Thailand legalized cannabis in 2022, adding itself to a relatively small list of countries where it’s legal to use cannabis products recreationally. Thankfully, that means CBD is also legal in Thailand.
So if you’re wondering whether you’ll be able to buy CBD oil and other CBD products, the answer is yes. But there are some important caveats, like the fact that you can’t bring CBD products into Thailand.
Here’s everything you need to know about CBD’s legality and how to access it in the Land of Smiles.
Table of Contents
The Legal Status of CBD in Thailand
Thailand has cannabis-friendly laws. The first thing to note is that hemp, the low-THC variety of cannabis from which most CBD products are sourced, is legally considered the same as cannabis in Thailand. Under Thai law, hemp is any cannabis plant with less than 1% THC (the compound that gets you high).
Thailand legalized adult-use cannabis (better known as ganja in the country) on June 9, 2022. This made the possession, cultivation, distribution, consumption, and sale of all cannabis plant parts legal. As a result, CBD oil and other CBD products also became legal, regardless of whether they’re sourced from hemp or cannabis.
Having said that, there are some key rules you have to keep in mind:
- Only cannabis extracts with less than 0.2% THC are allowed. This means CBD oil tinctures, gummies, and other CBD products that are made by extracting cannabis plants are only legal if they contain less than 0.2% THC. This rule is actually quite similar to the United States, where hemp products are legally allowed to contain no more than 0.3% THC.
- The sale of cannabis products is prohibited to people under 20, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women.
- You cannot bring CBD oil or other cannabis products into or out of Thailand
How & Where to Buy CBD in Thailand
You can buy CBD oil in Thailand online or in person from cannabis shops. Although most dispensaries and cannabis stores in Thailand only sell high-THC (marijuana) products, a select few also offer CBD oil and other low-THC, hemp-derived products.
Your best bet for finding CBD products is in Bangkok, especially around the Sukhumvit area. That’s because CBD products are a relatively small market that’s mostly popular with tourists and foreigners, who generally tend to stay at or close to Sukhumvit.
You may also be able to find CBD products in other cities popular with foreigners, such as Phuket, Chaing Mai, and Pattaya.
Types of CBD Products in Thailand & Prices
The CBD products you can buy in Thailand include CBD oil, CBD gummies and other edibles, creams, vapes, and CBD-rich cannabis flower (which can contain over 0.2% THC because it’s not an extract). In my experience, CBD gummies and oil are much easier to find, whereas the other product types are rarer.
All in all, the variety of CBD products in Thailand isn’t that great. There are only a handful of Thai CBD brands because most companies focus on the marijuana (THC-rich) market.
The prices for CBD in Thailand are quite reasonable and comparable to what you’d find in the West. For example, I paid about $50 for 1500 mg of full-spectrum CBD oil in 2023, which is similar to what I paid in the United States and Canada.
Medical Cannabis & CBD Products
In addition to over-the-counter products, you can also access some medical CBD-rich products like tinctures and flower through government hospitals, private clinics, and pharmacies.
However, these products require a doctor’s prescription and a qualifying condition like chronic pain, intractable epilepsy, or insomnia, so they’re not as easy to access.
CBD in Food
CBD and parts of cannabis, except for flower, are allowed as food products, supplements, drinks, and ingredients in Thailand. However, retailers have to get approval from the Thailand FDA (Food & Drug Administration) to use these ingredients in food. Additionally, products made through extraction, such as cannabis drinks, cannot contain more than 0.2% THC.
Thailand CBD Product Quality
I’ve tested hundreds of CBD products from dozens of American, Canadian, and European companies. In comparison, the CBD oil and gummies I’ve used in Thailand are not quite as effective. That’s not surprising because:
- The cannabis market in Thailand is young. Things that are commonplace in the West, like third-party testing to ensure correct CBD and THC levels, are not yet present.
- The CBD market in Thailand is small and mostly limited to foreigners and upper-class Thais who are aware of Western trends. So there isn’t a whole lot of competition to drive innovation and improvements.
Still, I did feel the usual relaxing and mood-lifting effects I get from CBD, so it’s worth buying. They just required bigger doses than similar products I’ve tried back home.
The History of Cannabis in Thailand
The cannabis plant is native to Thailand. Like in many countries around the world, cannabis was used in traditional Thai medicine for hundreds of years to treat pain, sleep issues, loss of appetite, and other common concerns. However, when the United States banned cannabis in the 1930s, many countries, including Thailand, followed suit.
Thanks to the Vietnam War, cannabis rose in popularity in Thailand from 1955 to 1975. American soldiers were big fans of cannabis, and since many American bases were located in Thailand and hosted soldiers away for rest and recuperation (R&R), demand for cannabis was high.
In fact, some argue that the popular term “bong” — used to describe pipes for smoking cannabis — comes from the Thai word “บ้อง – “baawng,” which refers to a wooden or bamboo pipe.
The growing popularity of cannabis among the American military led to pressure on Thailand to toughen up its anti-cannabis laws in the 1970s and 80s.
Thanks to the ongoing acceptance of cannabis worldwide, Thailand legalized medical cannabis in 2018. It followed up with full adult-use legalization in 2022, becoming the first country in Asia to do so.
Gleb is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada specializing in CBD and cannabis. He’s read thousands of studies on CBD and other supplements, helping him translate complex science into plain language. Gleb has tried and reviewed dozens of CBD brands and products, written third-party testing reports, and knows the CBD industry inside and out. When not writing, he likes to kickbox, travel, and tell everyone how awesome intermittent fasting is.