Tag: Thailand


Feeding Cannabis To Poultry Instead Of Antibiotics

Thailand is not just distributing free cannabis plants, but also finding innovative ways to incorporate the plant into other industries

Thailand is moving quickly into the international cannabis industry – and for several reasons beyond just legalization.

The first of course was the announcement of the distribution of a million cannabis plants to its citizens.

The second, which is garnering international attention yet again, may revolutionize livestock farming. Namely a farming community in Lampang in northern Thailand is treating its chickens with cannabis instead of antibiotics.

Researchers from the Chiang Mai University Department of Animal and Aquatic Sciences have now released the first data from this unique experiment. Fewer than 10% of the 1,000 chickens have died since cannabis was introduced into their feed in 2021. Beyond this, the mortality rates for chickens who are fed hemp is approximate to feeding them more expensive (and dangerous) antibiotics.

The experiment included giving chickens hemp with 0.4% THC (rather than 0.2% legalized by the Thai government as of this June).

The birds are now fetching price the price – or about $1.50 per pound – from customers who want organic meat that is antibiotic-free.

Why Did This Make a Difference?

Thai researchers are confirming that cannabis has bioactive compounds that not only create better metabolic activity and overall health but also help improve immune systems.

So far, the study has been in “screening test” mode. Now the researchers will look at whether cannabis can help protect chickens against bird flu and other severe diseases.

Anecdotally this has also been found to be true in people too.

The Impact on The Meat Industry and Beyond

Antibiotics are routinely given to farm animals who are later slaughtered for their meat. This has the long-term effect of creating increased antibiotic resistance in humans – giving rise to fears about superbugs that are resistant to the modern arsenal of antibiotic treatments.

As a result, the use of such drugs in food animals has also created trade wars – particularly between Europe and the United States – the latter of which routinely uses antibiotics in its meat farming practices.

If the Thai study continues to find that higher THC hemp can prevent viral outbreaks, it may revolutionize the global meat industry.

It also may impact the world of antibiotics – both in food – and potentially in places like hospitals where outbreaks of bacteria are a serious concern.

Antibiotics are not without side effects. Neither is their widespread use. This trial in Thailand, in other words, could well have global and long-lasting implications.


cannabis joint lounge social use space consumption

What Constitutes ‘Recreational Cannabis’ In Thailand?

As I have pointed out in previous coverage, Thailand is currently in a category all of its own when it comes to cannabis policy. Roughly two weeks ago Thailand implemented its new cannabis policy which allows, among other things, every household in the country to sign up to cultivate low-THC cannabis.

At the time I didn’t feel comfortable categorizing Thailand as having ‘legalized cannabis’ being that only low-THC cannabis was involved, however, the level at which cultivation was embraced via the new law is clearly better than the average within the international community.

Since the launch of legalization, Thailand’s government has seemed to struggle a bit to officially categorize its new law. Earlier this week Thailand’s government stated on Facebook (auto-translated to English), “The Ministry of Public Health issued an announcement that the use of cannabis and hemp for recreational purposes is not allowed in Thailand. According to the announcement, smoking cannabis or hemp in public is considered a nuisance, as the smoke or the smell may cause health hazards to other people and lead to the risk of such diseases as lung disease, asthma, and bronchitis. Offenders will face imprisonment of up to three months and/or a fine of up to 25,000 baht.”

Who Smokes Low-THC Cannabis For Recreational Purposes?

It is widely known that the main cannabinoid in the cannabis plant that induces intoxication is THC. It is also widely known that CBD does not induce intoxication and that to a degree CBD counteracts THC from an intoxication standpoint. With that in mind, while I obviously can’t speak for every cannabis consumer in Thailand, smoking low-THC cannabis does not exactly sound like an enticing recreational activity.

I think that it’s a safe assumption that many people in Thailand that are smoking low-THC cannabis flower are doing so for wellness purposes. It’s the cheapest and easiest way to medicate. After all, not everyone in Thailand can afford finished medical cannabis-grade extract products.

What really seems to be at the heart of the issue is the act of smoking in public in general, and I suppose that is probably true of other products as well. After all, a ‘nuisance’ can come in many forms, not just smoke. Subjecting people to smoke of any kind is obviously not good from a health standpoint, so if cannabis smoke, tobacco smoke, and other smoke are all treated the same way from an enforcement standpoint then it’s not the end of the world.

Localized Enforcement

Ultimately, cannabis enforcement is going to be handled at a local level in Thailand, including with the new cultivation program. Just as households have to register with the national cultivation program, they also have to register at the local level. If a cannabis smoking nuisance is reported, or any nuisance for that matter, it’s going to be reported to local authorities.

The opinions of local public health offices will play a vital role in cannabis enforcement in Thailand, and with that in mind, the recently expressed views of Phuket’s public health officials are significant. Some of Thailand’s most popular beaches and resorts are located in Phuket.

“Phuket’s Provincial Public Health Office today made a statement to clear up confusion surrounding new cannabis laws. Smoking cannabis is legal, so long as the smoke does not disturb anyone, according to the chief of the Phuket Provincial Health Office Dr. Kusak Kukiatkul.” stated coverage in Thaiger.

“However, possessing and smoking cannabis flowers in private establishments such as at home or in dispensaries, or in remote places, is currently ‘legal’ although specific guidelines and laws related to the cultivation and use of cannabis products are yet to be presented to the Thai parliament.” the coverage went on to state.


hemp plant cannabis flower bud garden outdoor

Thailand’s National Cannabis Cultivation Program Is Off To A Strong Start

On June 9th, just a little over a week ago, Thailand embarked on a new cannabis public policy journey when it implemented its new national cannabis laws, and with it, launched a nationwide program in which households can sign up to cultivate low-THC cannabis.

The new cultivation program is the first of its kind on the entire planet, and it has proven to be so popular that on the first day that people could sign up for the cultivation program the government app used to sign households up crashed. Apparently, the app received over 9 million applications on just the first day alone.

As of the morning of June 12th, just three days after the launch of Thailand’s cultivation program, over 650,000 households had already signed up and received notifications to cultivate cannabis. It’s a truly historic time in Thailand, and I reached out to Mr. Wisan Potprasat, President of the River Khwae Herbal Therapeutic Center, for his take on what is going on in Thailand.

Mr. Potprasat is the President of the River Khwae Herbal Therapeutic Center (RHTC), President of Community Enterprise Network of Western Herbal Alliances, and the CEO Cannabis Medical Industrial Estate Association of Thailand. Below is what he had to say:

For more than 88 years, the cultivation and consumption of cannabis in Thailand has been banned by law, although cannabis has played a very important role in traditional Thai medicine in the past.

Many specific cannabis strains seemed to have been lost and it was not possible to carry out research and studies on cannabis breeding over this long period of time.

In recent years, the Thai government has understood that cannabis does more good than harm and so they began to gradually adapt the laws. This opened the way for domestic farmers to create a new income opportunity. In addition, cannabis can be used again in traditional Thai medicine and as a basis for new medicines for the population. On July 9th, a new law came into force that allows the possession, cultivation and consumption of cannabis under certain conditions (THC content must be below 0,2%). Thailand is the first country in South-East Asia that does such a big step in its laws. This important milestone finally decriminalizes the handling of cannabis for private individuals. This will help establish a healthy relationship with the plant that has been cultivated for generations.

As soon as Thailand changed the law in 2018 and allowed to use cannabis for medical purposes, we at RHTC started rediscovering the ancient Thai cannabis strains and bringing them back to Thailand. Luckily, many varieties were rediscovered in neighboring countries, where they “survived” in private gardens for several decades. From the beginning it was important to us to build up a network with local farmers in order to rebuild the Thai cannabis industry together with them. We impart knowledge about the cultivation of cannabis and use modern technology to ensure sustainable cultivation with zero waste and pollution. The perfect climatic conditions in Thailand together with the irrepressible diligence and drive of our young growers ensure that we have now become the largest cannabis producer in Asia. The gradual opening up of laws by the Thai government has enabled us to re-cultivate the ancient cannabis strains of Thailand and it makes as very proud that in the meantime we can offer the best quality in the world.

In the future, of course, further steps and changes in the law will be necessary to further simplify the cultivation, processing and, in particular, trading of cannabis and its products. There are already wider draft laws on cannabis control being discussed in the Thai parliament. However, thanks to the Thai government’s constant and determined legal steps in the right direction, we have already achieved a major lead compared to the rest of the world.


Thailand Flag

Thailand’s New Cannabis Policy Framework Is A Model For The World

Thailand has officially made a historic cannabis policy shift. As of today, every household in the entire country can sign up to legally cultivate low-THC cannabis plants. It’s the first time in the history of the world that such a public policy was implemented at a national level.

To make the public policy shift even more historic, Thailand isn’t just merely allowing people to cultivate low-THC cannabis. Rather, Thailand’s government is fully embracing the cannabis plant and the industry it creates.

Thailand’s Public Health Minister previously indicated that there will be no plant limit for the government’s cultivation program, so households can cultivate as much as they want to. As part of the rollout of the new law, Thailand is giving away over 1 million cannabis seeds directly to households that sign up to cultivate cannabis.

The government is even giving out low-interest loans to help aspiring cultivators get their operations started. Thailand also launched an app to help streamline the process of people signing up their households to cultivate cannabis. An FAQ public service announcement effort was launched to help people understand the law and cultivation program.

The Health Ministry has largely led the charge for cannabis reform in Thailand, however, it’s not the only government entity embracing the cannabis plant. As we previously reported, a broad spectrum of government agencies in Thailand previously entered into an agreement to do their part to push Thailand’s emerging cannabis industry forward.

Thailand is also working to help right the wrongs of prohibition’s past by releasing thousands of people serving time for cannabis offenses. Courts will also halt current prosecutions that fit within the parameters of the government’s new policy. Every affected defendant/prisoner, regardless of when the offense took place, will have their offenses removed from their records.

To really hammer home the point of how big of a shift Thailand’s new law is from a criminal justice standpoint, not only were charges dropped against a woman that was cultivating cannabis, the officers were punished for arresting her in the first place. All of it took place in the weeks leading up to the new law taking effect – not after the law took effect.

Thailand’s new cannabis policy model still has its limitations, not the least of which is the limit on THC for all cannabis plants and products. It’s tough to fully categorize Thailand as a legal country alongside Uruguay, Canada, and Malta. However, Thailand’s policy is definitely better than every other country that is still clinging to prohibition, especially in the region where Thailand is located.

Thailand is now in a category all of its own when it comes to cannabis policy. When the new policy inevitably succeeds and doomsday scenarios prove to be nothing more than fearmongering, hopefully it results in other countries adopting some or all of Thailand’s policies, and even better, improving upon them.


prison jail

Thailand To Release All Cannabis Prisoners

In just a matter of days, Thailand will implement a very unique and bold approach to cannabis policy. On June 9th a new law goes into effect that will, among other things, legalize home cultivation for every household in the nation.

Thailand will launch a registration program in which households can sign up to cultivate low-THC cannabis and make use of harvests in various ways, including eventually selling it to the government.

To assist in helping households participate, the government is offering extremely low-interest loans to aspiring cultivators and distributing over one million cannabis seeds to households across the country.

Additionally, as announced this week, Thailand will also be releasing thousands of people currently serving time for cannabis offenses. Per Bangkok Post:

Ongoing trials and detention in connection with cannabis-related offences will be cancelled once revised restrictions take effect on Thursday, according to the Office of the Judiciary.

The production, import, export, distribution, consumption and possession of cannabis — except for its psychoactive substances — will be formally legalised on June 9 when a Ministry of Public Health announcement published in the Royal Gazette on Feb 9 takes effect, said Sorawit Limparangsri, a spokesman for the Office.

Cannabis-related offences that resulted in court cases and detention prior to June 9 will be cancelled, with any bond payments to be returned. People incarcerated in related trials serving jail time due to an inability to pay fines will also be released, according to the agency.

In addition to people being freed from prison and current prosecutions being abandoned, people previously convicted of some cannabis offenses will have those prosecutions removed from their records.

People awaiting trial will still have to show up to court as a procedural requirement, however, it’s only so that a judicial review can be performed to ensure that the case is eligible for dismissal.

It’s worth noting that not every case involving cannabis will be eligible for release, dismissal, and/or expungement. Some cases that involve cannabis also involve other offenses, so obviously in those instances, the case will remain in the criminal justice system. The same is true for cannabis cases that are beyond the parameters permitted by the new cannabis law.

Still, it’s estimated that over 4,000 cannabis prisoners will be released next week in Thailand, and that doesn’t seem to include pending cases, expungements for people that already served their sentences, and the prevention of future cases. It’s a significant move by Thailand, and hopefully other countries will work to do the same.


Thailand flag

Government Agencies In Thailand Sign Agreement To Promote Cannabis

In one week Thailand will implement robust changes to the country’s cannabis policies, not the least of which will be allowing every household in the country to sign up to cultivate low-THC cannabis.

To help encourage the nation’s industry, Thailand’s government previously announced that it will offer low-interest loans to aspiring cultivators, as well as distribute over 1 million free cannabis seeds to the public.

Earlier this week over half a dozen agencies in Thailand entered into an agreement to promote the nation’s emerging cannabis industry going forward. Below is more information via a social media post from the National News Bureau of Thailand:

An agreement has been signed by the Ministry of Public Health and seven other agencies to support and promote the appropriate use of cannabis and hemp.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul presided over the signing of the agreement to prioritize using cannabis and hemp for health and economic purposes, and not for illegal or inappropriate use. In addition to the health ministry, the agreement was signed by representatives from other agencies, namely the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, the Mass Communication Organization of Thailand, The Medical Council of Thailand, and Thai Traditional Medical Council.

The Royal Thai Police, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board and the Food and Drug Administration also signed as witnesses for the agreement.

According to Anutin, the agreement aims to ensure that use of the plants is prioritized for medicinal and economic purposes, encourage product diversity, and increase market value. He also emphasized the importance of publicizing the goal of removing these plants from the Type 5 Narcotics List in order to prevent public misuse.

Both plants will be removed from the Type 5 Narcotics List on June 9, 2022. However, any product containing more than 0.2% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) extract is still classified as a category 5 substance and is subject to narcotics control and suppression laws.

Anyone who wishes to grow cannabis and hemp must register through the Food and Drug Administration’s “Puk Kan” mobile application, while those who intend to cultivate them for commercial purposes must notify the authorities before starting their business.


cannabidiol cbd oil

Topical CBD Ointment Efficacious For Psoriasis According To Thailand Researchers

Psoriasis is a skin condition that involves the development of a rash with itchy, scaly patches. The most common locations on the human body where psoriasis develops are the knees, elbows, butt, and scalp.

Unfortunately, it is still largely unknown what causes psoriasis. The current theory behind the cause seems to involve a combination of genetics and environmental issues, however, researchers are still trying to get to the bottom of it.

It is estimated that as much as two to three percent of the world’s population suffers from the condition. Fortunately, researchers in Thailand recently determined that CBD ointment may be an effective treatment for psoriasis. Below is more information about it via a NORML news release:

Bangkok, Thailand: The topical application of an ointment containing 2.5 percent CBD improves symptoms of psoriasis, according to the findings of a randomized, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology.

A team of investigators affiliated with King Chulalongkorn University Hospital and Thammasat University Hospital in Thailand assessed the twice daily application of either CBD or placebo over a 12-week period in 51 patients with mild plaque-type psoriasis.

Areas treated with CBD showed significant improvements compared to areas treated with the placebo. Researchers did not identify any adverse effects attributable to the use of CBD.

“Our results indicated a trend of favorable response in the treatment with CBD, which has emerged as a therapeutic option for psoriasis,” authors concluded. “These outcomes will pave the way for future studies on [the] therapeutic effects of CBD.”

Prior studies have previously shown that CBD may reduce certain types of skin inflammation, including erythemapruritis, and acne.

Full text of the study, “Topical cannabidiol-based treatment for psoriasis: A dual-centered randomized, placebo-controlled study,” appears in theJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology.

psoriasis, Thailand

cannabis plant

Thailand To Give Away 1 Million Cannabis Plants

The government will distribute 1 million free (low THC) cannabis plants to households across the country to mark a new rule allowing home grow

In a post that went instantly viral, Thailand’s Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul just announced, via Facebook, that he was going to give away 1 million cannabis plants this summer. His goal? To encourage the plant to be grown in every household. About a third of the population works in agricultural jobs.

The giveaway will occur in June, after the new Thai rule allowing home grow comes into effect.

However, this is not a huge free-for-all. Citizens will be allowed to grow cannabis at home for medical purposes only, and even then, not until after notifying local authorities. However, cultivators will not be allowed to enter into commercial dealings with the plants without being specifically licensed to do so. They will also not be able to consume anything they grow at home with a THC level higher than 0.2%

How the government will be able to control such regulations domestically is also unclear.

The move comes as Thailand positions itself, globally, as a source of legal cannabis. It remains the only country in Southeast Asia to do so. Indeed, since 2018, the country has gradually loosened restrictions around CBD and hemp. As of this February, the country removed both cannabis and hemp from the national narcotics list. Cannabis is still technically illegal for recreational use although it essentially has just been decriminalized.

The plants given away by the government will also have less than 0.2% THC in them.

The Great Asian Hemp Revolution

China takes the prize for largest hemp producer in the world – although it is still illegal, with harsh penalties including jail time, to even possess hemp seeds. Thailand is clearly challenging this kind of policy in the region – although it may take some time for their Chinese neighbour to get inspired to come along for the ride.

Regardless, the steady progress towards legalization in Thailand is bound to make an impact – and not just domestically. The entire world is now watching the progress of reform in different countries, and there are few places where the debate is not progressing.

Thailand, however, because of its history with the plant, let alone the recent move to normalize its production, is likely to lead the way in this part of the world.

And in the meantime? Its citizens are going to be very familiar with how to grow the cannabis plant – no matter the percentage of THC found in it.

Here’s hoping other governments – starting in Europe – start thinking this way.


cannabis seeds

Thailand To Give Away One Million Cannabis Seeds To Households

When it comes to the pursuit of cannabis reform and establishing a legal, national cannabis industry you will be hardpressed to find a country that is trying harder than Thailand.

Historically, Thailand was home to some of the harshest cannabis laws on earth. However, after legalizing cannabis for medical use a few years ago Thailand has passed and/or implemented some of the most progressive cannabis policies on the planet.

Arguably the biggest example of that will come in June when every household in the country can sign up to cultivate low-THC cannabis plants. Households can even get a government-backed, low-interest loan to get their operations going.

As pointed out in previous coverage on this website, there will reportedly be no limit to the number of plants that a household can cultivate as long as the garden is registered with the Thailand government.

Thailand’s Health Minister, who is one of the biggest supporters of Thailand’s cannabis industry, announced this week that the government will be giving away 1 million cannabis seeds to aspiring cultivators. Per CNN:

The Thai government will distribute one million free cannabis plants to households across the nation in June to mark a new rule allowing people to grow cannabis at home, its health minister has said.

Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced the move in a Facebook post on May 8 in which he expressed his intention for cannabis plants to be grown like “household crops.”

What Thailand is doing is extremely commendable, especially when considering how harsh cannabis laws still are in neighboring countries. Thailand is located in the same region where people are still receiving the death penalty for cannabis-only offenses.

Hopefully, as Thailand continues to pursue meaningful cannabis policy reform and it proves to be successful it will convince countries in the region and everywhere else on the planet to follow suit.


thailand flag

Thailand Has Granted 80 Cannabis Licenses

Thailand is getting ready to embark on a unique public policy journey with plans to officially launch a nationwide, every-household-eligible cannabis program this summer.

As of June 9th, every household in Thailand will be able to cultivate low-THC cannabis if they choose to, and according to prior coverage provided on this website, there will be no limit to the number of plants that someone can cultivate as long as they are registered with the government.

People and entities are already applying for licenses, with some already being granted by Thailand’s government. Per Bangkok Post:

The general public and organisations have filed 4,712 applications with the FDA, seeking licences related to the use of either as an ingredient or product.

So far, 80 licences have been granted for the production of cannabis, hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) products, including hemp seed oil, dietary supplements, beverages, seasoning sauce, jelly candy and instant food, said the FDA official.

In the grand scheme of things, 4,712 applications is a drop in the bucket for a country that has a population of roughly 70 million people. The granting of 80 licenses is an even smaller drop in the bucket.

However, every country has to start a new program somewhere, and with weeks to go before the program actually launches, it’s likely a safe bet that the number of applications will spike considerably between now and June 9, and along with it, a spike in the granting of licenses.

Hiccups and bumps along the way are to be expected given that Thailand is doing something that has essentially never been tried before. Hopefully the launch of home cultivation proves to be successful and it encourages other nations in Thailand’s region to reform their cannabis laws.


thailand rice farmer farm

No Cannabis Plant Limit In Thailand For Households After June 9

At a medical cannabis forum held at Rajabhat Si Sa Ket University this month, Thailand’s Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced that after June 9th there will be no cannabis plant cultivation limit for households in Thailand. Anutin Charnvirakul also serves as the nation’s Deputy Prime Minister and Bhumjaithai Party leader.

The Bhumjaithai Party has largely led the charge when it comes to reforming Thailand’s cannabis laws and policies, an effort that has hit warp speed in recent years. Part of the party’s campaign platform in Thailand was to allow households to cultivate up to six cannabis plants. However, the 6 plant limit appears to be on its way out and will not be replaced by any plant limit at all. Per Nation Thailand:

Anutin said his party’s campaign promise was to get households to be allowed to grow six marijuana plants for personal use, but he could do better by lifting this limit.

However, he said, the public would have to wait until June 9 because that’s when the Public Health Ministry’s directive decriminalising marijuana goes into effect. The order will have completed the requisite 120 days after being published in the Royal Gazette by then.

The minister added that people will not have to seek permission for growing marijuana, but will have to inform the authorities about the number of plants they possess. He said the registration of the number of plants is required by an international treaty Thailand has ratified.

The approach to medical cannabis policy reform that we are seeing in Thailand is in many ways unique. Thailand used to be home to some of the worst cannabis laws on earth, however, that is clearly not the case now. In addition to trying to boost domestic cannabis production, Thailand is also pushing very hard to become a top legal cannabis tourism destination.

With all of that being said, it is important to note that the cannabis that will be allowed to be cultivated by households in Thailand is low-THC. All of the parts of the cannabis plant are set to be decriminalized in Thailand, and households are going to be able to cultivate enormous amounts of the cannabis plant, yet, the THC threshold for those plants is very low (.2%). To put that figure into perspective, products containing less than 1% THC are already bought and sold legally at a national level in Switzerland.

Still, the new policy that will be implemented in Thailand in June will be revolutionary in many ways. Literally, every household in Thailand will be able to get into the cannabis industry and supplement their household’s income, which is not something that can be said about other countries, especially Thailand’s neighbors. Thailand continues to lead the way for the region, and that is always worth celebrating.


cannabis plant leaves

Home Cultivation To Start In Thailand In June

Thailand is embarking on a bold new approach to medical cannabis policy and industry. Over the course of the last few years, Thailand has hit warp speed when it comes to passing cannabis reform measures.

All parts of the cannabis plant are now legal in Thailand after a recent move by the government, although the policy shift only applies to cannabis that is low in THC.

Households in Thailand will be able to sign up to cultivate low-THC cannabis and sell it to the government under a new licensing program.

The intent to launch the program was announced a while ago, however, it wasn’t until recently that the date was announced for sign-ups. It appears that the first opportunity will come in June of this year. Per TNA MCOT:

People must wait 120 days after the legalization of cannabis or until June 9 before growing cannabis plants at home, according to Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

Opening an academic conference on medical cannabis in Bung Kan province, Mr Anutin who is also a deputy prime minister said he promoted cannabis as a cash crop because it could be used for medical purposes and all parts of cannabis plants could be food ingredients.

In 2022, despite COVID-19 situations, there was very high demand for products made from cannabis and hemp in the country and they led to the circulation of over 7 billion baht in the national economic system, he said.

This is good news for households in Thailand that are eagerly awaiting the chance to cultivate cannabis. Rice is the main crop in Thailand, and cannabis will be a great second option for households and farmers.

The government in Thailand is even offering low-interest loans to help people start their cannabis cultivation operations, with interest rates being a mere 0.01%.

A recent survey in Thailand found that half of the adult survey participants have tried a cannabis-based product within the last year.


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