Yes it’s true. In an insane twist of events — Thailand has dropped its strict Cannabis Regulations and has become the first country in Asia to legalize recreational use. Writing this still feels crazy to me — like it should still be kept a secret. But times have changed, and so, here is everything you need to know about legally consuming cannabis in Thailand as a tourist, (or a local).
Important Note: This guide was first published in June 2023. One year after cannabis became legal in Thailand. At the time of publishing and to the best of my knowledge all the information is factually correct. However, things change quickly and often without warning in Thailand — if you notice any information which has become outdated. Please reach out or leave a comment so the information can be updated.
High season in Thailand used to be the time of year which attracted the most tourism — that phrase now holds a different meaning. Cannabis is legal and new strains like Chiang Mai Haze, Big Buddha Cheese, Durian Express™, Miss Cannabis Thailand™, Putin’s Problem and Tom Yum Kush (lol – love you Thailand) are appearing on menus all around the country.
Watching the transformation of Thailand has been pretty insane. It’s changed from a country with super strict cannabis laws, into a paradise for recreational cannabis smokers. And to be honest, I don’t think Thailand ever actually intended for things to go this far. But the cat is out of the bag — and it seems near impossible for things to be reversed now.
I had always said how amazing it would be if Thailand decided to legalize weed. After all — the country already had the infrastructure set up and ready. There are thousands of Rasta Bars — on the beaches and islands — which have been selling cannabis to tourists for decades before the legalization. Bar owners (used to) pay the police a small amount of money — around 5,000 to 15,000 Baht each month — in order for them to turn a blind-eye and allow tourists and locals to consume weed without the fear of being caught.
But wouldn’t it be better if this taboo, underground side of Thailand which so many know and love — could be spoken about openly, advertised and enjoyed by everyone — without the risk. I mean — cannabis has always historically been ingrained in Thai culture. Did you know the word Bong — บ้อง, or the word Ganja — กัญชา originated from the Thai language. And most of the weed strains which exist today originated from seeds harvested in Thailand, before being bred in Europe.
Weed Culture in Thailand Before Legalization
In my personal experience — I first moved to Thailand in the mid-2010s. I previously had a long-standing history of cannabis addiction and misuse — it’s a love-hate relationship — I had intentions of getting clean and kicking the habit once and for all.
And after finishing a summer season working in a European Holiday Resort — I found myself on a flight to Phuket, Thailand. This was a time when there wasn’t much information online — smartphones were still a new thing. But, I had assumed, that with such strict laws surrounding weed in Thailand — cannabis would be inaccessible, too risky — and I’d be forced to quit once and for all.
Boy was I wrong. Within 48 hours of touching down in Thailand — I’d discovered a Rasta Bar, on the second day! A rooftop bar, constructed entirely out of Bamboo — with views overlooking the ocean. Beanbags on the floor, a pirated movie shown outdoors each evening, Mexican and Thai food, happy hour from 4:20 PM and Thai Rastafarians selling weed from behind the bar — Good Times. I didn’t believe it was real, to begin with. I’d found paradise. This was something the Lonely Planet Guidebooks had failed to write about — but it’s understandable as to why.
There wasn’t much variety back then — the only strain of weed which could be found easily was the classic Thai Red String (Thai Stick Weed). It was grown outdoors in the hills on Koh Phangan, or on the border towns in Issan. It cost 50 Baht for a pre-rolled joint (mixed with tobacco), 100 Baht pure — or anywhere from 300 Baht to 2,000 Baht for an ounce — depending on who you were and who you knew. It came as a compressed block — you’d chop it up with a knife — not a grinder. And as you smoked one of those bad-boys you’d hear that distinct hissing sound of the seeds heating up, popping and shooting off.
The weed might not have tasted the best back then, but it was a better high. Chilled and mellow, nothing like the intense and high THC strains, which are commonplace nowadays. Of course, that is merely — my opinion. And nowadays you can find any strain imaginable for sale.
Before weed was legal, it was generally considered safe to smoke in the bars that sold it. They had already made their deal with the police. These types of bars were, and still are extremely common in Thailand, especially in places like the Phi Phi Islands, Koh Libong, Railay, Koh Phangan, Samui, Tao — etc, etc. But that didn’t change the fact that Thailand had some of the most stringent Cannabis Laws in the world — and there was always some level of risk involved.
Here are some old photos I dug out. At the time, it was highly illegal and getting caught with weed could land you a long prison sentence, if you let things get that far.
During the time when weed was illegal in Thailand, the police were able to take a urine sample from anyone, for any reason. If you refused to provide a sample, or if the sample given returned a positive result for cannabis — this would entail the same consequences as possession of the drug.
Which is crazy because cannabis can often be detected in a urine sample for around two weeks — often much longer (depending on the individual). This meant you could have legally consumed cannabis in Amsterdam, for example — flown to Thailand a week later — and still be locked up for cannabis possession! Thankfully the laws have now changed.
Police would often give you an ultimatum if you were found to have cannabis in your system or your possession. You’d usually have the option to pay an on-the-spot bribe/fine/tip — which would usually be around 30,000 Baht (1,000 USD). Not that that ever happened to me. Although I was once shaken down for possession of a vape, which resulted in me having to hand over 5000 Baht to the cops, although, that’s another story.
If you couldn’t or wouldn’t pay the on-the-spot fine — you’d be arrested and dealt with by the courts — which would often result in a harsh jail sentence, even for tourists. You’d be stupid not to pay on the spot — and take the Get Out Of Jail
Free for 30k Card.
Incredibly, thankfully — and unexpectedly things have changed now and on June 9th 2022 Thailand shocked the world by becoming the first country in South East Asia to legalize cannabis use. (I still think it was legalized by accident), 555.
And it happened with the most insane unplanned, unexpected approach! Those imprisoned for possession were released (around 4,200 prisoners — ironically), then the government distributed one million free cannabis plants to households around Thailand. Cannabis was — and is being actively promoted. Yet the laws are the most relaxed in the world, there are almost zero regulations. Anyone can grow and sell it which is both a positive and a negative. Medical or Recreational — it’s basically a massive free-for-all — which I’ll share all the details on — in this guide.
There is really only one rule which tourists need to be aware of. Which I think is a fair one. And this rule can basically be summed up as ‘don’t smoke in areas or places where the smell is likely to annoy other people’. If it’s not an acceptable place to smoke a cigarette — then it’s not acceptable to smoke a joint. And it can be considered a public nuisance offence.
Is Weed Legal in Thailand
Yes. Cannabis is legal in Thailand for both recreational and medical purposes.
Pick it, pack it. Fire it up, come along — and take a (legal) hit from the bong.
Cannabis, Weed, Pot, Marijuana, Mary Jane, Ganja — whatever you call it. It’s totally legal in Thailand. Not decriminalized, but totally legal and it is openly sold all around Thailand. All legal prohibitions against the Cannabis Plant have been removed, and the adult general population can purchase and consume it at will — in the same way they can with tobacco and alcohol. The drug was removed from Thailand’s Narcotics List in June 2022 — and on that same date which the law became effective — all those imprisoned on cannabis-related drug charges were rightfully released.
I still find it absolutely insane that Thailand has made this move — setting the lead for others to follow. But here we are and it’s brilliant.
The Cannabis Plant is legal. You can grow, possess, research, eat, smoke — and do whatever you please, with the flower, seed, stem, and leaves. But do note, that there is a distinction between THC extract and the plant. The cannabis plant and the buds/flowers are legal, but cannabis oils are still *technically* reserved for medical use and research.
Any person can have a maximum of 10 Kilos of Cannabis on their person — for personal use — yes, you read that correctly. It is also legal to grow and cultivate cannabis plants — anyone can grow their own weed — although you do need to register your details on the Governments Plook Ganja Website — which is straightforward and simple.
When Was Cannabis Legalized in Thailand
First Published in the Royal Thai Gazette on the 9th of February 2022, and effective from the 9th of June 2022. This is the Official Legalization Bill which removes Cannabis from the list of Narcotics (Class 5) in Thailand (in Thai ไทย):
Can Tourists Smoke Cannabis in Thailand
Is Thailand the new Amsterdam? Is Bongkok the weed capital of the world? Is the war on drugs finally over? Yes, Maybe, Kind-Of.
Thailand is rapidly becoming the world’s top cannabis tourism destination. The country has always been known as a somewhere which has something for everyone, bustling cities, beautiful beaches and islands, beautiful landscapes, diverse nature, mountains, forests and National Parks. Unique nightlife, ‘adult entertainment’, delicious food, elephant sanctuaries and friendly locals. Legal weed is another thing to add to the never-ending list of reasons to come to Thailand.
Tourists can legally buy, possess, smoke and consume cannabis in Thailand.
There is no discrimination in the law between locals and tourists, you do not need to register anywhere to buy, or possess cannabis in Thailand — you can consume cannabis in appropriate areas — where you are not going to bother others.
If you are planning a trip to Thailand purely for Cannabis Tourism, first, there are a lot of other awesome things to do in Thailand that you should consider too.
Secondly, it’s important to know that some parts of Thailand have a much better infrastructure to serve Cannabis Tourism than other parts of the country. You will easily find weed in Bangkok, and Chiang Mai — but some of the best Cannabis Cafes, and Rasta Bars are on the islands in the South of Thailand. Krabi, Koh Lanta, Koh Jum, Koh Phangan and Railay — are some of the most chilled-out places in the world — with countless smoke spots.
What Strains Of Weed Can You Buy in Thailand
You can find all the strains of weed in Thailand which you are already familiar with. Classic strains like Kush, Haze and Cheese can be found along with some hybrid strains from Thai Cannabis farms too. The majority of Cannabis sold in Thailand is grown using seeds bred and imported from the Netherlands.
Thailand has now come full circle. Ironically most of the cannabis sold and grown around the world today — originated in Thailand and neighboring countries such as Burma, and Nepal.
Early pioneers — most often Dutch — travelled the world in the 70s, 80s, and 90s — collecting cannabis seeds and breeding them together to create the strains of weed which exist now. Without these early pioneers breeding the plants, cannabis would still be no more than hemp, with low amounts of THC — the buds you can buy today are that way because they have been manipulated by humans over the past 50, or so, years.
Now that cannabis has been legalized in Thailand — the seeds are being imported back into Thailand! And all the strains that most users are familiar with can be found for sale in Thailand. This means the Cannabis which you’ll find for sale in Thailand now — (usually) matches the quality of the Netherlands. Obviously, this varies depending on the grower.
Haze, Cheese, Skunk, Blueberry. Sativa Strains, Indica Strains — you’ll find it all.
Thai Growers are able to openly develop their own strains of weed too. Some of these are mind-blowing — like Tom Yum Kush — a Sativa Strain which crosses London Pound Cake with Amnesia Haze. Or Chiang Mai Haze, which is a Lemon Haze Crossed with Siam Smile. In fact, most of the weed for sale in Thailand is grown there. Which makes sense as the cultivation laws are so relaxed.
Old School Strains & Thai Stick Weed
If you’ve visited Thailand prior to the legalization of weed — you’ll likely remember the classic Thai Red String Weed. — Red Stick was pretty much the only strain of weed which could easily be found. It was sold under-the-counter by the block, and prices were low — it was a low-grade outdoor grown strain.
Not many people will agree with me here, but I prefer these low-THC Strains for a less intense high. So the good news is this weed can still be found and the prices are even lower than before. It now costs around 300 Baht for an ounce.
How Much Does Weed Cost in Thailand
Weed Prices in Thailand. This is probably the most difficult question to answer because it depends. It depends on the quality of the product, it depends who you buy it from, and it depends on the amount you want.
To give the short answer: tourists/travellers who just want to pop into a dispensary and buy a gram or two of safe, indoor-grown, mid-to-high-quality-weed — should expect to pay the going rate of around 400 to 500 Baht per gram. The prices are roughly on par with Amsterdam or the UK.
Thailand is well known for being an affordable country — but despite the low costs for most things, it’s safe to say that weed in Thailand is expensive and currently overpriced. The good news is that cannabis prices are quickly dropping, as the local suppliers catch up with the demand. In the beginning, a lot of the products were imported from places like California, but now local growers have had a chance to get into the game.
I’ve paid as little as 20 Baht a gram, not great quality, but fine for the price. I’ve bought ounces of high-quality bud for 2,000 to 3,000 Baht. And Pure-Pre-Rolls for 100 Baht. So there are deals around — but it’s a case of knowing what, where and when — something most travellers don’t have time to figure out.
The fair price you should be paying is around 150 – 300 Baht a gram, for some decent bud. But in some places *cough*Pattaya*cough* the average price is probably closer to around 1,000 Baht per gram. You’d have to be insane to pay these prices or support these businesses.
The website Thailand THC does an OK job of tracking weed prices. They monitor high and low prices per gram in around 100 dispensaries across Bangkok, Phuket and Chonburi. Their data shows that prices peaked around 700 Baht a gram, before dropping to the 300-500 mark.
I expect prices will remain volatile and will continue fluctuating for the next few months and years. A lot of dispensaries opened without any knowledge of the product and paid a premium to stock their stores. As prices crash I expect a lot of dispensaries will close down after their first year which should bring prices down to a more reasonable amount.
And of course, you can always go the old-school route and buy a brick of Thai Red String, a half ounce of this stuff now sells for 50 Baht (around 2 GBP)! It’s easiest to buy Thai Stick in Bangkok, and on the islands — dispensaries often don’t stock it. Bars and Tattoo Shops do, and street vendors on Khaosan Road.
Where Can You Buy Weed in Thailand
You won’t have to look far to find cannabis for sale in Thailand. There are thousands of dedicated cannabis dispensaries which have popped-up on almost every street since the legalization — everyone wants a piece of the action, it’s common in Thailand for people to copy other people’s business and it’s no different when it comes to weed. There are now more Cannabis dispensaries than there are 7-11 stores — and that says a lot.
But dispensaries are not the only place where you can buy weed in Thailand, no sir. You can also find it sold by street vendors pushing carts around, it’s sold in bars and entertainment venues, it’s sold in tattoo shops, tour shops, and rental shops and even most independent hotels now stock cannabis for sale at the front desk. Some hostels even have dedicated smoking areas too.
And you can even order cannabis online. There are a lot of weed delivery services, especially in Bangkok. Or you can use Grab, Line Man, or any of Thailand’s other motorbike delivery apps if you want to order from a specific dispensary. You’d need to contact the dispensary yourself (use a Google Search to find the nearest one) and they’ll arrange the delivery to your home or hotel.
You can even buy cannabis products at 7-11 too. You can’t buy buds at 7-11 (yet) but you will find Cannabis infused energy drinks (counterproductive) and other products like infused vitamin water. Although the levels of THC are extremely low.
Where Should You Buy Weed in Thailand
So there are plenty of choices to buy weed in Thailand – but where is the best place?
Well, I’m going to be honest here in saying that the vast majority of cannabis sellers in Thailand do not understand their product. Because there is no regulation on who can or cannot sell Cannabis in Thailand — this means that everyone wants in on the action. On one hand, this is good, it makes Cannabis easy to find. On the other hand, it’s bad, because there is no quality control. Sellers don’t know how to determine the quality or the price themselves — and this can lead to you overpaying, or being sold neggy or unsafe buds.
So if you are unfamiliar with cannabis, don’t usually smoke or consume it, or don’t know how to determine the quality for yourself — then I recommend buying it from either the Reggae Bars — where you are always guaranteed a safe smoke, or a find a branded dispensary that grows their own products — these are run by people who know their product and can ensure quality — but that comes at a premium price.
But — if you are familiar with cannabis, and know how to determine the good weed from the bad, you can find some bargains and save yourself a lot of money by buying from Smaller Shops, Rasta Bars or Street Vendors. You should be able to find the same quality buds for at least 50% less than the larger dispensaries. If you know what to look for.
What To Watch Out For When Buying Weed In Thailand
You need to be careful when buying cannabis in Thailand.
A lot of sellers here do not know their products. Many people have opened a dispensary thinking it will be a get rich quick scheme. So the first question you should ask in any dispensary is “what’s your favorite strain” — this let’s you quickly gauge how knowledgeable the seller is.
You can find high quality buds in Thailand, but you can also find low-quality buds that are not safe to smoke.
- Infested Buds
- Sprayed Buds
- Infected Buds
A lot of growers in Thailand have little experience and are focused on producing as much cannabis as they can, as quickly as they can — without having any care for the final product.
It is unlikely that any small time cannabis growers would trash their product — even when its unsafe to consume. It’s just gets sold at a lower price. But paying a higher price doesn’t necessarily equate to a better product.
Cannabis Plants can get infected with bugs such as spider mites, thrips and others, which would often be overlooked. Or on the other-hand, the plants and buds could have been covered in pesticides, like Neem Oil to prevent infestations.
When growing cannabis in humid climates like Thailand, conditions such as bud rot, or powdery mildew can commonly affect plants during the growing stage. These buds would be considered unsafe to consume — by most people — but these conditions are unlikely to prevent them from being sold.
Damp buds are also pretty common — now these are no unsafe to smoke but they’ll often have been chopped and sold, without having time to cure properly. This can effect the feeling you get from smoking and can make them heavy and bad value for money. It’s just a rushed product.
Another thing to consider is the cleanliness of the water used to feed the plants. Cannabis is a Hyperaccumulator, which means it can absorb heavy metals and other elements from tap water, which is unsafe to drink in Thailand — and these metals are found in the final product — the bud which you smoke. So if the growers don’t use clean water you could have lead, cadmium, and mercury in your bud. Unfortunately this one is harder to detect, without a lab test.
Seasoned smokers will know what to look out for. But if you don’t have much experience and don’t know how to tell a quality bud — you will be best off buying from one of the ‘more expensive’ dispensaries, or from somewhere that grows and knows their own product. Quality dispensaries will be able to provide a lab report too. Prices will be higher but you’ll have peace of mind.
Another thing to watch out for is Tobacco! If you prefer to buy Pre-Rolled Joints (I don’t recommend it) – you need to be sure that the seller has not rolled a mix of cannabis and tobacco. It can be hit-and-miss, about 50% of sellers have pure cannabis rolls — but the other 50% will save money by cutting their joints with tobacco.
If you’re a smoker and a tobacco/weed mix is your preference then fine — but for me — as an ex-cigarette smoker, the last thing I want is to take in a mouthful of tobacco smoke unexpectedly. In my experience, sellers can lie about not using tobacco in their pre-rolls, often due to ignorance and not realizing the difference between the two products — so I always snip the top a pre-roll and visually inspect the contents to be 100% sure.
Things to Know If You’ve Never Smoked Weed Before
If you have never smoked weed before it’s understandable, and normal. Cannabis has been illegal for a long time, in most countries.
Now this isn’t a brag — but I’ve consumed a fuck ton of weed in my lifetime. I wish I hadn’t, but I have. I’m knowledgeable on the topic and I can confidently say that cannabis is a very safe drug to consume. Don’t make it into a dick-measuring contest over who can smoke the most weed, you’re supposed to enjoy it, and weed will affect everyone differently. Smoking too much won’t harm you long-term, but you might feel a bit sick for the rest of the day.
If it’s your first time smoking ever — choose the bud with the lowest THC content you can find. I recommend a Sativa Strain, anything around 15% THC is ideal and will get you high. Ignore the marketing labels — some sellers will advertise weed strains as making you feel ‘creative’, ‘uplifting’, ‘happy’. These are all bull**it — 99% of the time.
Once you’ve brought your weed, make sure you have drinks (and snacks) on hand, and make sure you are in a comfortable, place, ideally with plenty of shade if outdoors, or good ventilation if indoors — you should be able to sit down, or lie down without being disturbed — the middle of town is not a good place.
Cannabis/THC is a very safe drug and it’s impossible to overdose from consuming THC, CBD, or any other known cannabinoid. The most common side effect is dry-mouth, and occasionally, for some people, it can cause headaches — this shouldn’t be anything to be concerned about. Cannabis can also be mentally addictive — but in most cases, it takes months or years of abuse to develop an addiction. You will not get addicted from smoking once, as you would with nicotine.
It’s usually a bad idea to combine weed and alcohol — this combination can cause you to feel nauseous and vomit. It can also cause ‘head spin‘ when trying to fall asleep — and will result in a nasty hangover. Pick one or the other.
If you have smoked before coming to Thailand, and know what to expect — keep in mind that the high in Thailand can be much more intense due to the strong heat from the sun. You feel a more intense high and can easily feel ‘light-headed’. Make sure to stay hydrated, dehydration is much more of a safety concern in Thailand than consuming cannabis is.
The effects of cannabis will wear off in under 12 hours. Although the high feeling usually lasts no more than one or two hours, at most.
Were are The Best Destinations For Weed Tourism in Thailand
If you’re looking for the best spots to visit, this two-week Thailand Itinerary takes you through some of the best destinations in Thailand and includes some islands which are great places for cannabis tourism.
You will find weed for sale throughout the entire country. But some places are more geared up for cannabis tourism. In the cities you’ll find plenty of dispensaries – sure. But it’s the islands where you’ll find the best experience. Amsterdam-style coffee shops in the sun.
If your idea of a good time on vacation translates to lounging around, in a bamboo beach bar — built on the sand, with epic views of the ocean, the beach and the sunset — while tucking into a delicious coconut curry and sipping on freshly made fruit shakes — and smoking some top-shelf cannabis, then look no further. This reality actually exists. But be warned — this type of paradise is addictive — and as was the case for me — you might never want to leave.
The best places for cannabis tourism in Thailand, are in the South, on the islands. Bars in the south have already had infrastructure set up for cannabis tourism for generations. Most bars are open-air and are more lenient about smoking at their venues. In cities, weed is still easily accessible — but there is a lack of venues where you can go and smoke.
Note: In Phuket and Pattaya it is illegal to smoke on the main beaches. Prices are also the most expensive in Thailand and there is a lack of venues where you can smoke.
- Gulf Islands (Including Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, and Koh Tao):
Out of these three islands, Koh Phangan is the best place for Cannabis Tourism. It’s a small, less commercialized place where you’ll easily find many dispensaries and Rasta Bars.
- Quiet Andaman Islands (Including Koh Lanta and Koh Jum):
Koh Lanta and Koh Jum and two of the sleepiest islands in Thailand. There isn’t much going on here but they are both easy islands to get to. If you are looking for a place out of the way where you can lounge by the beach and smoke uninterrupted these are the best spots. A pure Cannabis Culture is ingrained in many of the local people and culture.
- Lively Andaman Islands (Including Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lipe):
Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lipe — these islands both in the Andaman Sea, are far apart from one another. But they share many similarities too. By day the islands are chilled out and there are many beach bars where you can light one up. But after dark the nightlife, especially in Phi Phi becomes much more hectic. If you want to experience both the highlife and the nightlife — these are the best islands.
- Railay Beach, Krabi:
Railay Beach is the ultimate stoner paradise. The beach is technically not an island, it’s part of mainland Krabi. But because the beach is cut off from the rest of Krabi — you’ll need to take a ten-minute (100 Baht) boat ride to get there. Once there you’ll notice the smell of weed in the air almost instantly — and you’ll find a comfortable spot to smoke within minutes of arriving. Krabi also has some of the most affordable cannabis in all of Thailand, you can buy high-quality bud in this area for around 150-200 Baht a gram.
- Khaosan Road, Bangkok:
Khao San Road is an unlikely contender for the best Cannabis Tourism Destination in Thailand. The street is one of the most famous/infamous in Thailand. It’s popular with Thai Students and Foreign Backpackers — it’s chaotic, loud, stressful — and probably the last place on earth that I would want to smoke a joint. But, Khaosan in Bangkok is where you find the most Weed Shops — around 50% of storefronts on Khaosan have now converted into Cannabis Dispensaries — seriously. And there are countless pop-up car boot sellers, weed trucks, weed carts and even sellers just walking around too. You’ll find the most variety at Khaosan, and with so much competition — prices are some of the cheapest in Thailand. But as I said — it’s a terrible environment to smoke — it’s not chilled out at all. And Cannabis and Alcohol don’t usually mix well together. Other cannabis hotspots in Bangkok include China Town, the Sukhumvit Area, and the Patpong Market in Silom. Find the best places to stay in Bangkok here.
Current Cannabis Rules and Regulations in Thailand
There are not many regulations regarding the use, possession, cultivation, or sale of cannabis in Thailand.
Now I hate to use the cliché argument that Alcohol and Cannabis are both drugs so they should be treated the same, because that is not true. They are totally different from one another. But you would have expected that some regulation would have carried over to regulate the consumption of Cannabis. That isn’t the case, the legalization was done without any real regulation or structure.
Thailand has some heavy restrictions on Alcohol consumption — to give a few examples: Alcohol cannot be sold near temples or places of worship. It’s prohibited to consume alcohol in National Parks, it’s prohibited to sell alcohol after midnight, or before 5:00 PM. There are strict advertising laws in place, alcohol delivery services are prohibited, and the sale of alcohol is prohibited on certain bank holidays and other occasions, like before the elections… etc, etc. The list can go on.
None of these rules carried over to regulate Cannabis. There are almost zero restrictions — you can buy weed anywhere, and anytime — even online, and have it delivered to your door. There are thousands of cannabis stores and many other existing businesses have also started to sell cannabis on the side.
I’m sure more restrictions will be brought in over time, but right now it’s a total free-for-all of un-regulation.
These are the current regulations regarding cannabis use in Thailand:
Cannabis Rules in Thailand:
- Smoking in public can be considered a public nuisance offence — if reported 🍁.
- Cannabis Oils and Extracts (not bud) cannot exceed a 0.2% THC content 🍼.
- If you want to grow your own, you must register on the Plook Ganja Website.
- It is illegal to sell cannabis products to anyone under the age of 20.
- It is illegal to sell cannabis products to pregnant women.
- Importing or exporting Cannabis Products is prohibited without a permit. Usually valid for one year and limited to one country.
No Smoking Weed in Public 🍁
Smoking weed in public places in Thailand can be considered a public nuisance offence. An offence which carries a fine of around $750. It can be difficult to know where, and where isn’t an acceptable place to smoke a Joint. A good rule to follow is that if it’s an acceptable place to smoke a cigarette, it’s probably okay to smoke a joint too. Some places in Thailand, like the islands, have a higher tolerance towards smoking in public.
No More Than 0.2% THC in Extracts 🍼
This rule doesn’t make much sense and is the most confusing rule regarding cannabis in Thailand. The important thing to know is that it applies only to cannabis extracts and cannabis oils. This rule makes cannabis extracts illegal if the THC content is more than 0.2% — which is a shame because oils are the most beneficial for medical cannabis use.
But this rule does not apply to cannabis buds, there is no limit on the THC content of regular weed. You can smoke bud with THC contents between 15 – 30 %.
CBD Oil is legal to produce, possess, buy and sell — at any strength. It’s expensive, but it can be found in most dispensaries. THC edibles can also be found for sale in dispensaries.
This rule does, unfortunately, mean that there are no restaurants which specialize in cooking with Cannabis — which is unfortunate — because a Cannabis Infused Thai Green Curry would be pretty dope.
Where Can You Smoke Weed in Thailand
This is probably the most controversial topic surrounding cannabis use in Thailand right now. And the law is unclear and open to interpretation. So these are my opinions, based on my own knowledge, and experiences. Use your own discretion when deciding on a suitable place to light up.
My favourite place to smoke a Joint is sitting in a hammock next to the beach — but if I’m in the city I don’t consider it to be an issue to light up while walking down the street.
Officially there is no actual law preventing smoking cannabis — although current smoking laws do apply to tobacco, e-cigarettes and cannabis too. The existing smoking laws in Thailand prohibit smoking indoors in public buildings and also prohibit smoking outdoors in National Parks, and on most beaches in tourist areas.
Now, it’s no secret that smoking cannabis creates a potent smell — which a lot of people dislike.
Because of the smell created when smoking a joint — it can be considered a public nuisance offence. A law which carries a maximum fine of 25,000THB. This is not an on-the-spot fine — you would need to be charged with the offence.
In reality — this law is not enforced unless a complaint is received — and to date, since the legalization of Cannabis — I cannot find any examples of the Public Nuisance Law being enforced against tourists or foreigners. The maximum penalties are usually reserved for repeat and persistent offenders.
If the police were to attend a situation where someone was complaining about the smell of your cannabis smoke the most likely outcome would be paying a bribe to the police — somewhere around the 1,000 to 2,000 Baht mark. Which would likely be split between the police and the ‘victim’. You’d also be moved on from the area.
So, in short, it is not illegal to smoke weed in public in Thailand, but it is important to be considerate towards others and to be aware of your surroundings. And providing you are respectful of others around you — and have found a nice quiet spot to smoke up — there should not be any issues.
A good rule of thumb to follow is that you should not smoke Cannabis anywhere that you can’t smoke a cigarette. For example — walking around a busy outdoor market, or sitting on a crowded beach — it’s probably not OK to smoke there. But sitting in a secluded spot next to a river, in a spot away from others — even though you are in public — it’s probably OK to smoke. Just use your own discretion and common sense. You can smoke cannabis in any dedicated smoking areas — including designated smoking areas in National Parks, and the strangest one for me — you can smoke weed in the smoking rooms at the airports! Lighting up a joint on the roof of Phuket Airport feels so wrong, but it’s perfectly acceptable and legal — just make sure you’ve smoked your entire stash before boarding an international flight.
It’s also important to know that different places in Thailand have different tolerance levels. Islands, for example — you can smoke pretty much anywhere you like — it’s mostly tourists there anyway. Cities like Bangkok, where you have more working-class people going about daily life will be more strict.
Weed Smoking Venues in Thailand
In Amsterdam, you’ll find hundreds of coffee shops where you can buy a joint or a bag and light up indoors. Providing you brought the weed from said coffee shop and also paid for a delicious, overpriced €7 hot-chocolate.
So what is the equivalent in Thailand?
Well, right now, there are very few dedicated smoke shops, or coffee shops. Mostly because it’s illegal to smoke indoors! In Amsterdam, it is also illegal to smoke indoors, but exemptions are made for cannabis — it does mean that you can’t smoke a cannabis-tobacco mix in Amsterdam- Pure Joints only- them’s the rules, and that’s fine with me!
The same cannot be said for Thailand. But there are a few workarounds.
Thailand can take advantage of the beautiful weather and hot climate. It is legal to smoke on a rooftop or in a bamboo bar, which is open aired. There are a few rooftop smoking cafes opening in Bangkok – Fat Buds is probably the most well-known, but there are enough around — none have really established a reputation so far.
And in the south of Thailand, on the islands — to be honest the laws are more relaxed anyway and you can smoke in most of the bars. Although these bars sell both alcohol and weed — it’s easy enough to find a chilled bar — somewhere like the Only Bar on Phi Phi Island, or the Rock Bar on Koh Jum are great examples.
Another loophole is that venues with a Cigar License allow smoking indoors — although there are few places, they do exist. Mostly in Bangkok.
The strangest place to me — are the red light districts, such as Bangla in Phuket, or Nana in Bangkok — also the Khao San Road Area. The bars in the nightlife areas have always allowed smoking indoors, even after the indoor smoking ban. So you’ll see a lot of people smoking weed in these bars. But, as I said earlier — alcohol and weed do not mix together. And sitting in a loud bar, essentially a club is the absolute last place I would want to smoke a joint — but if you want to — you can.
Can You Take Weed On An Airplane in Thailand
What a world we live in. Bringing ounces of weed on the plane is fine — but don’t even think about bringing a bottle of water.
So Yes. You can take cannabis through a Thai Airport and on an airplane! — But only if it’s a domestic flight — from one part of Thailand to another. A Bangkok to Phuket flight, for example, is fine. Whereas an international flight like Bangkok to Hanoi — is not.
I used to absolutely s**t my pants when flying — I could never shake the feeling that I had left a bag of weed somewhere in my backpack. And I’ll never forget the time I actually did. I left a weed grinder in my bag — which I discovered after clearing security in Bangkok airport — luckily. I must have looked suspicious as hell if anyone was looking. As I tried to disguise it, by covering the paraphernalia with a burger wrapper and shadily tossing it in the airport bin.
I still cannot get over the fact that it’s now OK to carry weed through the airport, in Thailand. But it is. It’s the most surreal feeling, emptying your pockets and chucking everything into the tray to be passed through the x-ray scanner. Passport — check, headphones — check, bag of weed — check. Bottle of water — seized – whoops.
It all felt so wrong — as security took my bag to the side for additional checks. Even though I know it’s legal, my mind still hasn’t quite accepted it yet. “Is this your bag” – the security officer asks — Yes. Can you open it for me — Yes. “What is this” My bag of weed — “OK, No Problem”. But, Sir, You cannot carry more than one lighter with you, we’ll need to confiscate the other one. Sure. “Have a safe flight”.
I walk off, now without a bottle of water, and one less lighter. But I still have my weed.
Flying With Cannabis on a Domestic Flight
Domestic flight means the flight is departing from a Thai Airport and arriving at another Thai Airport. So there is no immigration control, no change of country and no change of laws.
Some examples of domestic flight routes in Thailand are: Krabi to Chiang Mai, Phuket to Bangkok, and Bangkok to Hat Yai.
If you are taking a domestic flight within Thailand — then you can bring as much weed as you like. But it’s a good idea to use smell-proof containers or bags to prevent the smell from spreading around the aircraft. You don’t need to mention anything at all — just leave it in your bag and travel as you normally would. Madness I know. And obviously, it should go without saying, you can’t smoke it on the flight — but you can consume it in the form of edibles.
Flying With Cannabis on an International Flight
If you are taking an international flight — you cannot legally take cannabis on the plane with you. You’d have to be pretty thick to even consider it. Especially for personal use, the risk is so high, and the reward is so low.
Taking cannabis on an international flight would be considered as exporting cannabis from Thailand — while this is not illegal in itself it does require a permit.
But I’d be more worried about the country I was flying to — other countries in South East Asia like Singapore, or Indonesia still have very strict drug rules and there is a high chance you’d be caught out by sniffer dogs or bag checks when you arrive. Getting caught with cannabis in any other country would result in some pretty serious consequences.
Even if you are flying from Thailand to a country where cannabis is legal it is still a huge risk. First of all the flight would need to be direct — if you are flying to the USA, you’d probably have a layover in Japan, and if you are flying to Europe you’d probably have a layover in the Middle East. And you don’t want to be in possession of cannabis in either of these places.
As of right now, there is only one flight route which I can find that flies from Thailand to a country where weed is legal. This is KLM Flight 876 — a direct flight from Bangkok to Amsterdam — but even still, I wouldn’t travel with weed — if the flight was diverted for any reason you could be screwed. And besides if you’re flying to another country where weed is legal — just buy more once you land.
If you are leaving Thailand by air, make sure you’ve smoked or donated all your leftover bud before you get on the plane. And double-check your backpack to make sure you have none hidden away which you’ve forgotten about.
Is Weed Legal Anywhere Else in Asia
Nope. Do. Not. Take. Weed. Out. From. Thailand.
In almost all other countries — cannabis is still an illegal and controlled drug.
This really should be common sense. But don’t try to take weed outside of Thailand. Smoke it all on your last day — if you have any remaining, or give it away.
There have already been multiple cases where tourists have legally brought weed in Thailand and then taken it to other countries, like Bali, Indonesia. Or have been caught with cannabis at land borders in Laos, or Malaysia. Some countries are stricter than others and if you tried to take products from Thailand to somewhere like Singapore, for example — you’re pretty much guaranteed a jail sentence. It is not worth the risk.
Some countries have even gone as far as to express their concerns as a warning. For citizens of both China, and Singapore — their governments have reinforced that they consider it to be illegal for their citizens to consume cannabis within or outside of their borders. While these rules don’t apply to many countries — make sure to check the laws from your country. And although these rules are difficult to enforce — it’s good to know that cannabis can be detected in hair, urine and blood samples for a long time after use.
Are All Recreational Drugs Legal in Thailand
Weed is legal, but other drugs are not.
Recreational drugs are not commonplace in Thailand. The four most common drugs in Thailand are Cannabis, Magic Mushrooms, Ya-Ba and Cocaine. Aside from cannabis, no other drugs have been legalized in Thailand. Do not assume that all drugs are legal — they are not. There are very serious consequences for possessing illegal drugs.
There is some leniency towards mushrooms, and it is expected they will be legalized within the next few years. They are sold as fruit-shakes in bars around the islands and tourist hotspots. But for now, you should know – they are still illegal.
Ya-Ba which means the ‘Crazy Drug’ is an amphetamine, this is highly illegal, as is cocaine. Getting caught with either of these drugs will usually result in a prison sentence.
TL;DR – Can I Smoke Weed In Thailand
To summarise, cannabis is totally legal in Thailand — for recreational use. It’s very easy to find it for sale and thousands of dispensaries have opened up since the drug was legalized in June 2021. Anyone including tourists can buy, smoke, consume and possess the drug. There are very loose rules and a lack of regulation sounding the use of cannabis in Thailand — which is causing the country to quickly become one of the best cannabis tourism destinations — in the world.