Medical Services Dept issues warning over weed binging

The Department of Medical Services reports nine people have sought medical treatment for consuming too much cannabis at three hospitals in Bangkok under its jurisdiction, since the decriminalisation of marijuana on June 9.

Medical Services Dept issues warning over weed binging
Thailand General

Medical Services Dept issues warning over weed binging

New test kit promises rapid THC count

published : 23 Jun 2022 at 06:00

newspaper section: News

writer: Apinya Wipatayotin

A specialist explains how to use the 'Test Kann' kit to check levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. About 15,000 of the kits developed by the Department of Medical Sciences will be distributed to related agencies. Pornprom Satrabhaya

The Department of Medical Services reports nine people have sought medical treatment for consuming too much cannabis at three hospitals in Bangkok under its jurisdiction, since the decriminalisation of marijuana on June 9.

The medical facilities are Nopparatrajathanee Hospital, Lerdsin Hospital and Rajavithi Hospital.

The cases were associated with both over-consumption of food with a marijuana ingredient and the use of cannabis for recreational purposes, said Dr Manas Phothaporn, deputy director-general of the department.

Their symptoms were divided into three groups concerning where in their bodies the impact of cannabis binging took place, namely blood vessels and heart, neurological system and digestive system, he said.

The impact of too much cannabis on blood vessels and the heart included an unusually fast heart beat and a volatile pulse, while the most common symptom in the neurological system was dizziness, he said.

Symptoms of too much cannabis in the digestive system found in some of these nine patients included vomiting, he said.

"Overdoing it on cannabis has partly stemmed from cooks having added marijuana into food hoping to enhance its flavour while consumers weren't aware they were eating food containing cannabis," he said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Medical Sciences on Wednesday announced its success in developing a rapid test kit for cannabis extract.

The kit named "Test Kann" will show if cannabis oil has an amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabis' psychoactive ingredient, higher than 2 milligrams per millilitre (0.2%). An amount of THC above 0.2% is still considered a Category 5 substance regulated by the narcotics control and suppression laws.

Speaking at the press briefing, the department's chief Dr Supakit Sirirak said the department took less than three weeks to develop the "Test Kann" kit. The kit can provide a result within 15 minutes.

He said the rapid test has been developed using immunochromatography, a method more often used for detecting a disease by dropping the sample containing an analyte onto a test strip. But in this case the test kit will detect THC levels.

It works like an antigen Covid-19 test kit, he said. If a result on the kit shows one line on the letter C, it means that it is over 0.2%.

If the result shows two lines on the letter C and T, it means that the level of THC is not over 0.2%.

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