The beginner’s guide to buying cannabis in Thailand

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So, you’re in Thailand and have decided to try out the now legal cannabis. But how exactly do you go about it? Is it as simple as walking into any dispensary you see? How do you make sure you’re choosing the right product? It’s natural to feel a bit uncertain when you’re stepping into the cannabis world for the first time. You don’t want to come across as clueless, but also, you’re eager to expand your knowledge. Well, it’s part of the process and perfectly okay! Here’s how to buy cannabis in Thailand so you can have a satisfying experience with a product that’s right for you.

1. Know all the lingos

The beginner’s guide to buying cannabis in Thailand | News by Thaiger
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Throw those worries away about sounding clueless at the counter by learning all the basic terminologies related to cannabis before you go. For instance, ‘bud’ refers to the flower of the plant, which is typically the part that is consumed. ‘THC’ is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis – the more THC, the more high you will get. ‘Budtender’ is a store clerk in a cannabis dispensary. Knowing all these lingos will help you go through cannabis shop menus like a pro.

2. Familiarise yourself with different cannabis strains

Buy cannabis in Thailand
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Contrary to what you might think, cannabis isn’t a simple, singular substance. There are two main types of cannabis strains: Sativa and Indica. While both are similar, they actually have different effects. It’s important that you know the difference because the type you choose can greatly influence your experience and the potential benefits you might get.

Sativa is more suitable for daytime use since it’s generally energising, and uplifting. It can also stimulate creativity. On the other hand, Indica strains deliver more sedative effects. Often called “bedtime strains”, they might make you feel sleepy, calm, and relaxed, making it a great choice for nighttime.

3. Choose your preferred consumption method

Buy cannabis in Thailand
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These days, cannabis has gone high-tech. Yep, it’s not just about rolling up anymore. Whether you prefer smoking, vaping, edibles, or even topicals, Thailand has a market for it. For those who prefer smoking, there are pre-rolled options available. Edibles offer a tasty, longer-lasting way to ingest it and are perfect for newbies, while vapes are easily portable and trendy. If you want localised effects, such as to decrease skin inflammation or relieve pain, cannabis-infused creams, oils, and patches can be a great choice.

Keep in mind that vaping can be tricky in Thailand. The country has a confusing and difficult relationship with vaping and e-cigarettes.

4. Find the right dispensary

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Just like with any market, competition for cannabis dispensaries is high (pun intended). With new dispensaries sprouting up seemingly every other day, you might be wondering if they all deliver the same grade of product. The simple answer is, they don’t. Therefore, it’s essential to find a reputable dispensary to ensure a positive buying experience.

Your options range from dispensaries that adopt a medical approach to the more recreational ‘coffee-shop-style’ lounges, commonly found in Bangkok. But no matter where you decide to go, they should have knowledgeable staff in addition to good quality products. If the staff isn’t helpful or doesn’t answer your questions, you should think about trying somewhere else. At the end of the day, it’s all about looking after your own safety and making sure you’re in the know about what you’re buying.

A good budtender will usually want to know how often you smoke or eat edibles and what amount you typically use. This attention to detail is to make sure you don’t end up taking too much. While a cannabis overdose usually isn’t dangerous in a life-threatening way, it can make you feel really unwell. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Dispensaries like Siam Green, for example, stand out because they have helpful and friendly staff. They’re ready to guide and help you find exactly what you need, whether you’re looking for something for medical purposes or just to have a good time. It also doesn’t matter if you’re new to cannabis or you’ve been around the block, their budtenders are there for everyone.

5. Don’t hesitate to ask the budtenders

The beginner’s guide to buying cannabis in Thailand | News by Thaiger
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Most dispensaries in Thailand are designed with a customer-oriented approach. On the counter, you can typically find a “menu” listing the available cannabis types and their prices. This allows you to scan through the options independently, or you can turn to the budtender for a tailored recommendation.

There are a couple of key decisions you need to make, such as:

  1. Choose the kind of cannabis: The essential types of cannabis on offer usually include pure weed (solely the leaves), weed mixed with tobacco, and hashish. The latter is a concentrated version of cannabis that generally contains higher levels of THC, the main psychoactive compound.
  2. Determine the strain: Next, you need to figure out whether you prefer Indica or Sativa weed.
  3. Select a method of consumption: Lastly, you’ll need to decide how you want to consume your cannabis. Do you want to roll your own joints from loose bud, purchase a pre-rolled joint, or consume it through an edible?

Remember, if you’re unsure about any of the above, don’t hesitate to ask! Budtenders are there to provide expertise and guidance. Let your budtender know about the type of experience you’re seeking and provide them with information about your previous cannabis encounters. This way, they can assist you better. Grasping every aspect of buying and consuming cannabis will make your experience safer and more enjoyable, so use their knowledge to your advantage. After all, we learn something new every day.

6. Examine the product before you pay

The beginner’s guide to buying cannabis in Thailand | News by Thaiger
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Knowing you’re buying a top-quality cannabis product can be challenging, but there are certain visual factors you can examine right there in the shop, although you usually won’t be allowed to sample the product by smoking. One primary indicator of product quality is sight. Many dispensaries around Thailand, such as Siam Green, provide a user-friendly and well-designed display, allowing you to see the products closely before you buy. Pay particular attention to cannabis flowers, which should ideally have a white, crystalline substance indicating a high trichome content — a sign of exceptional quality.

However, be aware of any powdery white substance that might resemble mildew. This is a substantial red flag for poor-quality cannabis. The difference can be noted primarily in appearance. While trichomes tend to exhibit a sparkly, sugar crystal-like look, mildew has the texture of baby powder.

Apart from visual cues, use your sense of smell. Most dispensaries will permit you to give the product a whiff before finalising the purchase. Any signs of a mild or mouldy smell, or the scent of damp grass, suggest low-quality products. The best quality cannabis will emit robust smells, with hints of skunk, diesel fuel, or citrus. Each strain will have its unique aroma profile, but these are some common notable traits of superior-quality cannabis. Inspect and trust your senses; they’re there for a reason.

It’s perfectly okay to feel a bit uncertain — especially when you are trying something new for the first time. The key is good preparation, asking questions when in doubt, and always prioritising your safety. Remember, buying and consuming cannabis in Thailand is all about ensuring a satisfying experience with a product that’s right for you while keeping it safe and responsible.

Thailand Cannabis Guide


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