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Thailand to Permit the Use of Cannabis in Cosmetics

Thailand to allow the CBD and THC content up to 0.2% in cosmetic products. The cannabis and CBD acceptance varies significantly in the Asia-Pacific regions.

Following the legalization of medical cannabis in February 2019, the Thai government has proposed a plan in late November to expand the application scope of cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp to food and cosmetics, Bangkok Post reported [1]. The parts of cannabis and hemp plants containing extremely low content of psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), such as the leaves, branches, stems, trunks, bark, fiber, and roots, will be dropped from the government's narcotics list. Euphoria-inducing flowers and shoots will still remain outlawed.

The Thailand Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) is drafting a new regulation to this effect, which will include hemp seeds and seed extract and limits the maximum content of CBD and THC to 0.2% [2]. The new regulation will come into force when it is published in the Government Gazette.

ChemLinked anticipates that the country will develop more regulations, criteria, and standards for CBD use in cosmetics and food going forward.

Regulations of CBD in the Asia-Pacific Regions


The Current Situation of CBD Supervision


Currently, the CBD is still illegal, and there are only three ingredients from cannabis included in the Inventory of Existing Cosmetic Ingredients in China 2015 (IECIC2015). They are Cannabis Sativa Fruit, Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, and Cannabis Sativa Leaf Extract.

Please refer to the article: CBD Cosmetics in China: A Long Way to Go for more market and regulatory details about CBD cosmetics’ development in China.

China Taiwan

Taiwan FDA released a draft list of prohibited cosmetic ingredients for public consultation on December 3, 2020, which adds CBD. Starting from July 1 next year, the manufacture, import, sell or supply of cosmetics containing the ingredient will be prohibited.


Cosmetics infused with CBD derived from stalks and seeds of hemp, rather than the flowers and leaves and is THC-free, can be marketed in Japan [3].

South Korea

There is no specific standard for the use of CBD ingredients in cosmetics. But in practice, the ingredient can be used if it can be proved that the THC content is well controlled in the product.

The standards for THC and CBD under the revised Food Code may be a reference:

  1. Cannabis Seed: THC 5mg/kg or less, CBD 10 mg/kg or less;

  2. Cannabis Oil: THC 10mg/kg or less, CBD 20 mg/kg or less.


According to the regulations, CBD oil derived from cannabis is illegal. Only CBD products made from hemp and containing low THC content (less than 0.3%) are legal to be used and sold in India. Anything higher and they will be classed as cannabis products [4].


All derivatives of cannabis, whether it contains low-THC concentration or not, are strictly prohibited in Indonesia and punished with harsh penalties.


Malaysia has imposed one of the most stringent cannabis regulations in the world. CBD oil was listed as an illegal substance under the Dangerous Drug Act, and penalties were in place for those selling or distributing it [5].


Philippines strictly prohibits the supply, sale, and use of cannabis and its derivatives, including hemp seed oil [6].


The production, sale, and use of any form of cannabis are illegal in Vietnam.


According to the Misuse of Drugs Act, cannabis and cannabis-derived products, including cannabis resin, cannabinol, and cannabinol derivatives, are listed as controlled drugs. The use of such ingredients is illegal and is subject to heavy penalties.


Therapeutic Goods Administration announced in September 2020 that it might allow over-the-counter access to CBD products in Australian pharmacies from 2021 [7].

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