Thursday, December 05, 2019

Govt cannabis plants begin to bud: medic

May 16. 2019
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By The Nation

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The cannabis crop at the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation’s (GPO) closed-system farm is nearly ready for harvesting and producing medicines.

Dr Sophon Mekthon, chairman of the GPO board of directors, said 140 cannabis plants at the farm in Pathum Thani had begun to bud and would need around 10 to 12 weeks to mature for harvesting.

“After the cannabis buds are ready to harvest by the end of this July, we will begin the trial to extract three types of cannabinoid extracts and produce 2,500 bottles of medical cannabis oil,” Sophon said.

“However, the specialists still need to closely monitor the growth of the cannabis buds, because this is the first time for us to grow our own medical-grade cannabis, which requires very intensive care.”

The 5ml bottles of oil from the first crop will be distributed to patients in the cannabinoid drug’s clinical trial project of the Medical Services Department.

GPO managing director Dr Withoon Danwiboon explained that the female plants, which have the greatest “medical" properties, will be selected for extracting the oil by drying the buds, extracting the cannabinoid extracts with ethanol, and then diluting to get the standardised dose of cannabinoid extracts in each type of oil.

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