Rangsit University wants Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to exercise his special power in his capacity as head of the National Council for Peace and Order to do away with legal restrictions hindering experiments with marijuana for medical use.
The university rector, Dr Arthit Urairat, told a press conference at the campus on Tuesday (Apr 3) that the university had made progress in the research and development of medical products from chemicals extracted from marijuana which, he claimed, was the first ever scientific achievement in Thailand.
He said the products would be useful to mankind but further development and registration of the products were hindered by legal limitations. He added that he would like authorities concerned and public in general to be aware of and recognize the Rangsit University’s achievement in medical marijuana.
Dr Arthit suggested that the special power under Section 44 of the interim Constitution should be used to declare marijuana as Category Two narcotic drugs similar to opium or morphine so that marijuana could be used for medical purpose or marijuana could be legally planted for medical in controlled areas for research and development.
Associate Professor Dr Narisa Kamgaen, a lecturer of the faculty of pharmacy and a researcher of the medical marijuana project, disclosed that the research team was granted the permission by the Office of Narcotics Control Board to possess the Category 5 narcotic drugs which include marijuana and to extract chemicals from marijuana for medical research.
With 40 kgs of marijuana obtained from narcotic police, she said the research managed to develop spray for use in relieving side effects to cancer patients from chemotherapy such as pain, vomiting and sleeping difficulty.
The medicine, in the form of liquid or pills, was developed from two chemicals extracted from marijuana, Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tettrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Although THC causes hallucination if it was used in high dose, Dr Narisa said the spray did not cause undesirable psychiatric effects.
But for the time being, clinical trial on animals and human subjects cannot be undertaken until legal restrictions are removed , she added.