Thai Professor Highlights Medical Benefits of Cannabis Amid Negative Portrayal

National —

On June 29th, 2024, Thai national media reported on an article, titled “It’s a Shame Many Thais Don’t Know Cannabis Can Be Used Medically, by Assoc. Prof. Dr. ‪Pattapong Kessomboon, from the Department of Family Medicine at Khon Kaen University, addressing misconceptions about cannabis.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. ‪Pattapong argued that some groups are negatively portraying cannabis solely as a recreational drug while ignoring its medical benefits. He highlighted that smoking cannabis can effectively relieve various medical conditions, supported by case studies and research.

For instance, a patient with bipolar disorder experienced significant improvement after switching from conventional medication to cannabis. Another case involved an American veteran who found relief from severe PTSD symptoms through cannabis, ultimately preventing suicidal thoughts.

Israel, a global leader in cannabis research, has legalized medical cannabis for over 20 years, showing a high success rate with 87% of patients preferring cannabis products with 18% THC for smoking.

In the United States, where 24 states have legalized cannabis, the percentage of people using cannabis increased from 11% in 2002 to 18% in 2022. Concurrently, smoking rates halved, from 400 billion cigarettes per year to 200 billion, reducing smoking-related illnesses significantly.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. ‪Pattapong suggests that concerns over reduced tobacco and pharmaceutical sales might drive the opposition to cannabis. The article calls for a reevaluation of cannabis laws, given its proven medical benefits.

Cannabis was banned for 40 years in Thailand, but changes to the Narcotics Act in 2018, pushed by Prof. Vicha Mahakun and Mr. Somchai Sawaengkan, began unlocking its medical use.

A study of Thai 8,560 patients using cannabis found the following conditions most common:
– Cancer: 49.1%
– Pain: 29.4%
– Severe stress: 6.4%
The top symptoms treated with cannabis include:
– Insomnia: 79.1%
– Pain: 77.1%
– Fatigue: 55.6%

Products with 18% THC were preferred by 87% of patients for smoking, and 15% CBD products were preferred for sublingual use by 67% of patients. Over six months, 55.4% to 90.8% of patients saw moderate to significant improvement without complications, with pain scores dropping from 6.7 to 3.4 out of 10.

Read our latest article about the Public Health Minister discussing the reclassification of cannabis amidst strong public support.

The original version of this article appeared on our sister website, The Pattaya News, owned by our parent company TPN media.

Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for five years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.