Medical cannabis rules in Thailand seems to be a bit of a mystery for most of us foreigners, but we have been getting various reports indicating where to go and what the process is.
Today, we’re going to explore the medical cannabis rules for Thais. I was fortunate enough to run into a Thai citizen who has been receiving medical cannabis therapy in Thailand and they were kind enough to share their experience.
For the sake of privacy, let’s call this person generous enough to share their experience, Cat.
Cat says that she was first exposed to cannabis roughly eight years ago when she was living overseas. She now lives in Thailand and was interested in using cannabis for an unspecified medical ailment.
Obtaining a Medical Evaluation
She was initially seen at the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine in Bangkok. Currently, this clinic is not seeing any foreign patients.
This confirms what we’ve found in our research, that most government run clinics are not seeing any foreign patients. Some may, but most do not.
Cat said that there is a long list of documents that must first be completed and that it is necessary that one be diagnosed with a qualifying medical conditions.
Again, this is similar to the private clinics that do see foreigners, though the amount of paperwork is probably less due to the fact that Cat was using the Thai medical insurance system and foreigners at private clinics are paying out of pocket.
Additionally they performed liver and kidney function checks in order to determine if she was a good candidate for medical cannabis therapy and that it would not prove to be harmful.
I’ve heard no reports of any liver or kidney functions tests being performed at private clinics.
After completing the paperwork, receiving a diagnoses with a qualifying medical condition, and having kidney and liver functions tested, Cat was allowed to schedule an appointment using the Dr. Ganja mobile app.
Different Potency For Thais?
When her appointment came, she went to the clinic and was given what she described as “Ganja Oil from the Ministry of Public health which is really strong and not comparable at all to the GPO brand that Private Clinics are providing.”
This is an interesting detail as many patients using the GPO brand cannabis oil have indicated that while it is real THC, they are surprised at how much product they have to ingest in order to feel any of the THC psychoactive properties.
She also mentioned that she received a medical certificate issued by the Department of Public Health.
And, unlike the case at private clinics, Cat’s cannabis medicine was provided free of charge under the Thai healthcare system.
Although, some private clinics allow refills by delivery, Cat says that she must visit the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine in order to receive her refills, per her doctor’s directives.
As we’ve said many times before, it’s unfortunate that the process isn’t more clearly defined for both foreigners as well as Thais. Given the strict penalties for possession of a Category 5 narcotic, many people would like to see clear instructions and some sort of validation from the relevant medical officials and law enforcement.
However, this does mirror some of what we know about the process from others who have spoken up about receiving medical cannabis therapy, so the more people coming forward with their experiences, the more information we can put together to help keep everyone educated on what the rules are in Thailand for medical cannabis.