August 23, GPO, Thanyaburi district, Pathum Thani: Deputy prime minister and public health minister Anutin Charnvirakul was accompanied by his counterpart Malaysian health minister to visit cannabis plantation site at the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO)’s drug-making plant in Pathum Thani province, sharing information on plantation, active ingredient extraction, cannabis use for medical purpose and registration procedure, together with advising three factors to make policy achieve.
Public health minister Auntin who was packed with the ministry’s permanent secretary Dr. Kiattiphum Wongrajit, GPO’s director Dr. Witoon Danwibul and other senior officials welcomed Malaysian public health minister Khairy Jamaluddin ABU BAKAR at the Cannabis plantation site of GPO’s drug-making plant in Pathum Thani province.
Mr.Anutin said that Malaysia has declared a policy of cannabis for medical treatment use and ,duringthe WHO’s World Health Assembly in May this year, it expressed its intention to share and learn information from the Thai side. Cannabis use for medical treatment is the country’s wisdom for over 300 years by using its cannabis’s parts for both food ingredients and medicine before it was put into the narcotic list. Fortunately, the ministry has met with a success to withdraw the cannabis plant from the narcotic list, except its THC concentration over 0.2% of total weight. With the success, there are three factors of achievement, namely a strong support from the government, academic and medical knowledge to affirm its benefits of medical treatment and effective communication to the public.
He explained that the site visit has covered the cannabis plantation procedure under the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, registration procedure under the Thai Food and Drug Administration, active ingredient extraction under the Department of Medical Sciences, and cannabis medical product use under the Department of Medical Services. The cannabis has also already registered as the national drug list for herb so patients under the health security system are able to access medical treatment with cannabis use.
If, he added, Malaysia can move forward for implementing cannabis policy of medical treatment, further mutual cannabis research and development for medical purpose is expected to happen.
Regarding GPO’s cannabis development, it successfully developed cannabis’s active ingredients for sublingual drops with four formulas, which is used for patients under the Department of Medical Services’ guidelines. They are intensive THC formula, 1:1 ratio between THC and CBD, THC FORTE with THC 81mg/ml for cancer patients with last stage of cancer disease, or patients suffering from severe vomit from chemotherapy treatment and finally the formula with intensive CBD for epilepsy in children.
Those have been already applied to cannabis clinics in 12 public health constituencies nationwide, which are later expanded into both state-owned and public hospitals. Moreover, the Department of Medical Services and other hospitals are going to have further cannabis use study in other diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis-MS. Latest, those four formulas are already under the national drug list for herb.
Regarding cannabis plantation, GPO has planned to expand its scale of 100 square metre indoor garden in the current site to a new site in Chonburi’s Nong Yai district under a guidance of Green House plantation, studying a proper environment to plant the herb with high level of its active ingredients for medical grade.
It has also planned to scale up the indoor plantation site in Pathum Thani to 1,000 square metre, which the plantation has scheduled for next year with 5,000 cannabis trees per year and 1,000 kilogramme for bud and flower yield per year.
Besides, GPO has joined hands with 12 local enterprises and entrepreneurs for getting cannabis, which is planted and harvested under the GPO’s requirements. Moreover, it has been working closely with the Royal Project Foundation and High Land Research and Development Institute (Public Organization) for producing hemp seed oil as a key ingredient for other products to support and increase income to remote communities. Currently, two products are available in the market, which is hemp tea and SIBANNAC Hemp Seed Oil Bedtime Lip Care to moisturize the lips.