the Thai government is even eying a tourism boost for medical tourism and just plain curious travellers.

SOURCE: Nikkei Asia

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Cannabis may ease lung inflammation from Covid-19, study

Neill Fronde

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Stock photo by Washarapol D Bin Yo Jundang for Pexels

Cannabis may help ease and reduce lung inflammation for Covid-19 patients, according to a recent study. Researchers in the study claim the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, cannabinol, or CBD, has anti-inflammatory properties.

More research should be done on how CBD and treating severe lung inflammation from the coronavirus, according to researchers from University of Nebraska and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute indicates. Their recent peer-reviewed article in the latest issue of Brain, Behaviour, and Immunity investigates cannabis’ anti-inflammatory qualities.

Covid-19 can cause inflammation that leads to pneumonia which can clog lungs and cause breathing difficulties, an often deadly symptom of the coronavirus. This is why researchers are emphasising anti-inflammatory treatments for infected patients.

“There are drug treatments like Tocilizumab that clears patients’ lungs with a 90% success rate, but the side effects are harsh, including the risk of coronary artery disease and pancreas inflammations. Cannabis may be a key solution since it doesn’t carry such severe negative side effects.”

The CBD treatment made from cannabis does not carry the same effects of THC or smoking marijuana would, though THC has also been shown to be anti-inflammatory but is with more side effects. Cannabis already carries FDA approval, even being used for children with intractable epilepsy.

Aside from anti-inflammatory use, CBD also reduces several factors that contribute to severe Covid-19 cases and also increases proteins that prevent the virus from replicating by activating immune cells. Previous studies with asthmatic animals showed CBD reduced airway inflammation as well as pulmonary fibrosis, which can be an after-effect of Covid-19 damaging and scarring lung tissue causing breathing problems.

The cannabis study on lung inflammation shows that doses up to 1500 milligram a day were safe for up to 2 weeks. The researchers also noted that as an added bonus CBD reduces anxiety, something very useful for the stress of life during a pandemic. Helpfully, cannabis was recently legalised in Thailand and the government has been drafting regulations on importing it.

While the article doesn’t directly link cannabis as a treatment for Covid-19, the evidence on CBD’s effect on lung inflammation, a dangerous symptom of coronavirus, makes further research worthwhile. The researchers urge further research to experiment if cannabis can be directly incorporated into Covid-19 treatment to help with inflammation and anxiety too.

SOURCE: Forbes

 

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Thailand

Thailand drafting new regulations for cannabis and hemp seeds

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Photo by Rick Proctor for Unsplash

A new regulations for cannabis and hemp seeds imports is in the works by Thailand’s Agriculture Department. With certain parts of the cannabis plant now off the narcotics list, many are tapping into the market for CBD, or cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive component in hemp and cannabis.

With the rising demand for hemp and cannabis, the department is revising regulations to make the rules more clear, according to department’s director general, Pichet Wiriyapapha. Those importing cannabis and hemp seeds will also need to get permission from the department. He says they plan to announce the new plan on cannabis and hemp seed regulations in May.

“Now we have only four strains of hemp developed for higher fibre yield, but not for the strain for higher CBD that is currently required for cosmetics and healthcare products. That is why we do need to actively develop such a strain to respond to the high demand in the market.”

CBD is known for its relaxing effects. Although there is still little research to back the claims, many say CBD can lesson anxiety and depression as well as provide relief for muscle pain and arthritis. In Thailand, CBD is growing in popularity, but parts of the cannabis plant high in the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, are still classified as a Category 5 narcotic.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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