As a popular tourist destination, Thailand offers a unique opportunity for travelers to experience its culture, cuisine, and exquisite landscape. Among these, smoking weed is one that many tourists may be interested in. Let’s be honest, we’re all interested in how we can get blazed in a country that was, up until very recently, staunchly anti-marijuana. However, the legal status of weed in Thailand can be confusing, and it’s essential to understand the rules and regulations before lighting up. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about smoking weed in Thailand.
What is the legal status of weed in Thailand?
Okay, let’s get our essentials in order before we get to the juicy bits. How can we enjoy the newfound cannabis paradise of Thailand without finding ourselves behind bars? In 2018, Thailand legalized medical marijuana, making it the first Southeast Asian country to do so. Although weed has been legalized primarily for medical purposes, you don’t really need a prescription to buy it. On the other hand, selling weed without a license is still very much illegal so don’t be too quick in adopting it as a side hustle. You also need authorized paperwork to cultivate marijuana and growing illegally can result in fines and imprisonment – home gardeners, please note.
Weed is widely available in Thailand, particularly in tourist areas. The Thai government has adopted a ‘harm reduction’ approach to drug use, which means that small amounts of weed are often tolerated, provided it’s used discreetly and doesn’t cause a public disturbance. So while you do have the opportunity to spark one up and enjoy yourself, you will benefit from doing it on the down-low and not too brazenly.
The legal age for smoking doobies or ingesting it in any form is 20 years old, and it’s not permitted for pregnant and breastfeeding women to smoke either. It’s also heavily advised to not drive while stoned. The limit to cannabis extract products is 0.2%, so be careful to read the fine print when purchasing a tincture, oil or spray. Vaping tobacco or weed is illegal as well.
Smoking weed in public is illegal in Thailand and can result in fines and imprisonment. Therefore, it’s essential to find a private location where you can smoke without attracting attention. You will likely see stoners lighting up in public anyway, especially on the beaches of Thailand, but even in this case discretion is vital. One option is to book accommodation that allows smoking or has designated smoking areas. Hostels and hotels are classified as public spaces so it’s not legal to smoke in the building. However, many of these hostels and hotels will have multiple weed dispensaries located nearby. For instance, Bodega Hostel on Soi 23 in Bangkok has several shops close by. Another option is to smoke in a private residence, such as an Airbnb or guesthouse. Make sure to check the rules and regulations before smoking, as some hosts may not allow smoking on the property. Long story short – get high, but be cool, be respectful and don’t create a racket.
What are the rules for tourists and expatriates?
Stoners worldwide have been thrilled at the news of Thailand’s participation in the legalization movement. Lucky for us all, tourists and expats are fully permitted to pick up some giggle smoke for themselves. All the same rules apply to foreigners as Thai citizens so don’t fret. However, non-Thai residents and tourists cannot cultivate or own cannabis businesses without a Thai co-owner. Make sure you speak to a legal advisor about the requirements before you make any investments. While there is no existing law against transporting your baggie of pot within Thailand, it is definitely illegal to carry it out of or into the country, whether in the form of seed or plant.
Where can I buy weed in Thailand?
Finding weed in Thailand is pretty easy, particularly in popular tourist destinations such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. However, it’s essential to be cautious when purchasing weed, as scams and rip-offs are common. However, it’s essential to be wary of unauthorized sellers as they may be selling fake, mixed or low-quality products. To be on the safe side, it’s best to buy your greens from licensed vendors.
Cannabis enthusiasts can find themselves spoilt for choice in terms of shops to buy from. When trying to discern the quality from the commercial, keep these tips in mind:
1 Visit a few shops and check out the price points of specific strains.
2 Ask questions to figure out what strain is the right choice for you
3 Look for smaller stores which are run by owners who express authentic interest in the world of cannabis. They’re more likely to have a stock of quality boom.
Oh and by the way, you can very easily order some quality product to your doorstep via delivery apps and websites like Line Man and Bloom.
What to buy and what to try
The quality of weed in Thailand can vary widely, so it’s best to do your research and find a reputable seller nearby. Prices can vary too, with the local ‘Thai stick’ selling for as low as 80 Baht per gram. Thai stick is the phrase commonly used to refer to local, open-air farm grown grass. While it’s generally clean stuff, it’s not nearly as delicious in its flavor and aroma as other indoor cultivated strains. Indoor hydroponically grown strains are more expensive, going up to 800 Baht per gram and upwards, but can certainly be worth the dough if you’re a seasoned smoker. Thai weed shops offer an exciting range of buds with Sativa, Indica and hybrid strains, depending on your mood and requirements. From Gelato Dream to Orange Spice, the possibilities are endless.
If you don’t like smoking, you can also try edibles which come in the form of gummies, cookies and brownies, or weed-infused drinks. If it’s your first time then it’s a good idea to speak to the people at the shops to understand what dosage is right for you.
Because the legislations have only been recently formed , it’s probably smart to stay updated on the laws as they’re being refined as we move along.
What’s it like to sell weed in Thailand?
We visited a small dispensary in the central area of Bangkok to learn more about what it’s like to be on the other side of the counter in the Thai weed industry. Read the whole story here.
Other drugs: Legal or not?
As we mentioned before, Southeast Asia lays a pretty heavy legal hand on drug use. While tobacco and alcohol are very much legal in Thailand, other intoxicants like amphetamines are not. One unique psychoactive plant which has also been decriminalized is kratom, a plant from the Rubiaceae family (the same one that brings us coffee). Kratom can be traced back to traditional Thai culture, but that story is for another time.
Magic mushrooms, a naturally occurring psychedelic, is commonly sold in tourist areas like Pai and Koh Samui. However, shrooms are strictly illegal in Thailand – and there’s no two ways about it. That being said, the state is exploring legalization of shroom cultivation for medical and therapeutic purposes.
Got the munchies in Bangkok?
If you’ve ever gotten nice and baked before, you know that along with the red eyes come the munchies! Once the peak of the high weans off, your tummy starts to grumble and brain function is suspended temporarily as you begin to dream of sweet and savory treats. Bangkok is an incredible city for global cuisine. Here are a few great options to satisfy your cravings:
Pizza: It’s a universal fact that pizza is the ultimate stoner food. If you’re new to Thailand, you should know that Scoozi Pizza has the best hand-tossed, wood-fired ‘za and bonus – you can have it delivered to doorstep through Grab, Line Man or FoodPanda. We highly recommend their smoked salmon and dill pizza, a classic recipe by Scoozi. Conveniently enough, they also have branches in Bangkok, Phuket, Samut Prakan and Hua Hin.
Burgers: If you’ve got an insatiable appetite, try Big Boy’s beef burgers or the innovative options at Incredible Meatless Burgers.
Smoothies and shakes: If you’re too baked to eat a whole pizza and prefer something on the sugary end of the spectrum, Wow Cow has an array of milkshakes made with fresh ingredients.
Street food: Street food culture in Thailand is incredible, and an experience that cannot and should not be missed by any visitor. The freshness of the produce and the authenticity of the cooking in the markets of Thailand sets the bar high. It puts the Thai food spot in your hometown to shame! If you’re in Bangkok, try Khlong Toei market and Chatuchak market for a one-of-a-kind experience.
What is the history of weed in Thailand?
If you’ve made it this far into the article, you would probably like to know a little something about the culture of weed in Thailand as well. It’s a widespread belief that our beloved Mary Jane set foot in Thailand as a result of maritime trade with India, where ganja is considered a sacred plant. Weed has ancient roots in Thailand and was well integrated into Thai society until the early 1930s when a strict ban was imposed. Since then, locals and tourists alike have faced the brunt of this ban and thousands have been imprisoned for possession and distribution. Since the legalization of weed, hundreds of inmates have been released and given a new lease on life.
Why is weed legalization beneficial to the economy?
Legalizing weed has had a positive butterfly effect in the Thai economy. Not only has it given birth to thousands of tax-paying dispensaries, it has also opened the doors for Thai farmers and agriculturalists to expand their purview. Another obvious benefit has been to the tourism industry (yes, we’re talking about you) as it has created the perfect environment for visitors to travel, sample the produce and kick back. Last but not least, weed has provided immense relief to the countless people suffering from medical issues like anxiety, glaucoma, epilepsy, neuropathic pain, PTSD, anorexia, multiple sclerosis, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. It is of little wonder why our ancestors treasured the magic of this special herb.