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Thailand becomes more cannabis-friendly after leaves removed from narcotics list

Caitlin Ashworth



PHOTO: Facebook/ ไปเลย

With cannabis leaves now off Thailand’s narcotics list, the once taboo and criminalised plant is making its way into daily life in Thailand. Since the government decision in December to remove certain parts of the cannabis plant from the narcotics list, Thailand’s first cannabis cafe “Taste of Ganja” opened in Prachin Buri and another called “420 Cannabis Bar” just opened in Bangkok. The Bangkok dessert shop Kanom Siam also announced it was adding a special ingredient to its pandan coconut Thai pancakes… cannabis.

The Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine is even encouraging the public to use the plant… as long as it has very low traces of the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. The plant’s THC-rich buds are still illegal.

The department recently held a 2-day informational event at the Museum of Public Health and Medicine in Nonthaburi, just outside Bangkok, to educate people about the various uses of cannabis… and probably not the uses you’re thinking of. There were no tips on how to make a gravity bong out of household products or how to make cannabis butter for magic brownies. Tips were more like how to use the plant’s stems and fibre to manufacture textiles and paper as well as how to use the leaves to make cannabis tea.

Some are using the cannabis leaves in foods. The leaves have very low traces of THC and won’t cause a “high.” At the Taste of Ganja, people can munch on deep fried cannabis leaves and stir fried meat with basil and cannabis leaves. The cafe is affiliated with Chao Phraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital which opened Thailand’s first medical cannabis clinic in 2019.

The 420 Cannabis Bar offers cannabis teas and drinks with names like Stoner Plummer, which is made with plum soda, and Herbs Party, which is tea made with lemon. Prices range from around 125 baht to 145 baht. The bar also serves Fly High Cookies and Happy Brownies for 180 baht. Despite the names, the food and drinks won’t get you stoned.

Cannabis buds are still classified as a Category 5 narcotic with fairly harsh penalties. Police are continuously cracking down on the illegal marijuana trade. Just over the weekend, officers seized 484 kilograms of dried, compacted cannabis, commonly known as “brick weed,” in a bust by the Mekong River in the Isaan province Nakhon Phanom, which borders Laos.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post| Coconuts Bangkok


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  1. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    Find me a stoner that likes leaf. Its an insult to potheads worldwide.

    Since I don’t like being a criminal either, I just buy the 1:1 thc/cbd oil made by the government pharmacuticals division.

    Its a ripoff but at least I have a script.

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 5:57 pm

      I like leaf and have been smoking full-time for 25-30 years. I smoke it to get a mild buzz and still function. I smoke bud when I don’t need to do anything.

  2. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    Another step down to degradation.

  3. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    I don’t thibk you’re going to impress anyone with brick weed busts and Thai “Coffee shops” boiling leftover plant material. At least we don’t need to worry about farmers burning the leaves.

  4. Avatar

    Fred glue

    Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 1:57 pm

    So that’s what is wrong with our issan (prime minister) John. ??

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 6:09 pm

      I thought he suffered from the ‘Dunning Kruger Effect’, which is a is a hypothetical cognitive bias stating that people with low ability at a task or knowledge overestimate their ability to successfully complete the task or know what they are talking about. The bias results from an internal illusion in people of low ability, but your theory sounds more likely. No doubt he will tell us we are wrong, thus proving we are right………

      • Avatar


        Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 7:48 pm

        Sounds more like the ‘pedro effect’ to me, which is an idiot comment that makes no sense resulting from a bias that leads to an illusion thus proving we are correct.

        • Avatar


          Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 7:56 pm

          Spot on Bill

        • Avatar


          Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 7:58 pm

          However, the Dunning Kruger model is real whereas the Pedro Effect only is pure imagination

    • Avatar

      James R

      Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 7:44 pm

      Fred glue

      I had to laugh out loud. ?

  5. Avatar

    jess monroe

    Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 3:30 pm

    180 baht a cookie, what a rip off. Can see covid hasnt stopped some thais from over changing. Shit Wouldn’t get changed that much back home in australia and that’s expensive.

  6. Avatar

    Bobby B

    Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 10:33 pm

    Don’t tell me that this will not lead to a few shops bending the rules and regulations, and offering the “good stuff”. What Thailand doesn’t need right now is people turning into potheads, and smoking up there last earned bath.

    I’ve never been “stoned” and quite happy with that.

    • Avatar


      Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 3:51 pm

      Then your opinion is obviously biased. Which is fine ?

  7. Avatar

    Jim kelly

    Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    yeah, what’s worse before you climb back into your Hilux VIGO; a cannabis choco bar or half a bottle of Regency?

  8. Avatar


    Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 2:25 am

    Jim go to issan they are mostly pissed driving anyway so add this and well lots more dead people but what the fu.. does this government care the people are just numbers no sleepless nights for them unless they are still up counting thier ill gotten gains

  9. Avatar

    James Pate

    Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 5:54 am

    If liberalizing weed steers young people away from meth and other serious drugs, then I am for it. Personally, I have no interest in this stuff, but I’d rather deal with stoners than tweakers and drunks anyday.

    • Avatar


      Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 3:53 pm

      At least a stoner will stop when he runs me over at a traffic light

      • Avatar

        James Pate

        Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 4:47 pm

        Ynwaps: No. A stoner is more likely to stop at the light 5 meters before he’s supposed to stop.

  10. Avatar


    Friday, February 19, 2021 at 12:10 am

    Thais have shown great wisdom in moving to legalize ganja. Hopefully they don’t stop at the leaf!

    Sadly, tourists can’t come to Thailand anymore to enjoy this.

    • Avatar


      Monday, February 22, 2021 at 11:19 am

      No tourists would come here for it, even if they currently could without the massive process to do so. Because despite what is offcially announced in terms of legality, there will still always be some random tourist getting shook down for a “fine.” This would be the last place a tourist would ever consider coming for such a thing. Additionally I’m not sure why people are still even mentioning tourists by this point, that ship has officially sailed. Even after the SARS act is long over, the total numbers will never return to the glory days.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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