Cannabis strains to get Heritage listing

Cannabis strains to get Heritage listing

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul arrives at the Department of Medical Sciences to preside over the harvest of four cannabis strains which will be registered as National Heritage. Pattarapong Chatpattarasill
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul arrives at the Department of Medical Sciences to preside over the harvest of four cannabis strains which will be registered as National Heritage. Pattarapong Chatpattarasill

Four cannabis strains from Thailand will be registered as National Heritage to promote research into their use, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Monday.

The strains in question are called ST1, TT1, UUA1 and RD1. The Medicinal Plant Research Institute under the Department of Medical Sciences had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to plant the cannabis varietals after many parts of the plant were decriminalised last year.

Mr Anutin said the strains' registrations are currently awaiting certification by the Agriculture Department, saying the process is expected to finish in August.

Each variety contains different ratios of the psychoactive substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiols (CBD), which are known to have medical benefits.

Research into the strains' benefits and uses will be conducted by the department, in conjunction with Rajamangala University of Technology Isan Sakonnakhon Campus and Kasetsart University Chalermphrakiat Sakon Nakhon Campus, the deputy prime minister said.

"It will generate economic benefits for the country, as well as boost farmers' potential to compete in the global market, which will help reduce trade deficit with other countries," he said.

In addition to the National Heritage registration, Mr Anutin said the Department of Medical Sciences discovered the cannabis roots can help restore function in lungs which had been damaged by Covid-19 infection.

Mr Anutin said he fully supports research into the matter, saying it will be a huge advantage for Thai medical professionals if they can offer a cannabis-based treatment for patients diagnosed with Covid-19.

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