Chiang Mai gets cannabis clinic

Chiang Mai gets cannabis clinic

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul harvests the first marijuana flower planted in a closed-system farm run by Maejo University in Chiang Mai's San Sai district. (Photo by Onnucha Hutasingh)
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul harvests the first marijuana flower planted in a closed-system farm run by Maejo University in Chiang Mai's San Sai district. (Photo by Onnucha Hutasingh)

CHIANG MAI: The first clinic to offer both traditional and modern cannabis-based treatments for diseases, such as Parkinson's, has opened its doors in this northern province.

Its 125 medical staff, including 39 doctors and four traditional Thai medicine practitioners, were kept busy as 22 people quickly registered as patients.

"At least five groups of illnesses can be cured, or relieved, by marijuana extracts," Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said yesterday as he presided over the opening of the clinic at Nakornping Hospital in Mae Rim district.

The diseases listed under modern medicine include Parkinson's, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Patients with insomnia, migraine, body pains, neurosis-derived tremors and paralysis are advised to seek traditional treatments provided by the clinic.

"This clinic will be one of 37 under the fourth phase of cannabis-based medical service expansion," he said.

Earlier this month, the minister opened the first stand-alone clinic treating patients with marijuana-based medicine in Nonthaburi.

Thailand, which has a tradition of using cannabis to ease pain and fatigue, legalised marijuana for medical use and research in 2017 to promote the use of cannabis-based medications.

The largest producer of medical cannabis in Thailand is the Public Health Ministry's Government Pharmaceutical Organisation. Kasetsart University's director of medical cannabis research, Natakorn Thasnas, said the university will supply 2,200kg of cannabis to the ministry.

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Vocabulary

  • derive: to come or develop from something - กลายมาจาก (ทางภาษาศาสตร์), ได้มาจาก, กำเนิดจาก
  • epilepsy: a brain disease where the person suddenly loses control and body start to shake (seizure) - โรคลมชัก, โรคลมบ้าหมู
  • extract: to remove a substance from another substance - สกัด
  • fatigue: extreme physical tiredness usually because of exertion or illness - ความเหนื่อยล้า
  • insomnia: the condition of being unable to sleep - อาการนอนไม่หลับ 
  • migraine: a severe headache with throbbing head - โรคไมเกรน, อาการปวดศรีษะเพียงข้างเดียว, อาการปวดศีรษะอย่างมาก, โรคปวดหัวข้างเดียว
  • multiple sclerosis: a disease of the nervous system that gets worse over a period of time with loss of feeling and loss of control of movement and speech -
  • neurosis: a mental illness in which a person suffers strong feelings of fear and worry -
  • paralysis: not able to move or do things - อัมพาต
  • Parkinson's disease (noun): a type of movement disorder which gets worse over time and causes victims to shake constantly -
  • practitioner (noun): a person who works in a profession, especially medicine or law - ผู้ประกอบกิจ
  • preside over: to lead or be in charge of - รับผิดชอบ

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