Sightseeing Prague: The destination for cannabis and CBD lovers

In recent months, the Czech Republic has made headlines in the cannabis world for its bold plans to create a regulated market and effectively end cannabis prohibition in the heart of Europe. But these efforts take time and even if everything goes according to plan, it may well be another two years before anyone can buy THC-rich cannabis legally. So what options do you have if you decide to visit this beautiful country and its stunning capital, Prague, before legalization kicks in?

Why Prague is a popular destination for cannabis and CBD lovers

Laws of the Czech Republic regarding cannabis and CBD

As you have probably already heard, Czechia raised the THC limit in any kind of cannabis and cannabis products to 1 % in January 2022. . Since then, you can buy more potent CBD flowers (because the more THC a strain contains, the more CBD and terpenes are present as well), CBD oils CBD oils, CBD vape pens or even cannabidiol creams and ointments with a richer terpene profile.

Where to buy cannabis in Prague

How tourists can get legal access to these CBD products in Prague

There are dozens of so-called CBD stores in the center of Prague and it is easy to Google them and check the reviews of the products and the quality of the service. Of course, it is completely legal to buy and consume cannabis and CBD products in the Czech Republic, however, due to problems with the authorities and doubts about CBD as a “food”, the vast majority of sellers do not claim that their products are intended for direct consumption. This includes flowers, oils and other products such as jelly beans (increasingly popular).

This is a legal gray area and, in fact, recently the Ministry of Agriculture announced that it will begin prosecuting all CBD sellers who claim that CBD products are for direct consumption. They often call CBD products “collector’s items” or say, for example, that the oils should be used to grease squeaky doors. Which is obviously silly because no one would pay tens of hundreds of euros for a little bottle of oil to lubricate their doors.

Improving the quality of the European cannabidiol market

The first CBD stores opened in Prague about seven years ago, and for the first few years they relied on importing CBD flowers from countries such as Switzerland and Italy. However, the quality of the product was quite poor at the beginning, mainly because the flowers were grown with more THC than was allowed in Czechia at the time, which meant that the distributors had to “wash” the THC out and in that process many terpenes were also lost. In addition, the final product looked strange (old), was too dry and the taste was usually quite horrible.

Fortunately, this began to change about three years ago, when some high-quality CBD strains started to emerge that met the legal THC limit, so there was no need to wash them down. In addition, the first domestic growers entered the CBD market and, finally, when 1% THC was allowed, the problem of washed out CBD cannabis disappeared completely. Since then, you can be sure that most of the CBD-rich cannabis on offer in Prague looks good and tastes great.

Illegal forms

Still, we have to admit that most tourists in Prague are looking for the “real thing” (i.e. THC-rich cannabis or marijuana). In that case, they have to resort to the black market, because anything with more than 1% THC remains illegal. Well, it is illegal to buy, sell or possess it, but the consumption itself is legal, as in most European countries, because the basic human right to get into your body whatever you want is respected. However, it is obvious that when one wants to consume a certain substance, one first has to be in possession of it – and possession of more than 10 grams of marijuana (or 1 gram of pure THC) is still considered a crime in Czechia. Possession of smaller amounts is also not legal, but is considered an infraction (with up to 600 euros fine).

Prague is known for many pubs and bars where staff sell cannabis with illegal amounts of THC. They usually sell either only to locals they know personally, or simply to anyone who asks (occasionally, these places end up closed and their owners prosecuted after being discovered by the police). If you don’t want to look for weed in Prague’s countless bars, you can simply stroll along the magnificent Wenceslas Square and wait for the ubiquitous hooded guys who sooner or later will approach you saying the magic words “chceš trávu nebo hašiš?” – which mean “do you want to buy weed or hashish?”.

The problem with buying from these dealers is usually the excessive price of the products and the lack of quality control. This means that you can never be sure (until you actually consume it) whether what you just bought on the street is actually hashish or rather a piece of asphalt. The situation in bars and pubs is usually better in terms of quality, because these places are mostly sourced from local indoor growers who know how to produce top quality cannabis with lots of THC. But there are also no guarantees due to the illegal nature of the whole business.

The HHC issue

Since a year ago, there has also been another option to get legally high in Prague, when dozens of stores offering the new cannabinoid HHC started to appear. The HHC or hexahydrocannabinol is a semi-synthetic derivative of CBD or THC that is supposed to have milder, but still psychoactive, effects compared to THC. And because the state authorities were caught off guard, the market for this substance with unknown long-term effects and potentially dangerous contaminations literally exploded in Prague.

Many CBD stores went from selling natural CBD products to selling hundreds of grams of CBD cannabis sprayed with HHC, even to children and teenagers, due to the total lack of regulation. Finally, the Ministry of Health intervened and issued a decree that will ban HHC as of July 1, 2023. However, this is only a partial solution, because, as cannabis experts know, there are more than 30 synthetic cannabinoids, new semi-synthetic CBD derivatives coming to Czechia and all over Europe from the USA, and some of them are also psychoactive.

The solution to this is quite simple – simply legalize natural THC and no one would be interested in semi-synthetic cannabinoids anymore. People just want to get high, and by banning THC, the authorities are only pushing consumers to use potentially dangerous substitutes. The other downside of the HHC fad is that CBD companies that didn’t jump on this semi-synthetic bandwagon are now struggling to survive because so many of their customers switched to HHC. Hopefully this will change soon and Prague will have only CBD stores or THC dispensaries.

Smoking places in Prague

There are many beautiful places to enjoy cannabis and CBD in Prague. Take a boat ride on the stunning Vltava River, with many historic bridges, magnificent views of Prague Castle and other pieces of amazing architecture. Or simply stroll through Strahovský klášter (Strahov Monastery) and Petřínské zahrady (Petřín Gardens) with its high watchtower, from where you can admire great views of the Old Town.

I have always liked the areas on both banks of the Vltava River; for example, Vyšehrad Castle and the surrounding parks offer places to relax quietly, with incredibly pleasant and picturesque sunsets and good restaurants with perfect Czech beer and tasty cuisine. In general, there is something for everyone in Prague: if you like traditional architecture, the whole of Prague will blow you away; if you prefer animals, there is a huge zoo; and, if you prefer plants, there is an amazing Botanical Garden in the Troja district.

Additional tips

Although the general attitude towards cannabis and CBD is friendly, it is not recommended to smoke joints in public because if you encounter the police, they are not able to recognize whether it is CBD or THC and may confiscate all the cannabis you have on you. Or sometimes (especially during soccer matches) you can come across groups of neo-Nazis who hate all drugs and in particular cannabis and its users. And they don’t care at all whether it’s CBD or THC. But such accidents were rare years ago and nowadays they occur very rarely.

Cannabis-related activities

There are no cannabis social clubs in Prague, but there are dozens and dozens of cannabis-friendly bars and pubs, although due to the law, they do not advertise it. The legendary Cross Club in Holešovice is known for its pleasant cannabis atmosphere.

As far as cannabis events are concerned, every year, the Million Marijuana March a peaceful march through the center of Prague with events and concerts at the end. It usually takes place on the first Saturday in May.

In November, one of the largest cannabis fairs in the world takes place: Cannafest Prague . The expo used to be at the admirable location of Výstaviště Holešovice (Prague Exhibition Grounds), but a couple of years ago it moved to the outskirts of the city to a larger venue – Výstaviště PVA Letňany (Prague Exhibition Centre Letnany). The event is always held the first weekend of November.

In conclusion…

Prague has become a popular tourist destination for cannabis and CBD enthusiasts. The city offers a wide variety of options, from CBD stores to bars and international festivals.

It is important to remember that although cannabis is decriminalized in the Czech Republic and there are efforts to end prohibition soon, it is still illegal today and handling it can have legal consequences. But overall, Prague is an exciting place to explore with or without cannabis!

Lukas Hurt
Cannabis activist : Journalist focusing on cannabis-related issues in Central Europe

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