Cannabis In Thailand – 11 important things to know
Cannabis in Thailand also called kancha is a native plant that has been used for various purposes for thousands of years. It has a long history and cultural significance in being used for medicinal, recreational, and religious purposes. Cannabis in Thailand was traditionally used for medicinal purposes such as treating various ailments such as pain, inflammation, and digestive issues. It was also used in religious ceremonies and cultural practices, particularly among certain ethnic groups.
However, in 1934, under the Marijuana Act, the Thai government strictly criminalized cannabis possession, consumption, and cultivation, making it illegal in the country. Since 2022, those activities have been legalized and cannabis has been removed from the Narcotics list. As a tourist, you may see cannabis is solved in many streets and shops for consumption. Below are 10 things you should know about cannabis in Thailand if you intend to consume or try cannabis products.
1. Cannabis in Thailand is legalized
In 2018, the medical use of cannabis has been legalized for any patients who need it in their prescription, and recreational use is strictly prohibited. In 2022, possession, consumption, cultivation, distribution, and sales of all cannabis plants are legalized in Thailand. Tourists are allowed to use or possess cannabis for both medical purposes and recreational purposes, but not encouraged.
2. Smoking cannabis in public is prohibited
Cannabis smoke is considered a public blister, hence smoking cannabis in public is prohibited to avoid the nuisance for other people.
3. Seeds or cannabis plant parts are strictly not allowed to be carried from and to Thailand for personal use.
Only domestic cannabis plants cultivated in Thailand are legalized. However, importing cannabis plants to Thailand is still under the narcotic list. Any cannabis import activity will require permission from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative. Carrying cannabis from Thailand to other countries may be strictly prohibited based on the country’s regulations on cannabis.
4. Cannabis planting is legal in Thailand, but governmental registration is required.
The Thai government legalized cannabis cultivation in Jun 2022, and they used to distribute cannabis plants to households across the country. However, the cultivation needs to notify the government through a governmental website or app.
5. Official permit is required for any cannabis flower buds usage for research, export, and commercial purposes.
Cannabis flower buds are considered a controlled herb by the Ministry of Public Health. As such, using them for business purposes, including free handouts, and for research purposes will require an official permit from the relevant department.
6. Sales of cannabis plants, products, and edibles are prohibited to vulnerable population groups.
To minimize the health effect of using cannabis in Thailand, the government has prohibited cannabis usage in minors (< 20 years old), and pregnant and breastfeeding women which are considered vulnerable populations groups.
7. Cannabis extract with more than 0.2% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) requires permission
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive drug known as a chemical substance that will impact the human nervous system. Even though cannabis plants are legalized and not considered a narcotic drug, any cannabis extract with more than 0.2 THC is still on the list. Consumption of those products may be illegal in Thailand. Extracts with more than 0.2% THC is normally used for medical purposes
8. Authorized restaurants can sell cannabis-contained dishes
Even though cannabis flower buds are not permitted to be used in dishes; however, other plant parts can be used. The restaurants need to notify the customer if the dishes include cannabis and make them aware of cannabis consumption, especially for vulnerable population groups like pregnant women, and those under 20 years old. It is advised to always check with vendors if you are unsure if a dish includes cannabis or not.
9. Cannabis health products can be purchased through specific channels
Cosmetic, food, and herbal products are allowed to contain a limited amount of cannabis parts (excluding flower buds), oil, and extract. A prescription from the doctor will be required to purchase the cannabis-contained medicines. Governmental hospitals, private clinics, and pharmacies are accessible to buy these health products.
10. You need to immediately see a doctor for any serious undesirable health issues after consuming cannabis.
When consuming cannabis products, you can observe some common side effects such as dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, extreme thirst, and blood pressure change. This can be disappeared by drinking a lot of water and taking some rest. However, if you encounter some serious symptoms such as severe vomiting, irregular heartbeat, and chest discomfort, you need to reach out to a doctor for urgent medical treatment to avoid any health risks.
11. Driving after consuming cannabis-contained products may lead to incidents
Cannabis may impact judgment, motor coordination, and reaction time badly within 30 mins to 2 hours. Also, this may last up to 24 hours. It is advised to avoid driving during this time period to avoid incidents.
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