Hemp Body Creams, Lotions and Spa Aroma Ointments to Enter Markets Soon
Heralded with the New Year, a couple of health ministry and hemp regulations are set to be pushed through by the Food and Drug Administration to enable the non-medical commercialization of body creams, lotions, aromatic ointments and other cosmetic products manufactured from hemp seed oil and hemp seed extracts.
The authorities aspire to tout commercial hemp as an economic crop to be used more widely in the consumer world, on top of the more restrictive medicinal marijuana that has soared in popularity following the release of a master cannabis rule in mid-December 2020.
New Enabling Regulation under the Cosmetics Act:
The impending Notification of the Ministry of Public Health will be issued under the Cosmetics Act of 2015 to allow hemp seed oil and hemp seed extracts to be used as ingredients in the production of unlimited types of cosmetic products.
Hemp seeds to squeeze out the oil and other extracts must be dead seeds, known formally as non-viable seeds incapable of reproduction.
Parts of hemp, with the scientific name Cannabis sativa L. subsp. sativa, a subspecies of marijuana, that can be used as ingredients for cosmetics include hemp seed oil, hydrogenated hemp seed oil (where liquid oil is turned into a solid form by adding hydrogen), hemp seed extracts, hydrolyzed hemp seed extracts (extracts obtained by breaking down chemical compounds in hemp using water) and hemp seed water.
These hemp extracts are allowed to contain a tiny amount of the compound tetrahydrocannabinol or THC of not more than 10 parts per million (ppm) by weight or 10 milligrams per kilogram of a solid substance or 10 milligrams per liter of a liquid.
There are no restrictions on the amount of cannabidiol or CBD they can incorporate.
Alongside the health ministry notification on hemp as an ingredient to be used in the production of cosmetics will potentially be a notification from the Cosmetics Board regulating warnings on labels of products containing hemp.
Specific words are to be mandated including stark warnings such as, “Do not eat,” “This product may cause allergic reactions,” “If there are any irregularities after use, stop using and consult a doctor or pharmacist.”
What Has Changed from the Old Master Notification No. 2:
The greatly simplified master cannabis rule of December 2020 was passed under another law, the Narcotics Act of 1979, as a new regulatory regime to substitute the master Notification No. 2 of 2019.
Gone from the 2020 new master cannabis rule is Notification No. 2’s reference to the very limited and impractical laboratory use of the pure CBD isolate of marijuana, with a CBD chemical compound of more than or equal to 99% and a psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol or THC content of not more than 0.01% by weight.
The complicated restrictions in Notification No. 2 have also been removed from the new master cannabis rule regarding marijuana-based CBD extracts or products from the CBD extracts containing CBD as the main component and incorporating THC of not more than 0.2% by weight used as modern medicine or herbal products.
Marijuana-Based CBD Extracts Ban Lifted:
What remains in the 2020 new master cannabis rule is more user-friendly CBD extracts from marijuana, with the scientific name Cannabis sativa L., or products from the CBD extracts.
These marijuana-based CBD extracts and products from the CBD extracts liberalized can contain any amount of CBD as a component, however small it is to save costs, even though expensive CBD is not their main component. The THC levels allowed stay at the same level as the previous rule of not more than 0.2% by weight.
The utility of these marijuana extracts and products from the extracts has been widened limitlessly and is no longer restricted to modern pharmaceuticals and Thai traditional herbs.
Meanwhile, the 5-year import prohibition adduced in Notification No. 2 concerning the marijuana-based pure CBD isolate for laboratory use and the marijuana-based CBD extracts and products from the CBD extracts for medical and herbal utility has also been changed.
The cannabis CBD extracts and products from the CBD extracts permissible must be made in Thailand only. This is a permanent restriction on imports, instead of the initial temporary period of 5 years.
Hemp Seed, Hemp Seed Oil and Hemp Seed Extracts Freed:
Permission for imports of hemp-based pure CBD isolates with CBD of 99% or more and THC of not more than 0.01% by weight is absent from the 2020 new master cannabis rule.
These pure CBD isolates have been merged into hemp-based CBD extracts with CBD as a component (not the main component as previously required) and with THC of not more than 0.2% by weight.
As long as an extract from hemp meets these chemical thresholds, it is no longer considered as a narcotic.
The non-narcotic liberalization is not limited any longer to the four varied utilizations of hemp in the replaced Notification No. 2 for modern pharmaceuticals, Thai traditional medicine, food and drinks and cosmetics.
Any utility of hemp seeds, hemp seed oil and hemp seed extracts is a free-for-all, provided that they are produced locally.
Wirot Poonsuwan is Senior Counsel and Head of Special Projects at the Bangkok law firm of Blumenthal Richter & Sumet and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.