The difference between CBD and THC

For years there has been confusion between differentiating hemp from cannabis. While hemp and cannabis are from the same species, cannabis that has been bred to contain less than 1% THC, is classified as hemp. Cannabis exceeding 1% THC content in Thailand is classified as marijuana (aka ganja). THC is the psychoactive constituent of cannabis, and can contain THC levels of around 20-30% (Stuart, Aydan).

Medical CBD Thailand
Medical CBD Thailand

CBD law in Thailand

CBD is legal to purchase and sell in Thailand as long as the THC content is lower than 0.2%. In order to sell CBD in Thailand you must apply for a CBD license through the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). (Mills, Andrea) 

Royal Hemp Hmong Tribe Project

Back in 2005, Her Royal Highness Queen Sirikit kick-started Thailand’s research and development for hemp. She visited a tribe up in northern Thailand known as The Hmong Tribe. The Hmong Tribe have been growing hemp for everyday use for decades. The crop was used for everything from shoes to clothes and ropes. As well at this they used hemp for traditional purposes. Her Royal Highness recognised the importance of hemp to this tribe and kept them protected, allowing them to continue to grow hemp. After this visit, the tribe had royal protection, and police were no longer permitted to arrest tribal members for possession of hemp. However, possession and use of hemp outside of the Royal jurisdiction remained illegal and punishable by law. In 2013 a new law passed eliminating penalties for possession of hemp fibre and dried stalk.

Over the years the Royal project continued their research on hemp, growing hemp plants taller with stronger fibres and a lower THC content, while still pushing for complete legalisation of hemp in Thailand. In 2017 hemp was finally legalised in Thailand for medical and industrial use, with THC levels to be below 1% in the field, and below 0.2% in any final product. (Stuart, Aydan)


Stuart, Aydan. “An Unexpected Hemp Revolution in Thailand.” Chiangmaicitylife, citylife chiang mai, 1 July 2017,

Mills, Andrea. “Is CBD Legal in Thailand?” Plantandhemp, plantandhemp, 21 May 2021,