Health issues caused by marijuana on the rise in Bangkok
At least nine Bangkokians have been treated for symptoms resulting from smoking or consuming marijuana over the past two weeks after the plant was legalised on June 9.
They were sent to three Bangkok hospitals run by the Department of Medical Services – Nopparat Rajathanee, Lerdsin and Rajavithi.
According to the department’s deputy director-general Dr Manas Phothaporn, the patients had quickened pulse, fluctuating blood pressure, dizziness, nausea or vomiting.
He said that recreational use of cannabis affects blood flow, the heart and the nerve system while eating it can impact the alimentary canal.
Most of the patients tried cannabis for the first time for recreational purposes while others unintentionally ate food containing marijuana, Dr Manas said.
He added that some food shops put cannabis or hemp in their dishes without informing their customers.
“Records show that some patients had a ‘som tam’ dish of bamboo-shoot salad while others ate cookies or drank coffee mixed with cannabis,” the official said.
According to him, no such cases have been found in people who use marijuana for medical purposes.
Manas suggested that the following groups of people should avoid smoking or eating marijuana: persons under 20 years of age, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, those with chronic diseases relating to blood, brain and nervous systems, people with mental disorders and those whose family members have a history of psychiatric issues.
He also asked food shops that add marijuana to their dishes to inform their customers beforehand so that they can decide whether to order them or not.
Early symptoms caused by marijuana include an irregular breathing pattern and abnormal pulse, Manas said, adding that those who fall unconscious should be rushed to hospital immediately.