One in Five Thais Have Used Cannabis, Predominantly for Recreation

By Thailand THC

thailandTHC > News > One in Five Thais Have Used Cannabis, Predominantly for Recreation

  • Why It Matters: Understanding the extent of cannabis use in Thailand helps inform public policy and address health implications.
  • The Big Picture: The proliferation of cannabis retail outlets reflects a significant shift in Thailand’s approach to cannabis, emphasizing the need for robust regulation and public education.
  • Driving The News: A recent study highlights that one in five Thais have used cannabis, mainly for recreational purposes, exposing gaps in public awareness of its health impacts.

BANGKOK, THAILAND – A new research report has illuminated the cannabis landscape in Thailand, revealing that at least one in five Thais have used cannabis, with the majority citing recreation as their primary reason. This study comes in the wake of Thailand’s recent legislative adjustments that have decriminalized certain uses of cannabis, leading to a rapid increase in retail outlets across the nation.

The research, conducted by the Public Health Research Institute, in collaboration with Songkhla Nakarin University and the Office of Science, Research, and Innovation, was presented at the Mandarinn Hotel in Bangkok. It points out that, following the “unlocking” of cannabis, there are now 7,747 cannabis retail points registered, with the highest concentrations in Bangkok and Nonthaburi.

Accessibility to marijuana in and around homes shows that with sales points within a 400-meter radius, 24% of people can reach at least one point within 5 minutes. Within an 800-meter radius, 28% can reach a point in 10 minutes, and within a 1200-meter radius, 31% can reach a point in 15 minutes.

Marijuana consumption among adults, adolescents, and youths shows that 60% use it for recreation, 34% for relaxation and sleep aid, and 6% for medical reasons.

Before 2022, the general population’s marijuana usage rate in Thailand was consistently under 5%. However, it rose to 24.9% in 2022 and has averaged 20% in 2023-2024. Prior to 2022, the highest usage rate among youths was 3.1%. By 2023, the usage rate climbed to 11.8% among high school students, 47.6% among non-student youths, and 17.1% among undergraduates.

Curiosity remains the primary reason for youths beginning to use marijuana.

Furthermore, one in eleven individuals resides in a household where marijuana is cultivated. People living in these households are 4.4 times more likely to use cannabis compared to those from households where it is not grown.

Dr. SUPAKIT SIRILAK, director of the Public Health Research Institute, stated, “While we recognize the medical benefits that initiated the policy change on cannabis, the implementation phase must be accompanied by substantial public education to mitigate unforeseen health impacts.”

The study also highlights a concerning trend: many Thais are unaware of the potential addictive properties of cannabis and its effects on health. The report underscores the need for continued monitoring and regulatory measures to ensure that the benefits of cannabis legalization are not overshadowed by negative public health outcomes.

Source: Bangkok Biz News