Supaporn Pitiporn, the hospital’s senior pharmacist who is in charge of its cannabis drug development project, said on Wednesday the hospital knows supply is insufficient to serve the high demand among patients despite efforts to boost production. Supply chain problems have curbed production, he said.
Under these tough circumstances, Ms Supaporn said the hospital wants to help patients gain access to cannabis-based medical treatment, saying it plans to distribute the first batch of 10,000 bottles (5cc each) with 1.7% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content to hospitals across the country on Aug 23.
THC a crystalline compound that is the main active ingredient of cannabis.
Permanent secretary for public health Sukhum Karnchanapima said around 100 hospitals have issued requests to the ministry to use medical marijuana.
Given the rise in cannabis stocks, Chaophraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital expects to be able to treat over 1,000 patients from 14 presently, Ms Supaporn said.
The hospital has started a medical marijuana treatment trial for the 14 patients eho receive pure extracted THC and cannabiol (CBD), a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid found in trace amounts in cannabis, under medical supervision last month.
Patients with Parkinson’s disease responded positively to the treatment with less shaking, she said.
She insisted the hospital’s medical team closely monitors patients’ responses to the medication under the medical trial.
Ms Supaporn added that the hospital has asked to import 2,500 high-CBD-content cannabis seeds from the Netherlands to grow them in Thailand, and the request has already been approved by a Food and Drug Administration subcommittee.
The national committee on drugs will make a final decision later.