Marijuana has been touted as a remedy for 40 diseases by Thai Facebook users ( AFP / MAURO PIMENTEL)

Facebook users falsely claim 'marijuana preserved with honey cures 40 health conditions'

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Facebook posts shared hundreds of times claim that "marijuana preserved with honey" cures 40 different medical conditions, including Alzheimer's, diabetes and high blood pressure. The posts are misleading; there is no evidence the purported remedy can cure these conditions. Health experts said people should see a doctor if they have health concerns.

"Recipe of marijuana preserved with honey, cures 40 different diseases," reads a Thai-language Facebook post from September 18 shared more than 600 times.

The post lists a variety of health conditions, including Alzheimer's, diabetes and high blood pressure. 

"Use the entire cannabis trunk, as well as leaves, root and flowers. Chop them into pieces, sundry them, and leave them for 15 days. Have a teaspoon every day before going to bed".

Screenshot of the misleading claim shared on Facebook, taken on October 18, 2021

Marijuana has been used as a traditional herb for centuries in Thailand but was banned decades ago.

In February 2019, Thailand legalised the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

In December 2020, marijuana was removed from a government list of "harmful drugs", meaning it is now legal to plant it domestically if government approval is obtained.

A similar claim was shared here, here and here on Facebook. 

The claim is misleading: experts say there is insufficient evidence to prove that the purported remedy cures any health conditions. 

'No evidence'

Dr Khwanchai Wisitanon, deputy director of Thailand's Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine said there was no evidence to prove the effectiveness of the purported remedy.

"Based on the medical record, there is no research to support the claim," he told AFP. 

"If you are diagnosed with a certain disease, you should seek health professionals' advice for medical treatments".

Dr Thiravat Hemachudha, an expert on medical marijuana at Chulalongkorn University, also said there was insufficient evidence to prove the purported recipe can "cure" diseases.

"There is no evidence to suggest the claim is correct," he told AFP.

"It is true that marijuana has anti-inflammatory properties, but patients should not rely on it in order to get better. They should always seek professional medical advice."

Although marijuana may have properties that can alleviate certain symptoms, it cannot "cure" diseases, according to Pakakrong Kwankhao, head of Chaopraya Abhaiphubejhr Hospital's Centre for Evidence-based Thai Traditional and Herbal Medicine.

"Marijuana can help alleviate some symptoms. It can ease the patient's pain or make the patient get rested or be happy. However, it still lacks evidence that it can be used to "cure" any diseases," she told AFP.