CBD and Thailand – is this why Thailand is known as The land of the Smiles then?

We’ve covered a little bit on the topic of how jumpy people of Asia can be when it comes to infringing the law, especially when it concerns something as new as cannabis. Well, I wouldn’t say that its a new, new thing over here. People have indeed come to know cannabis recreationally, if you know what I mean. but as a rule, Asian people are generally law abiding citizens.

Which is why the topic of CBD and Thailand comes as a surprise, albeit a pleasant one at that. As of June 2022, cannabis might finally have taken its first baby steps towards being decriminalised as cultivation of the plant might finally be permitted. But of course, not without some caveats attached to it.

Category 5 : that’s where cannabis finds itself on Thailand’s narcotics list. But this is looking to change pretty soon. Might people be finally able to grow plants themselves at home? Because if they do, then this might bring about change in major ways.

Hold your horses though. Taking cannabis off the narcotics list does not mean that its allowed for recreational use just yet (sorry but the Amsterdam of the east will have to wait just a little bit more). The homegrown type is meant only for health and medical reasons. You’ll also need to register your intend to grow with respective organisations, as well as applying for permissions should you wish to grow them for commercial use.

According to the Bangkok Postcannabis extracts which contain more than 0.2% of THC will still be classified as a category 5 narcotic, and will thereby be regulated under the previous laws. However, only oil extracted from marijuana with a THC content of over 0.2% is in question, so other parts can be legally planted and traded — as mentioned above, solely for medical or health reasons and other business.

Entering a new CBD era for Thailand?

Chief Executive of JSP Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Thailand, Sittichai Daengprasert, has called this time to be a ‘new era’ for the plant in Thailand. According to JSP, the CBD oil market is valued at an estimated 100 billion Baht, and Sittichai explains that the easing of the cannabis laws could greatly help local communities. Think local small holding farmers who can plant and supply these plants to factories. It can also, as discussed earlier, lead to a new segment of international tourism as well, as our Dutch counterparts has shown us how.

Thailand’s businesses have begun to cash in on a consumer frenzy for all things marijuana – including desserts, bubble tea and skin care  –  after restrictions on the drug eased.

However Thailand’s government rushed to issue a string of new regulations on cannabis use after the decriminalisation raised alarm that it could be used anywhere and by anyone, including children.

Everyday CBD in Thailand

Bangkok dessert shop Kanomsiam was one of the first to jump on the cannabis bandwagon, adding dried cannabis leaves into its traditional pandan-flavoured pancakes.

“It’s like tapping into a fresh and interesting territory, it’s worth a lot and it’s new,” said shop owner Kreephet Hanpongpipat.

The shop has earned a stream of regulars willing to pay 170 baht for six of the pancakes since their launch mid-2021.

Nikom Rianthong started brushing his teeth with Channherb, a local toothpaste brand that uses cannabis sativa oil extract, two months ago.

He said the effect was immediate.

“I have receding gums and often got gingivitis,” he said.

“After using the Channherb toothpaste, my teeth feel cleaner and all the gum diseases that I used to have went away.”

Brand owner Surawut Samphant decided to use cannabis sativa oil extract when he came up with the formula in April because it has long been used by traditional medical practitioners to help with inflammation.

A bubble tea chain store in Thailand’s eastern Chonburi province also joined the cannabis fever by creating a special menu of cannabis-infused drinks.

“It is a frenzy, a trend. Cannabis has its own benefits when used correctly and in the right amount,” store owner 33-year-old Nitisit Wongsasiriwatthana said.

Fans of the drink said it tasted like a “typical tea” but smelled like “some sort of herb”.

Now, are we just going to allow Thailand to get away with this all by themselves, or are we going to give them a run for their money? Only time will tell but in the meanwhile, remember to keep on the metta, guys!

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