More steps towards a cannabis friendly Thailand

7 Jul 2022

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


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


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


Are using cannabis leaves in foodstuffs. "The leaves have very low THC traces and will not cause a "high." People can munch on deep-fried cannabis leaves at the Ganja Taste and stir-fried meat with basil and cannabis leaves. Chao Phraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital, which opened the first medical cannabis clinic in Thailand in 2019, is affiliated with the cafe. 


Cannabis teas and drinks with names such as Stoner Plummer, which is made with plum soda, and Herbs Party, which is lemon tea, are offered by the 420 Cannabis Bar. Prices range from around 125 baht to 145 baht. For 180 baht, the bar also serves Fly High Cookies and Happy Brownies. The food and drinks won't get you stoned, despite the names. 


With fairly harsh penalties, cannabis buds are still classified as a Category 5 narcotic. The police continually crackdown on the illegal marijuana trade. Officers seized 484 kilograms of dried, compacted cannabis, commonly referred to as 'brick weed,' just over the weekend, in a bush by the Mekong River in Nakhon Phanom province of Isaan, which borders Laos.