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Thailand Cannabis Cuisine

In Thailand, Traditional Cannabis Cuisine Is Back on the Menu

Cooking with marijuana is about umami and taste

For a restaurant serving what was until recently a Class 5 narcotic substance, the clientele appeared older than one might expect: a couple of extended families, including grandma and grandpa; a woman having a quiet lunch with a man who appeared to be her father; a low-key middle-aged couple. Even the decor—cheesy knick knacks, thick curtains, antimacassars, antique crockery—was far from edgy.

The setting was Ban Lao Reung, a restaurant in Prachinburi, Thailand, that recently became the country’s first to serve dishes made with cannabis. On the day I visited, customers were digging into omelets garnished with marijuana leaves and sipping soups seasoned with dried cannabis-leaf powder. But only a few months ago, possession of these menu items would have led to a lengthy jail sentence, or a hefty bribe.

Thailand’s drug penalties are notoriously strict: The country has one of the largest prison populations in the world. Many are locked up because of drug offenses, and the death penalty remains a punishment for drug trafficking. But in 2018, the country’s military-led government surprised just about everybody when it announced that it would decriminalize marijuana for medical use, becoming the first country in Asia to do so. More recently, in late 2020, the junta announced that the parts of the cannabis plant that contain less than 0.2 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana), which includes the roots, stalks, stems, and leaves, could legally be used in cosmetics and food

In Thailand, it’s possible to regard these recent laws as rectifications rather than revolutions. Marijuana became illegal in Thailand in 1934, but only as a result of international pressure, and Ban Lao Reung’s older clientele may be due to the fact that Thais have been using cannabis in their food for a very long time.

“My mom is 94, and she said that [cannabis] was used in the family since she was a kid,” says Sombat Kowtraul, the director of the community-outreach program linked to the restaurant. “Her parents used to send her to buy it at the market!”

Indeed, “tender ganja leaves” are called for in an eel-curry recipe in Mae Khrua Hua Pa, generally considered Thailand’s oldest cookbook, first printed in 1908. But it’s likely that the use of the plant goes back much, much earlier, with origins in medicine rather than food.

Inside Ban Lao Reung, whose decor is homey, despite the centrality of cannabis to the restaurant's cooking.

“Cannabis has been used as an herbal remedy as far back as the Sukhothai Kingdom [1239 to 1438],” says Dr. Waleerat Kraikosol, Deputy Medical Director of Chao Phraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital, the country’s premier institution for traditional Thai medicine. “We used the entire plant—the leaves, the roots, the stems,” she says, adding that in the days before capsules, dried, ground up marijuana leaves were mixed with honey and eaten to encourage sleep. “Much later, people used cannabis in food such as noodle soups. It’s fragrant and it’s kind of like MSG, it improves taste.”

Mention marijuana to a Thai, and it’s quite possible she’ll think of noodle soup rather than blunts or bongs. Cannabis has been contraband for nearly a century now, but it’s still talked about in hushed tones as a secret ingredient in central Thailand’s famous boat noodles, and many a popular noodle soup vendor has been accused of adding “addictive” levels of the ingredient to the broth.

“My dad said that he used to use [cannabis] in the soup when I was a kid, at least 40 years ago,” says Sittichan Vuttipornkul, the second-generation owner of Rod Dee Ded, a noodle-soup restaurant with multiple branches in Bangkok. Was it for flavor? I ask. Aroma? Buzz? “I don’t think he understood what he was doing,” he says. “But science tells us that parts of the plant, especially the roots, have glutamic acid. This gives our tongues the ability to taste more flavor in food.”

Sittichan Vuttipornkul, the second-generation owner of Rod Dee Ded, in Bangkok, tastes a noodle stock that includes marijuana stems and roots.

Glutamic acid is an essential element in monosodium glutamate, commonly known as MSG. The amino acid enhances savory taste-active compounds, providing foods with a boost of umami, the pleasantly savory, “round” taste sometimes referred to as the fifth flavor. Research has revealed that the marijuana plant, in particular its leaves, contain a higher concentration of glutamic acid than Parmesan cheese, a food generally considered to have high levels of umami.

With the government’s recent announcement, Sittichai has been able to reintroduce marijuana to Rod Dee Ded’s noodle-soup recipe. He adds dried cannabis roots and branches, which were previously considered trash but now command sky-high prices, to the beef broth, while marijuana leaves, dry-roasted and ground to a subtly fragrant powder, are added to the optional condiments. “In the past, people didn’t have MSG, so they used [cannabis],” he tells me.

Similarly savory flavors are also headlining at Ban Lao Reung. Collaborating with traditional Thai medicine experts at Chao Phraya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital, the restaurant’s manager, Amara Akamanon, has created a menu of dishes that allegedly don’t include MSG, but that are positively packed with umami flavor: a savory stir-fry of minced pork, holy basil leaves, and dried marijuana leaves; a savory, tart, tom yam-like soup of pork, Thai herbs, and dried marijuana-leaf powder; and a downright meaty dish of fresh marijuana leaves, battered and deep-fried tempura-style, and served with a Thai-style dip.

A drink of tea, passionfruit juice, and freshly juiced raw marijuana leaves at Ban Lao Reung (left) and their marijuana tempura (right).

These dishes are not edibles—you’d have to eat enormous portions to feel any kind of high. And the minute levels of THC in marijuna leaves only become active when exposed to heat, meaning that there’s absolutely no risk in slamming the restaurant’s refreshing (and highly Instagramable) drink that combines tea, passionfruit, and freshly juiced raw cannabis leaves, the latter with a vibrant green hue and a flavor like a milder wheat grass.

In the months since Ban Lao Reung debuted its menu, a handful of restaurants across Thailand have started serving marijuana-laced dishes ranging from mini pizzas to cannabis bubble tea. There’s inevitably a thrill in eating something that was only recently contraband, and that could potentially get one high. And medicinal marijuana proponents tout the alleged health benefits of cannabidiol, or CBD, present in these dishes. But when it comes to cooking with marijuana in Thailand, the main goal seems to be flavor, and there might be nothing more Thai than that.

Bangkoks New Cannabis Cafes


GOING GREEN: Bangkok’s New Cannabis Cafes

With attitudes (and regulations) easing towards cannabis, some local eateries have begun to offer CBD-infused menus.

With Thailand weighing legalisation of cannabis for medical use, the country has seen more relaxed attitudes towards the plant. Although medical cannabis can be legally prescribed from clinics, it remains highly regulated.

Following these changes, some local eateries have begun to offer cannabidiol (CBD)-infused menus and services. CBD is a compound found in the plant that purportedly offers health benefits, such as reducing anxiety and relieving pain. It is not to be confused with THC, the psychoactive component. So customers won’t experience a mental high from CBD.

Here are a few spots worth checking out in the city, many of which offer delivery services:

420 Cannabis Bar has four branches around Bangkok.

420 Cannabis Bar

Open daily 10:30am – 9pm

Srinakarin 57 – 
https://goo.gl/maps/1gjZFtfUFt6j6wLE7 / 061-250-9898

Sukhumvit 71 (BTS Phra Khanong) –  https://goo.gl/maps/ykPkNzEJ1FWnYXas8/ 081-583-8283

Ari (BTS Ari) – https://goo.gl/maps/fsooqvJQJghqLbMq8/ 062-589-7535

Silom (Convent Road) – https://goo.gl/maps/dC2EStWvAHity6ET6/ 065-635-0947

Best known as the first cannabis bar in Bangkok, the neon-lit 420 Cannabis Bar has expanded to four branches around the city since its original spot opened in Srinakarin. Diners can have a cup of CBD-infused bubble tea and eat baked spinach and cheese, and chocolate cookies “on the moon.” Available for delivery via LINEMAN, Grab, and Robinhood.

Leaf Cannabis Cafe on Soi Suan Phlu serves delicious baked goods and drinks.

Leaf Cannabis Cafe

Open daily: 10am-8pm

Location: Sathon Soi 3 (Soi Suan Phlu) – https://goo.gl/maps/ArW4EVmdwJy1zMXE9/ 02-007-6699

The first cafe and bakery in the Sathon area, Leaf Cannabis Cafe offers a small but cozy two-story hub. Sharing the space with Mardi Decor, the eatery is adorned with decorative rattan furniture. You can come chill out and have a sip of one of their many CBD-infused teas alongside their scrumptious chocolate chip cookies and brownies. Available for delivery via LINEMAN and Grab.

MD-82 Cafe is situated inside a repurposed airliner.

MD-82 Cafe

Open daily: 10am-11pm

Location: 324 On Nut Rd, Prawet, Bangkok 10250 – https://goo.gl/maps/D6UzpwEHbJ6oDYEf8/ 097-952-8245

MD-82 is easily distinguished by its setting inside a refurbished airliner. Guests are greeted by staff dressed as pilots and flight attendants. As diners make their way onto the plane for seating, they can order from a cannabis menu that is sourced from the medical clinic next door. Drinks include their signature 420 Teapot (B320) as well as their CBD-infused coffee and cocktails. CBD food highlights include their smoky pork-chop steak (B320) and “fully happy” pizza (B320). The cafe has also recently opened up a spa section in which customers can relax by way of essential or CBD oils – the latter provided one is eligible for prescription via the clinic next door.

Kiew Kai Ka

Open daily: 11am-10pm

Location: 33 Nak Niwas Road, Ladprao – https://goo.gl/maps/omqYysiJ1gqNzwD59/ 02-227-0685

This Thai restaurant offers a cannabis twist to many of their traditional Thai dishes, including omelettes, green curry, and larb moo. Available for delivery via Grab, LINEMAN, Foodpanda and Gojek.

420 Degree Bar @ Gump’s Ari

Open daily: 8am-11pm

Location: GUMP’s Ari Community Space – https://goo.gl/maps/3gTBc72v6c8dSkhY6/ 065-514-7065

Situated in the delightfully picturesque GUMP community space in Ari, this mini booth offers cannabis-infused corn dogs (2pcs/B79 and cheese balls (5pcs/B89) as well as tea (B165). Interestingly enough, they sell “Bob Marley” balm.

Language of Flowers

099-963-9995 / https://www.instagram.com/languageofflowersbakehouse/

This bakery features plenty of cakes, including carrot, red velvet, dark chocolate, white chocolate, cheesecake and more. Cakes range from B1,200 – B2,700 depending on size, with an additional B700 for a cannabis topping. If you’re looking for something more light, their special cannabis choux cream (B135 per piece) is great for an evening snack. Delivery only via Line.

Empty Plates offers multi-course fine dining experiences with a leafy twist.

Empty Plates

093-324-0078 / https://www.instagram.com/emptyplatesbkk/

Aiming to educate diners about what CBD is, private fine dining service Empty Plates recently featured a four-course CBD tasting menu via Instagram for B1,900. They now offer a seven-course menu, and are planning to change regularly and seasonally. Before the latest COVID restrictions were implemented (and perhaps after they are lifted), Empty Plates required a minimum of eight guests.

A holistic cannabis experience at Panpuri Wellness

Panpuri Wellness Spa

02-253-5959 / https://www.panpuri.com/th

Although the service is currently unavailable and postponed due to the COVID situation, wellness spa Panpuri will be offering a unique cannabis and onsen experience at all their branches from Fridays to Sundays. Customers can relax in Japanese baths followed by a meal of cannabis-infused food and beverages.

Little Red Oven Haus

095-942-9328 or Facebook.com/littleredovenhaussathorn11

This classic pizza shop on Sathorn Soi 11 offers a special cannabis menu called “Happy Pizza.” This home-made wood-fired margarita pizza includes an FDA-approved cannabis extract from a brand called “House of Cannabis.” The restaurant has been serving up fresh pizzas since 2012. Delivery is available via Foodpanda, Grab Food and more.


  • One cannabis leaf weighs approximately 150 mg (THC* content less than 0.30 mg).
  • Who should avoid using/consuming Cannabis?

– People under 25 years old

–Pregnant and lactating women

–Patients with cardiovascular disease, liver, and kidney impairment

–People who use Warfarin Anticoagulants and those who use drugs that affect the central nervous system

–People with a history of allergy to products or extracts derived from cannabis

*THC stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinal. It is a cannabinoid molecule in marijuana which is the main psychoactive ingredient – the substance that causes the characteristic marijuana high.

Pattaya Weedmaps

Cannabis Clinics in Pattaya

The residents of Pattaya can get their dose of cannabis following the formal procedure set out by the government. If you are looking to get your hands-on cannabis in Pattaya, you need to be aware of a few things. Only get your medicine from offical cannabis clinic in Pattaya.

First, you can get cannabis only for treatment, it is prohibited to use marijuana to seek pleasure. Second, your eligibility depends upon the extent you fulfill the requirements stipulated in the formal cannabis acquisition process. Third, even if you are entitled to consume cannabis under the Thai government’s laws, any possession or consumption of illegal cannabis may leave you to end up in jail or face a financial penalty.

To get pass the medical cannabis eligibility requirements, your medical condition needs to fall in a list of approved medical conditions. All patients suffering from medical conditions listed in the approved medical conditions such as cancer, migraine etc., can seek medical marijuana to treat their symptoms.

All the patients who fulfill the first condition need to see a qualified physician. The physician would certify their medical condition and prescribe medical marijuana for the treatment of their symptoms.

Having a doctor’s certificate, patients need to visit one of the designated clinics located in Pattaya. The cannabis clinic is the final step in this heavily regulated cannabis acquisition process.

Currently, there is only one cannabis clinic which dispenses medical cannabis to meet the needs of patients looking to use cannabis as remedy against their health conditions.

The location and contact details of the Origene Clinic Pattaya is listed below.

Origene Clinic Pattaya, 8/114 Moo 6 Sukhumvit Road, Muang Pattaya, Amphoe Bang Lamung, Tel: 0659989449, Email: info@orgeneclinic.com

Knowledge of the local cannabis laws

For smooth, safe, and stress-free cannabis consumption, marijuana enthusiasts need to be aware of local laws governing the use of the plant. Given the harsh anti-drug past, the Thai government regulates medical marijuana consumption to avoid any potential misuse.

The basic premise that shapes the outlook of marijuana consumption laws stems from the government’s conviction; cannabis is a just medical remedy, not a substance to seek pleasure. Moreover, the laws reflect the intent and desire of the regulators whereby they want eligible people to only use cannabis available through legal channels.

Reflecting authorities’ strong regulatory intent, new Narcotics Bill stipulates any consumption in violation of the provisions of this law may result in a one-year jail term or a financial penalty of 20,000 baht (USD$ 600).

Tourists visiting Pattaya

Any of the tourists visiting Pattaya also require complying with the provisions of Narcotics Bill. They can have marijuana only in the form approved by the Ministry of Health. Any violation may see their stashes are being confiscated.

Upon arrival into the country, foreigners are advised to get their cannabis approved following FDA set procedure. Tourists just like Thai nationals are required to show their medical certificates. Therefore, officials suggest tourists should carry their medical certificates with them and show them to the customs officers upon their arrival in the country.

Any departure from the laws of the land regarding cannabis possession or consumption may lead foreigners to face fines and persecutions. The fact that Thailand is the first far east nation to legalize the cannabis should not send you under the illusion that cannabis possession and consumption in the country is a matter of personal choice.

Cannabis legalization is heavily regulated in the country. In the best interest of foreigners visiting the Pattaya, they should ensure they are duly following the laws governing the acquisition and usage of cannabis.

Medical Cannabis Now Available at Pattaya Clinic for Foreign Residents

Medical Cannabis is now available to all patients residing in the Kingdom of Thailand.

Origene Clinic based in Pattaya, is the Official Center of Medical Marijuana in Eastern Thailand; managing five provinces along the eastern seaboard: Chonburi, Chachoengsao, Rayong, Chanthaburi, and Trat.

In association with The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO), Origene Clinic can prescribe concentrated cannabis oils to all patients, Thai or foreign, residing in the Kingdom of Thailand.

Approved by the Thai FDA

GPO Cannabis Oil is formulated according to international standards, approved by the Thai FDA, and distributed only by licensed medical marijuana centers like Origene Clinic in Pattaya, Thailand

Marijuana is a controlled narcotic in Thailand and prescribed as an alternative medicine. Patients who wish to try Medical Cannabis should register with Medical History that reflects qualification: Clinical Diagnosis Summary, Official Prescriptions, Medical Certificates, X-Ray/Scan Results, etc.

Required documents include Passport ID and Blood Test Results. Origene Clinic provides standard blood testing at 700 THB or patients may also submit their own blood test results taken within the past six months.

Required blood test results include: Complete Blood Count, Liver Function, and Kidney Function. This is not a pass or fail blood test and patients don’t have to wait for the results. These results will serve as a baseline for comparison if any side-effects are developed after 6-9 months of continuous usage.

Limited Supply

Medical Cannabis is limited in supply. At the moment, only 500-3,000 bottles of GPO Cannabis Oil are available in the entire country. Patients are encouraged to register first and gain approval for the program. Medical Cannabis in some varieties are readily available and can be prescribed on the same-day of registration. Other types of medical cannabis may be back-ordered. Patients that have special needs may also be assigned a Que for first priority.

Register Online


Associated Fees

Doctor Fees: 300 THB

Blood Testing: 700 THB

Medical Cannabis: 300-5,000 THB

4th Quarter 2020 Promotions & Other Services

Health Massage + Vacuum Cupping: 1 Hour / 850 THB

Therapeutic Massage by Doctor: 1 Hour / 1,600 THB + FREE HERBAL STEAM SAUNA

PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma): 5 Time Course / 8,000 THB

Botox: 10 units / 500 THB

Filler: 1cc / 4,999 THB (Buy 3cc, Get 1cc Free)

Thread Face Lifting: UNLIMITED / 4,999 THB

Laser Hair Removal: 10 Time Course / 19,999 THB

Weight Loss Medication: 1 Capsule / 25 THB

Facial Treatment with MGF: 10 Time Course / 9,999 THB

Origene Clinic

Tel: 065-998-9449

Monday-Saturday 10:00 - 19:00


LINE: https://line.me/ti/p/@efj0068w

Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/DCxLge2TQfZiLBX5A

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Under no circumstance shall we have any liability to you for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of the site or reliance on any information provided on the site. Your use of the site and your reliance on any information on the site is solely at your own risk.