Thailand's "Crazy Happy Pizza"

Stephen Andrews
29 Nov 2021

A major fast food restaurant in Thailand has a brand new item on the menu: a pizza topped with a delectable green leaf of marijuana. Cannabis edibles in Thailand are legal, but the pizza, like other pot-infused products in the kingdom is not going to get you any high.

An exclusive menu item from The Pizza Company, dubbed "Crazy Happy Pizza" is a hot trending meal this month in Thailand. Pizzas that contain marijuana are famous in Southeast Asia, most notably in Cambodia where marijuana can be served as a side dish in so-called "Happy" restaurants in cities such as Phnom Phen. 

The happy pizza trend has now taken over neighboring Thailand. Panusak Suensatboon, general manager of The Pizza Company, said in an interview "Of course, they [the pizzas] cannot get high." The appetizing pie is "just a marketing campaign, and you can taste the cannabis and then if you have enough, you maybe get a bit sleepy."

What's in the Crazy Happy Pizza?

The crust is topped with Tom Yum Gai soup flavors, a famous sour chicken dish soup in Thailand. A deep-fried cannabis leaf is added on top of the pie. Cannabis is also mashed into the cheese crust and there's chopped cannabis in the dipping sauce. Customers can order their pizza with more than one cannabis leaf, for a surcharge of 100 baht ($3). A 9-inch pizza costs 499 baht (about $15). 

Cannabis is served in Thailand both fresh and deep-fried. Eateries that serve specialties infused with plant extracts hope it will draw more foreign tourists to the country. Traditional Thai dishes, such as pandan coconut-rice pancakes and green curry soup with noodles are often reinvented with cannabis with an aim to attract international audiences to Thai cuisine. Cannabis pizza with sour chicken flavors is just the latest addition to the ongoing fad.

Is cannabis legal in Thailand?

While visitors to the kingdom can stumble upon various pot-infused delicacies, these are mostly recipes with little to no psychedelic effects. Cannabis for recreational use remains illegal in Thailand; if caught possessing or smoking cannabis it can result in a fine and jail time. 

However, the promising thing is that Thailand went on to be the first country in Southeast Asia to soften cannabis regulation. In 2019, the country legalized medical marijuana; authorities delisted cannabis as a narcotic and allowed clinics and canteens to use non-psychotropic plant extracts in cooking and as medicines. 

Cannabis has a long tradition in Thai cooking. Before the plant was globally banned in the earlier decades of the 20th-century, Thais regularly used cannabis as a herbal remedy and put small amounts of it as seasoning herbs in cooking. Traditional Thai medicine acknowledges that if you put small amounts of cannabis leaves into the food, it helps the sick recover faster from their illness. 

Stephen Andrews