Medical Weed & Everything With It
Thanks for reading Thai Weed Weekly Newsletter, links I’ve collected over the week with thoughts you won’t find anywhere else (you may find the links on my X page, but the remarks below drill down from there)
Cannabis in Thailand, Now
The prime minister is not the only one who has voiced concern. The Center for Addiction Studies also recently called for recreational cannabis to be banned, The Bangkok Post reported.
I do not think the above headline applies to well-capitalized dispensaries that care about best practices and providing medical-grade cannabis with knowledgeable budtenders. The more I have spoken with industry leaders about the prime minister’s recent remarks, the more I am convinced that this is his way of announcing that the overgrowth of dispensaries is about to be trimmed back.
The market is already at work to the same end, of course, as businesses shutter for lack of sales in all the major cities. The two regulations that will accelerate the demise of the majority of dispensaries are 1. Track and trace mandates that require software investment to ensure there is proof of where the cannabis comes from and 2. Certificate of analysis mandates to ensure there is proof of what the cannabis consists of chemically and whether it hosts alien chemicals.
I would also note that moving forward, the over-the-top signage and symbols of stoner culture painted brashly on walls will become red flags for law enforcement. It’s time for a new cannabis aesthetic in Thailand. This is a lesson in regulatory quality control with a conservative social twist. The government, I believe, is saying to the industry, in effect, “Dude, you have to keep it low-key. And stop selling crap to tourists.”
Cannabis use for recreational purposes should be totally banned, and parts of the plant with a high content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) should be reinstated as narcotics on the list of narcotics, according to Dr Rasmon Kalayasiri, director of the Centre for Addiction Studies.
Dr Rasmon said this in support of Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew’s idea to amend the draft bill on cannabis and hemp proposed by his predecessor Anutin Charnvirakul. The bill was voted down by the House of Representatives.
This story is a class in the new propaganda-lite narrative spreading across the news desks of the legacy press. The doctor represents the side that assumes cannabis is as harmful as any addictive drug and makes decisions accordingly. But the data and actual scientific studies contradict the operative assumption.
Many studies show the positive impact of low-dose cannabis on those suffering from real addictions to alcohol, hard drugs or even nicotine.
The influence of the propaganda-lite movement in Thailand is the only anti-cannabis influence that is truly worrying right now. The Thai people and the cannabis can find an equilibrium that keeps cannabis just as accessible with the only difference being we all call it medical. The influence of outside hostility to cannabis had a terrible impact on cannabis users in Thailand throughout the early 2000s.
Indeed, the cannabis revolution was inspired by human rights abuses and the packing of jails with cannabis users.
The Use of Medical Cannabis on Cancer in Thailand
… patients report the use of cannabis for medical purposes regarding its benefits of neuropathic pain, chemotherapyinduced nausea and vomiting, Aids-related cachexia, intractable epilepsy, and palliative care conditions.
Further clinical trials are conducted to further perceive the potential cannabis has on treating cancer. One of the two successful clinical trials that have been published proposes that cannabis may make it possible to treat brain cancer with few side effects.
This kind of research would be jeopardized by any regime that illegalizes possession. Where possession is illegal, accessibility will be curtailed. Reliability of the biomass? Not anymore. Incentives to create and provide medical-grade cannabis are killed by laws that make everything else about the plant illegal. That’s just not how the world works.
This is one of the reasons tight medical use laws have killed every medical cannabis sector they have touched. Keep up the good work Thailand. Keep it legal.
Toward a Deeper Understanding of Thai Medical Cannabis
In the coming months, Thailand will be engaged in a world-historic re-invention of medical cannabis. The country is poised to be the first in the world to bolster its tourism and appeal as a retirement local by being the first over-the-counter medical cannabis regime.
Medical cannabis in Thailand looks inward, to its traditional medical insights and treatments, and outward, to its cannabis science research institutions that have been engaged since 2018.
In this subsection of the newsletter, I will be linking to long reads I’m reading to stay in touch with both prongs of the Thai redefinition of medical cannabis.
The future prospects of Thai traditional medicine are rather positive because the Foundation for Restoring Thai Traditional Medicine and the College of Ayurvedic Medicine have the program and curriculum to produce personnel on traditional medicine.
They have also attempted to integrate the basic knowledge of Western medicine into the study and practice of Thai traditional medicine.
This historical overview delivers what the title suggests. It shows how the impact of cannabis has been acknowledged for many thousands of years as a substance that restores balance to the human subject. Then it accurately portrays how the molecular sources of these impacts were discovered in 1988, when the human endocannabinoid system was established as scientific fact.
The first recorded use of cannabis as a drug was about 2,700 B.C., in China. The Chinese called it “the drug that takes away the mind” – they also used it for neurologic diseases and in religious rites. Cannabis was understood to have medical value for pain relief, as well as for gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia, blood clots and parasites.
By about the 8th century, cannabis was used for medicinal purposes in China, Egypt, Greece, India and the Middle East, and possibly parts of Europe as well. Irish physician William O’Shaughnessy is credited with bringing cannabis to the West, conducting studies on animals in the 1830s.
In the mid-19th century and early 20th century, cannabis was included in hundreds, if not thousands, of patent medicines, including tinctures, powders and syrups. They were billed as cures for gout, rheumatism, migraine, cough, asthma, “female problems,” pain, sleep problems and epilepsy.