Smoking cannabis, Chiang Mai, 1973

In Thailand, cannabis, known by the name ganja (Thai: กัญชา; RTGSkancha),was removed from the list as a class-5 narcotic under the Narcotics Act.

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.[1] Cannabis has historically been used in south-east Asia as an ingredient, a kitchen condiment, a medicine, and a source of fiber.[2]

Marijuana had been a traditional medicine for centuries before it was banned in the 1930s. Laborers were known to use it as a muscle relaxer. It was reportedly used to ease women's labor pains.[3]

The possession, sale, and use of cannabis was criminalised by the Cannabis Act, B.E. 2477 (1935).[4] The two most salient acts for practical purposes are the Narcotics Act 2522 (1979) and the Psychotropic Substances Act 2518 (1975).[5]


  1. ^ Martin, Marie Alexandrine (January 1975). "Ethnobotanical Aspects of Cannabis in Southeast Asia". In Rubin, Vera (ed.). Cannabis and Culture. Mouton Publishers. pp. 63–76. ISBN 9027976694. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  2. ^ Blair, Eric (2001-07-11). "History of Marijuana Use and Anti-Marijuana Laws in Thailand". Thailand Law Forum. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  3. ^ Kapoor, Kanupriya; Thepgumpanat, Panarat (2018-12-12). "Weeding out foreigners: strains over Thailand's legalization of marijuana". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  4. ^ "พระราชบัญญัติกันชา พุทธศักราช ๒๔๗๗" (PDF). Royal Thai Government Gazette. 52: 339–343. 5 May 1935. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Criminal Drug Offences in Thailand". Siam Legal. Retrieved 2018-12-12.