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University to launch cannabis medicine in 5 years

Naresuan University (NU) plans to begin introducing high-quality cannabis-derived medicines in about five years.

“Our research has begun,” said Associate Professor Dr Kornkanok Ingkaninan, who teaches pharmaceutical chemistry at NU. 

Kanchana Ngourungsi, the school’s president, said it was granted permission last year to possess cannabis for research, though it is barred from cultivating the plant. 

NU instead receives bricks of marijuana from the Royal Thai Police Narcotics Suppression Bureau. 

“We have combined resources from several different faculties with an eye to developing medicines from cannabis as well as hemp,” Kanchana said, the latter being a variety of marijuana that doesn’t contain the psychoactive element THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). 

The government recently legalised medical marijuana, persuaded that it is beneficial in treating certain kinds of ailments. 

Associate Professor Jarupa Viyoch, dean of NU’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science, said a series of research studies had commenced. 

“All of them were approved by the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation,” she said. 

Among other goals, the researchers are looking for a pain-killing extract for sublingual use (below the tongue) and a treatment for abnormal skin conditions and hope to develop a hemp-based gauze that would heal as well as bind wounds.

“We’re currently focusing on how best to analyse and separate cannabinoids as well as how to ensure the extracts have appropriate amounts of THC and CBD [cannabidiol],” Dr Jarupa said. 

She believes the research will lead to prototype pharmaceutical materials “soon”. 

“Then we’ll begin the process of proving the efficiency and safety of the products,” she said. 

In five years, NU will be able to provide doctors and hospitals with high-quality cannabis-based medicines, she predicted.

She believes the research will lead to prototype pharmaceutical materials “soon”. 

“Then we’ll begin the process of proving the efficiency and safety of the products,” she said. 

In five years, NU will be able to provide doctors and hospitals with high-quality cannabis-based medicines, she predicted.

The Nation

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