CBD in Thailand: How to Use CBD in Thailand Responsibly

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Last updated on September 26th, 2023 at 08:47 am

When the Thai government legalized medical cannabis, they made an effort to focus their energies on cannabidiol, popularly known as CBD, rather than traditional marijuana. Officials wanted to promote CBD in Thailand as a true medicinal tool rather than as a party or recreational drug.

This article will give you a comprehensive overview of CBD, its uses, CBD’s legal status in Thailand, and how to use CBD safely and responsibly.

Table of Contents

What is CBD?
What is the Difference Between CBD and THC?
Can You Get High From CBD?
Does CBD Come From Marijuana or Hemp?
How is CBD Made?
Can You Buy CBD With No THC?
How Does CBD Work?
What Medical Conditions Does CBD Help?
Is CBD Addictive?
Are There Any Reasons I Shouldn’t Take CBD?
What Are the Side Effects of CBD?
Is CBD Safe?
How Do I Take CBD?
What CBD Dosage Should I Take?
How Long Does CBD Take To Work?
Is CBD Legal in Thailand?
Where Can I Get CBD in Thailand?
Can I Travel To Thailand With CBD?
How Long Does CBD Stay in My System?
Will CBD Show Up in a Drug Test?

What is CBD?

CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of over 200 cannabinoids found in a cannabis plant. Typically, it is the second most abundant chemical/cannabinoid found in marijuana plants, second only to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC and CBD are closely related and have many of the same medicinal qualities, but CBD is non-psychoactive, which is just a fancy way of saying that you won’t get “high” using it.

What is the Difference Between CBD and THC?

While we could dig into the molecular level of each chemical, we won’t. The most important thing to know is that CBD does not have any psychoactive properties and THC does. In other words, THC is the stuff that makes you feel high when you use marijuana, but CBD does many of the same things THC does, but without the high.

This is why CBD is most commonly used for medicinal treatment. Patients can use CBD without worrying about getting high. Obviously this is a major benefit for patients that have jobs or otherwise need to function normally but still need the medicinal benefits.

Can You Get High From CBD?

Although we said in the previous section that you cannot get high from CBD, we want to note two exceptions, because they are important to keep in mind.

The first exception is that some people’s bodies may react to CBD differently. It’s estimated that 5% of users may experience a euphoric or high feeling while using CBD. Doctors note that these people often have side effects to Advil or Tylenol so, obviously, their bodies process these chemicals differently than most people.

The second exception to keep in mind is that some CBD products contain THC (which can make you high). Part of this is due to the extraction process which makes producing 100% CBD either too difficult or too expensive. The other part though is due to the fact that some CBD products are specifically formulated to contain higher doses of THC.

If you’re looking to avoid getting high from CBD, it’s important to read the labels and know what you’re putting into your body. CBD products list their active ingredients and their concentrations.

This is why it is important to only buy CBD products from a source you can trust. It’s best to only buy products that have been tested by a government agency or a recognized third-party which can certify the concentration levels.

Does CBD Come From Marijuana or Hemp?

An important thing to keep in mind when thinking about CBD vs THC is how the product is produced. There are two main types of cannabis plant, marijuana and hemp.

Both types of plant can be used to make CBD products because CBD is abundant in both plants. However, CBD mainly comes from the seeds and stem of marijuana plants. The flowering bud, that is commonly smoked, contains high concentrations of THC but very little CBD.

On the other hand, hemp plants contain CBD throughout the plant. In fact, if a plant contains more than 0.3% THC, it is, by definition, a marijuana plant rather than a hemp plant.

This is a point laid out in Thai law which separates what kinds of plants producers can grow. The 0.3% THC threshold is also used in many other countries where cannabis products are legal.

So, that is a long way of saying that, while CBD can be produced from marijuana plants, most CBD products come from the hemp variety of cannabis.

How is CBD Made?

Generally speaking, CBD oil is made by extracting the CBD from the cannabis plant and then mixing it with an oil like palm or coconut oil.

Although CBD oil is the most commonly used method of taking CBD, CBD oil is not the only way of taking CBD. It can also be in pill form, infused into drinks, made into a candy-type edible form, transdermal patches, and even vaped.

In terms of extracting the CBD itself, there are three general methods used:

  • CO2 Extraction
  • Solvent Extraction
  • Olive Oil Extraction

CO2 Extraction has become the preferred way to do mass production of CBD extraction. Unfortunately, it is also the most expensive method and requires a significant financial outlay for equipment.

With CO2 extraction, there is a three chamber machine with one machine containing pressurized CO2, the second chamber contains the cannabis plant, and the third chamber collects the extracted CBD.

The pressurized CO2 is pumped into the second chamber in a state between gas and liquid. This supercritical CO2 then passes through the cannabis plant material and extracts the CBD. The supercritical CO2 is then released into the third chamber where the CO2 returns to gas form leaving CBD.

Solvent Extraction uses a dissolving chemical such as ethanol, butane, propane, isopropyl, or alcohol. It is inexpensive but very dangerous because of use of combustable chemicals.

The solvents act on the waxy parts of the plant and extract some of the CBD but do not penetrate the plant itself which may result in lower yields.

Additionally, solvent extraction also strips chlorophyll from the plant, often giving the resulting CBD product a bitter taste.

One of the main drawback to solvent extraction is the fact that residue solvent or solvent extracts can make it to the final product and these chemicals are often toxic in humans at high enough dosages.

Olive Oil Extraction is the oldest, cheapest, and least costly ways of extracting CBD from cannabis. The plant is heated (decarboxylated) to make the chemicals in the cannabis activated. Then it is mixed with olive oil and set to a temperature of 100C for approximately two hours.

Can You Buy CBD With No THC?

Currently, all CBD products available to the public contain some THC. It is simply too difficult/expensive to remove all THC and, at the moment, there isn’t a big enough market to justify it.

That said, the 0.3% threshold is well below what it would take for most people to feel any sort of high or feel impaired in any way.

It should also be noted that some cannabis researchers believe that some of the medicinal benefits of CBD can be attributed to other cannabinoids found in CBD extracts. Which means that if a lab were to isolate out only the CBD it may not have the same medicinal effects. There is believed to be a “entourage effect” whereby other chemicals present in CBD extracts act synergistically to boost the effects of CBD.

How Does CBD Work?

The human body contains the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which helps regulate sleep, appetite, pain, mood, memory, and the immune system. This is done though your body naturally producing endocannabinoids which bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system.

CBD and other cannabinoids, like THC, indirectly bind to cannabinoid receptors producing a variety of effects.

What Medical Conditions Does CBD Help?

Generally, CBD can help with many of the functions regulated by the endocannabinoid system such as regulating sleep, appetite, pain, mood, memory, and the immune system.

We have put together a comprehensive list of qualifying conditions that doctors in Thailand use to prescribe medical cannabis that is worth checking out, however here are some highlights.

  • Nausea and vomiting in patients receiving chemotherapy
  • Epilepsy
  • Central nervous system pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Anorexia in AIDS patients
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • GAD: Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Dyskinetic Disorders
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Opioid Use Disorder
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Tourette syndrome

CBD is also prescribed to patients with terminal conditions in order to improve their quality of life.

Is CBD Addictive?

According to the World Health Organization, there is no evidence CBD has any abuse or dependence potential.

Are There Any Reasons I Shouldn’t Take CBD?

The medical community typically recommends patients with the following types of conditions/life-situations, not take CBD products or should at least make their medical care provider aware:

  • History of allergies to hemp products or solvents used in extraction
  • Heart disease that cannot be controlled
  • People with impaired liver / kidney function
  • Psychosis, mood disorder or anxiety
  • Pregnant women, lactating women, women of reproductive age who do not use contraception, or women with pregnancy plans
  • Pediatric patients

There are also certain medications that may have a diminished or amplified effect if taken in conjunction with CBD so always consult with your doctor before any CBD therapy and let them know what other medications you are taking.

What Are the Side Effects of CBD?

Possible side-effects of CBD include:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Raise the level of coumadin (a blood thinner) in your body

It has also been known to raise the level of certain medications in your blood via a mechanism similar to that of consuming grapefruit. Here is an article on WebMD discussing grapefruit drug interactions.

Is CBD Safe?

Other than the side-effects listed in the previous section, “What Are the Side Effects of CBD?” and in the section “Are There Any Reasons I Shouldn’t Take CBD?” CBD is considered to be generally safe for use by adults and non-addictive.

The biggest concerns about CBD safety are often people that do not communicate about their CBD use with doctors, perhaps complicating treatment, and people that do not seek medical treatment and choose to self-treat.

If you are taking CBD or want to take CBD, you should be open and honest with your doctor. Also, you should not try to self-treat your symptoms, rather you should consult with a medical professional that can assess whether or not CBD can help with your condition.

This advice also applies to any sort of drug or medication. Often patients will self-treat while a serious condition like cancer only worsens and by the time they seek medical treatment, it could be either too late or result in complications from not catching the condition in a timely manner due to self-treating the symptoms.

Lastly, make sure you are buying from a reputable source. In many countries where CBD is available, there is no guarantee whether the product you are purchasing is actually CBD at all, or it may contain other harmful chemicals.

For instance, not too long ago there was a small epidemic of people in the United States becoming ill or dying which was eventually traced to black market vaping products.

How Do I Take CBD?

CBD in Thailand is primarily available in oil form, however the form of ingestion is pretty much limited to the imagination.

The most common forms of ingestion include:

  • Oils and Tinctures
  • Creams and Lotions (applied directly to the skin)
  • Transdermal Patches (like the patches that help people stop smoking)
  • Capsules and Pills
  • Edibles (gummies are a popular option)
  • Vaping

But, you could also put it into your morning coffee or into a sports drink or include it in a recipe.

What CBD Dosage Should I Take?

The short answer is that you should take the dosage your medical professional prescribes.

The longer answer is that you should start off with a small dosage and increase the dose until you find a dosage that helps you.

How Long Does CBD Take To Work?

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question since everyone’s body is different and how you take CBD will also play a critical factor in how long it will take for CBD to begin working.

For instance, if you swallow a few drops of CBD oil, eat a CBD gummy, or otherwise ingest CBD, the CBD will have to go through the digestive process before it enters the bloodstream. This will vary greatly by individual based on your metabolism rate.

Whereas if you apply a few drops under the tongue, the CBD would be absorbed into the mucous membranes in the mouth and enter the blood stream much more quickly.

Likewise, inhalation, smoking/vaping, CBD bypasses the digestion process as well. The CBD is absorbed directly into your lungs and then passed to the bloodstream.

Topical applications, such as ointments and creams, are absorbed via the skin and can take up to 90 minutes to begin working.

CBD is legal in Thailand as you have a prescription from a medical professional licensed to prescribe CBD.

Where Can I Get CBD in Thailand?

Currently, the only way to get CBD in Thailand is to obtain a prescription from a medical professional licensed to prescribe medical cannabis. You can then purchase CBD from any clinic or hospital that has been authorized by the Ministry of Public Health to sell CBD.

We have a list of clinics and hospitals authorized to prescribe or sell CBD in Thailand.

Can I Travel To Thailand With CBD?

In theory, yes, provided you have a prescription in your country of residence and an import permit from the Thai FDA, you are allowed to bring a 30-day supply of CBD.

However, the laws surrounding CBD in Thailand are so new that the permitting process has not been fully vetted at this time.

You can check this page for the legal status of importing CBD into Thailand.

How Long Does CBD Stay in My System?

THC and CBD are metabolized in a very similar fashion so much of what you can find on THC staying in your body, also applies to CBD.

There is no one answer that applies to everybody. A lot of it has to do with how your body processes CBD.

However, in general, the half-life of CBD seems to be about 3 – 5 days. That means that in 3 – 5 days, half of the original dose will be detectable in your body. And in another 3 – 5 days, it will be a quarter (half of a half) and in another 3 – 5 days it will be down to one-eighth (half of a half of a half) and so on until it is fully eliminated from your body.

Essentially, this means that after about two weeks, your body will have eliminated enough CBD to be undecteable by most testing procedures in use today.

It’s important to keep in mind that hair follicle drug tests can go farther back in time than blood, urine, or saliva testing. This is because CBD metabolites are deposited into the core of the hair follicle as part of the process of metabolization of the CBD. Once in the hair follicle, they do not come out.

Hair follicle drug testing, generally, assumes that the human hair grows at a rate of 0.5 inches per month and testing labs generally use 1.5 inches of hair to determine drug use during the previous 90-days.

That said, at this time, we are unaware of any employment or other drug testing that routinely tests for the precense of CBD and most of the most common drug testing labs do not list CBD as part of their drug panel screening.

Will CBD Show Up in a Drug Test?

Most drug tests test for the presence of THC metabolites, the byproduct of your body processing THC. So, in theory, CBD would not cause you to test positive on a drug test.

However, as we mentioned in other sections, there are trace amounts of THC in most, if not all, CBD products. And if you are buying from unreliable vendors, the THC content could be much higher than the amount stated on the packaging.

That said, it’s unlikely someone would test positive for THC if they are using CBD.

To understand why, it might be useful to understand how drug tests work.

Drug tests test for specific chemicals in your blood, hair, urine, or saliva. But they have an accuracy threshold so it’s not a “Yes” or “No” answer to whether or not it traces any drugs.

For instance, in a hair follicle drug test, the cutoff/threshold for a positive result used by most testing laboratories is 1.0 pg/mg of THCA (THCA is what is left over after your body consumes THC).

If it tests a sample that comes in at 0.9 pg/mg, that is a negative result.

So the question is really a matter of whether or not CBD can push you over that detection threshold. For most people, and for most common use of CBD with less than 0.3% THC, the answer is likely to be that you’ll test negative for THC.

One last thing to consider is that if you are a professional athlete or in some other profession that is subject to more precise testing, you could test positive due to the fact that the more precise the measurement, the lower the threshold amount is.