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Cannabis in Thailand – everything you need to know

We're keeping this post up to date with the laws and regulations surrounding cannabis in Thailand, along with some basic information for anybody new to consuming cannabis.

7 min read

Life was already great in Thailand, but out of nowhere on June 9, 2022, possession and consumption of cannabis in Thailand, locally referred to as Ganja (กัญชา), is no longer considered a criminal offense. Medical use of cannabis with a prescription has been legal since 2018 but the Thai Food and Drug Administration has now officially removed cannabis from its list of Category 5 narcotics which means…

Possession, cultivation, distribution, consumption, and sale of any part of the plant, is now legal.

Before we look at purchasing and consuming, there are some nuances to the legalization of cannabis, and how you could still potentially find yourself in trouble, if not careful.

Be aware of the following

Extracts containing more than 0.2% THC, which include edibles, food supplements, and cosmetics, are still classified as narcotics. We’ll continue to update this post when there is more clarity on the situation, but for now, edibles are technically illegal, even though it seems every cannabis dispensary is selling them. There’s no restriction on the level of THC in the flower itself.

Smoking cannabis in public is considered a nuisance. If you do smoke outside, make sure you’re in a private area to avoid paying any fines. Technically the maximum punishment is 25,000 baht and/or 3 months in prison.

You must be at least 20 years old to purchase cannabis in Thailand. The same age to purchase alcohol.

There is currently no limit as to the number of plants you can grow at home, but the rumor is this will eventually change. There is a website “Plook Ganja” to register as a grower so that you can be ahead of this change, should it happen. You’ll need to translate the page or have a Thai help you.


Purchasing cannabis in Thailand is now very straightforward. If you’re 20 years old or above you can purchase directly from any dispensary or other retailer, most won’t ask for any form of ID.

But what do you want to buy? Walking into a dispensary, you may see dozens of glass jars with funny names like “Girl Scout Cookies”, but the names don’t mean much.

Sativa vs Indica

You’ve probably heard people discussing the differences between sativa and indica strains, and how they typically have the opposite effects, sativa being uplifting while indica produces a more relaxed high, but as Weedmaps points out:

The truth is, a strain’s classification as indica, sativa, or hybrid isn’t actually about any particular effects. It’s about the physical characteristics and structure of the plant, which can be extremely helpful information for growers, but not so much for consumers.


Either way, staff will probably ask you if you want a sativa, indica, CBD or hybrid strain.

Indica – typically associated with a relaxing and calming effect, better for individuals seeking relief from stress and pain, or to help with sleep. They tend to have a higher CBD to THC ratio.

Sativa uplifting and energizing effects, making them good for creativity and focus. They typically have a higher THC to CBD ratio.

Hybrid – a combination of the above. Every person is different and there’s no exact science when it comes to retailers labeling sativa and indica strains. You’ll just have to smoke them all!

CBD – These products are CBD-dominant and may contain no THC. Without THC they will not produce a high but is reported to have calming effects to help with PTSD, improved sleep, pain management, and anxiety relief.

So you’ve decided to purchase a hybrid strain, but there are still 8 different hybrid strains for you to choose from. The labels in the shop will probably show you the weighting of indica/sativa and THC/CBD content, as well as their commonly reported effects. You can also ask the staff to recommend you a strain.


The pricier strains are likely more potent, producing a more intense high, but stronger is not always better. Potent strains will be reaching 21-25% THC and cost up to 900 baht per gram. Cheaper strains usually vary from 200-500 baht per gram, at around 15-20% THC. I like to pick up a gram from each end of the price range from any dispensary and compare the two. Experiment a little.

For more information, Canndescent has a useful guide to help you evaluate the quality of cannabis flower, and gives a good overview with photos so you at least know roughly what you’re looking at in the store.


Cannabis can be consumed in a variety of ways, each having varying psychoactive effects and its own pros and cons. The post poular methods being:


Smoking is the most popular way to consume cannabis. Cannabis is usually rolled into a “joint”, sometimes using a mixture of cannabis flower and tobacco. The flower is combusted and the smoke carries the cannabinoids into your lungs, and then the bloodstream. Smoking is sometimes difficult for beginners due to the heat and irritation from the smoke on the throat and lungs. It’s also common to use a pipe or a bong. A bong uses water to help filter and cool the smoke, but it’s easier for a beginner to accidentally consume too much THC.


Vaping cannabis may be a healthier alternative to smoking, with less lingering odor and irritation to your throat and lungs. There are two main methods to vaping cannabis – using an oil-based device, commonly seen and referred to as ‘e-cigs’, and dry herb vaporizers which use only the cannabis plant material and heat.

Oil-based – Standard oil-based vaporizers, or e-cigs, have been illegal in Thailand since 2014, no matter the substances in the oil you use. There have been multiple stories of tourists being fined as much as 30,000 baht and in one case we’ve seen, even deported. The device may also be confiscated at the airport if found. If you do decide to travel with a vaporizer, keep it in your hand luggage and disassemble the battery and other components.

Dry herb vaporizers – unfortunately share a similar name, but work very differently. They are gaining in popularity as a way to consume cannabis without inhaling smoke. A dry herb vaporizer will heat an element in the device to an exact temperature that is hot enough to vaporize the cannabinoids in the flower material, but not hot enough to combust. What you’re left with is a cloud of vapor containing the cannabinoids (including THC and CBD) from the flower.

Dry herb vaporizers come in two main forms, battery heated, and manually heated (usually using a butane torch or another external heating device).

There’s no conclusion as to the legality of dry herb vaporizers, but we suspect that battery-operated devices could be mistaken for normal oil-based vaporizers.


Edibles are a fun way to consume cannabis with a noticeably different high, sometimes explained as a “full body” high. Edibles also take longer to take effect, while smoking or vaping hits in minutes, edibles can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on your body and how much food you’ve eaten beforehand. The high is also much longer, lasting upwards of 3-4 hours, and even more depending on the person and how much THC was consumed.

Beginners should take extra caution when experimenting with edibles. They’re delicious, so it’s easy to get carried away. A common mistake is not waiting long enough and thinking they’ve had no effect, then eating more.

The advertised potency of edibles isn’t always reliable, so we recommended to experimenting first, especially if you’re new to edibles. 5-10mg is considered a low dose, 15mg is somewhere in the middle and 25-50mg is usually considered a high dose.

Even though it seems like all dispensaries and cannabis cafes are selling edibles, they’re likely classed as illegal concentrates, which we expect will be clarified or enforced at a later date.

Cannabis edibles exist without THC. This includes teas and other foods which are advertised in 7-11 and other locations as “cannabis” products but either contain only CBD or the cannabis leaves themselves. You should not expect any psychoactive effects from these products. The leaves of the cannabis plant do not contain any THC, which is the psychoactive cannabinoid most of us are looking for when we consume cannabis.

Concentrates & extracts

As mentioned previously, extracts and concentrates are still classed as illegal narcotics, though they’re still readily available.

To learn more about the differences between extracts and concentrates, and ways to consume them, check out the Weedmaps website.

Health & safety considerations

If you’ve had a little too much

Almost everyone you speak to has a story of consuming too much cannabis. It’s easy to do, especially when combined with alcohol. If you’ve had a little too much, it really can feel quite bad, especially with edibles, you’re able to eat far more than you need without knowing.

If you smoked or vaped, the worst should pass in an hour, and if you’d eaten too many edibles, it’ll take a few extra – you may want to try and sleep it off. It’s important to remember that you are safe. It is extremely rare to have serious complications from consuming too much THC.

You might feel paranoia, anxiety, nausea, and tiredness. All common side effects. If possible, eat some snacks, take a shower, or find a place you feel safe to sleep it off or until the high subsides a little. Having someone you trust around can help a lot.

Pesticides & PGR (Plant Growth Regulator)

The quality of cannabis varies in Thailand. There’s still little oversight on quality of product, how it is grown, and rules/regulations around lab testing (as with most things in Thailand).

Pesticides – This word alone is nothing to fear, a pesticide is just a substance to prevent insects from destroying crops. The type of pesticides used is the question.

When the [cannabis] plants are creating terpenes, those are basically pesticides. They’re the natural defense mechanism that the plant creates, so it’s more about the use of the word and understanding what it means for your products,


Read more about pesticides on the Leafly website – Should you fear pesticides?

PGR – PGR cannabis is grown with plant growth regulators. Growers sometimes use PGRs to enhance growth and fatten up buds, but synthetic PGRs come at a cost to the quality and safety of the yield. Natural alternatives can provide similar results without negative side effects. PGRs are more common in unregulated and black markets, and due to lack of regulations and enforcement of regulations that do exist in Thailand, we think it’s worth knowing about.

Purchase your cannabis from dispensaries with good reviews. Ask them to talk about their product. How and where was it grown? Do they have a clear answer when you ask about growth hormones or growth regulators?

Alcohol & Cannabis

Alcohol and cannabis are commonly consumed together, but you should be aware of the effects both substances have on each other.

Combining alcohol and cannabis will increase the effect each one has on your body, especially if you’ve been drinking a while before you smoke. The cannabis high will be far stronger and produce a high that is different from consuming cannabis alone.

Be cautious when you drink and get high.

Flying with cannabis

Flying domestically in Thailand with cannabis flower is normal (be careful with concentrates/extracts and vaporizers). Use air-tight containers to prevent the smell from irritating other passengers. The only thing you may have to leave behind is your lighter.

At the end of your trip, make sure you’ve smoked all of your cannabis before departing and haven’t accidentally left any in your bag or pockets.

Something else to consider is flights connecting two destinations where cannabis is legal, for example, Thailand and California. There is no direct flight, so you have the laws of at least one more country to consider.

We guess this is going to be a common mistake.

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