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Panel to study use of marijuana on mental health patients

Panel to study use of marijuana on mental health patients

TUESDAY, June 18, 2019

THE DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH (DMH)’S new panel will come up with guidelines on the use of marijuana for medical purposes and a recommendation on its use in treating psychiatric patients, which will be proposed to the Public Health Ministry’s Narcotics Control Committee, a senior official said yesterday.

Department chief Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit said the new committee has been tasked with analysing the pros and cons of using marijuana for mental disorders, coming up with recommendations and an action plan for marijuana usage in DMH hospitals and health institutes, planning support, and controlling the use of marijuana. 
Several DMH medical units have called on the committee to approve research into the effectiveness of “Sukhasaiyat” cannabis-laced traditional medicine used to cure insomnia, cannabis oil used to treat dementia patents and cannabidiol (CBD) used to treat patients with general anxiety disorders. 
Meanwhile, the Narcotics Control Committee has agreed to let Prachin Buri’s Chaophraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital and Rajamangala University of Technology Isan Sakonnakhon Campus to grow marijuana for research and for medical use, Food and Drug Administration secretary-general Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong said. 
This brings the number of institutes allowed to grow cannabis to four, Tares said. The other two are Pathum Thani’s Rangsit University and the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation. 
Tares added that the panel has also given the nod for Sakon Nakhon’s Pra Arjarn Phun Ajaro Hospital, which has won the good manufacturing practices certificate for herbal products, to produce marijuana-based medicines. 
As marijuana is still prohibited under Thai law, the narcotics committee – which is also known as the Psychotropic Substances Committee – will consider those applying to grow marijuana based on a strict criteria, including whether the land meant for the marijuana crop is suitable, Tares said.