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Cannabis oil gaining traction in Thai medical circles



Last week’s opening of Thailand’s first two full-time clinics dispensing cannabis oil (cannabidiol, or CBD) for medical treatment has brought international attention, not only to the kingdom’s burgeoning cannabis industry, but to the oil’s many reputed benefits. Around 25 CBD clinics have been operating part-time since the government agreed in 2018 to amend drug laws to allow the use and production of medical cannabis.

Marijuana has not yet been deciminalised in Thailand, and possession and dealing can still bring harsh penalties. But CBD has become the health industry’s new shining star, with producers flogging it as a quick-fix for everything from anxiety to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and chronic pain, despite it only recently becoming legal in Thailand. It’s now manufactured into a wide variety of products, meaning it’s no longer necessary to simply take it orally. CBD tinctures, mixtures of cannabidiol and a medium such as alcohol, other plant based oils or even vinegar, are extremely potent and can be taken sublingually, with a dropper under the tongue, the quickest method of absorption.

CBD tinctures offer high bioavalability, which means they’re absorbed rapidly into the body. Thus tinctures are not only extremely potent, but cost-effective as well.

Some of the medical benefits attributed to CBD could include:

• The control of epileptic seizures: Since 2018, UK doctors have prescribed CBT to patients with epilepsy

• Pain relief: According to CNET, most people who use CBD use it to manage chronic pain, arthritis and joint pain.

• Treatment of type 2 diabetes: CBD has well documented anti-inflammatory properties, which can not only reduce the pain associated with diabetes but may also help to regulate blood sugar levels.

• Doesn’t get you high: Anyone turning to cannabis oil for a buzz will be disappointed: CBD is non-psychoactive (it contains little or no THC, the compound in marijuana that creates euphoria) and non-addictive.

• Sleep aid: Cannabis has long been used as a cure for insomnia. CBD, once absorbed interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, helping to create a state of balance, promoting better sleep.

With health minister Anutin Charnvirakul championing medical cannabis as a cash crop and even hinting at legalising recreational use, Thailand’s cannabis industry is poised to grow to US$661 million (21 billion baht) in value by 2024, according to Prohibition Partners, a cannabis research firm.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times | CNET


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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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