Cannabis in food 'strains ER units'

Cannabis in food 'strains ER units'

The Medical Council of Thailand has warned against the use of cannabis in food or snacks, saying it is increasing the load on hospital emergency services.

The council wrote in its Facebook account yesterday that since June 9 many consumers of cannabis had suffered acute illness, hallucinations and hurt themselves and others. It referred to the decriminalisation of cannabis on June 9.

"The load on emergency rooms has increased unnecessarily," it said.

The council warned against the use of cannabis as an ingredient in food and snacks for all consumers.

"Do not add cannabis or hemp to food or snacks for people to consume," the council wrote.

Cannabis also had long-term negative impacts on brain growth and development in children.

Cannabis must not be used by pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers or people aged 25 years or younger due to the harm it causes to young brains, it said.

The council also advised people not to use cannabis for recreation, saying use of cannabis buds would cause serious deterioration of users' health.

The council disagreed with the use of cannabis as the first choice for the treatment of illness. Cannabis should be the last resort if other standard medications could not treat the illness, it said.

Cannabis could not cure an illness, and could be used only to relieve symptoms temporarily, the Medical Council said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said his Bhumjaithai Party touted a policy of decriminalising cannabis during the past election campaign.

As the party won 40-50 House seats and entered the government it could not discard the policy, he said.

Mr Anutin, the Bhumjaithai Party leader, said the policy was being implemented successfully and people had started to understand the policy was meant to contribute to medicine and health.

"The people who understand us are giving us moral support," said Mr Anutin, calling recreational use an abuse.

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