In Thailand, cannabis, known by the name ganja (Thai: กัญชา; RTGS: kancha) was decriminalized in 2022. Medical use has been made legal since 2018. Since 2022, The Thai Food and Drug Administration officially removed marijuana and hemp from the Category 5 narcotics list. Possession, cultivation, distribution, consumption, and sales of cannabis plant parts are legal, especially for personal use. However, license and permission may be required in some circumstances. Import and export of cannabis are still highly regulated. Recreational use of cannabis products is discouraged but legal if the THC content is below 0.2% by weight. However, there is no restriction on THC for the consumption of cannabis plant parts. Cannabis smoking is legal for private use but prohibited in public area.
Cannabis appears to have been introduced to Thailand from India, with the similarity of the Thai name to the Indian term ganja cited as evidence. Cannabis has historically been used in Southeast Asia as an ingredient, a kitchen condiment, a medicine, and a source of fiber. Laborers were known to use it as a muscle relaxer. It was reportedly used to ease women’s labor pains.
On 8 May 2022, Thailand’s health minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced in a Facebook post that the government will distribute one million free cannabis plants to households across the country, starting June 9. The move is said to be a step further into Thailand’s plan to use cannabis as a cash crop.