Cannabis has been used in Thai Traditional Medicine for centuries as a natural remedy for various ailments. The Department of Thai Traditional & Alternative Medicine (DTAM) advocates a holistic approach to health that incorporates the use of plants, herbs, and other natural substances to treat the body, mind, and spirit. Recently, there has been renewed interest in the use of cannabis in Thai traditional medicine (TTM), particularly for its potential benefits in promoting wellness and preventing illness.
DTAM has stepped into a leadership position in matters of cannabis policy and best practices. Many believe that TTM is the source of Thailand’s comparative advantage over other nations that attempt to legalize cannabis. Because of a depth of understanding of the medical culture in Thailand that goes back thousands of years, Thai cannabis has a better chance of succeeding as a legal herb in this country.
One of the main herbs used in TTM alongside cannabis is kratom, which is known for its pain-relieving and euphoric effects. Other herbs commonly used in TTM include turmeric, ginger, and lemongrass. These herbs are often used in combination with cannabis to create unique blends that target specific health concerns.
Ancient Cannabis Preparations: Still Tasty; Still Effective
It takes 4 years at a Thai University to become a DTAM practitioner; their coursework includes ancient remedies passed down through oral tradition as well as therapies based on modern research for healing the body and the mind. The body therapy takes the form of herbal preparations, such as detox concoctions, infusions, and poultices. These preparations can be ingested orally or applied topically to the skin. One of the most popular traditional cannabis medicine recipes is the “som-tum” or “pok pok”, a spicy green papaya salad that is traditionally made with cannabis leaves, chili peppers, garlic, lime juice, and fish sauce.
Another traditional recipe is “gaeng-gari” or “gaeng-kua-kua” which is a curry dish made with cannabis leaves, coconut milk, curry paste, and various vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and squash. These traditional recipes are not only delicious but also provide a wide range of therapeutic benefits.
When it comes to the frequency of use, DTAM practitioners will typically recommend using cannabis in small doses, typically 2-3 times a week, and gradually increasing the dosage as needed. This approach is considered to be more effective than using large doses infrequently.
DTAM practitioners also recommend using cannabis in combination with other herbs and natural substances to maximize its therapeutic effects. This approach is based on the principle of “synergy,” which holds that the combined effects of different substances are greater than the sum of their individual effects. This ancient insight has been validated recently by research into the cannabis entourage effect.
One of the main benefits of Thai traditional and alternative medicine with cannabis is its ability to promote overall wellness through topical application, eating and smoking cannabis. According to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, cannabis has the potential to improve sleep, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve overall quality of life.
Another benefit of TTM with cannabis is its ability to prevent illness. According to a study published in the Journal of Cannabis Research, cannabis has the potential to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which are known risk factors for chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.