Thai Entrepreneurs Cash in With Weed Toothpaste!

Liz Filmer
31 Jul 2022

Thai businesses are making the most of the recent law change with a wide range of cannabis-infused products such as toothpaste, soaps, tea and snacks. This is following the government legalising the plant earlier this year.

Thailand was the first Southeast Asian country to legalise cannabis for medical use and research in 2018. Last month, however, Thailand decriminalised the plant and dropping it from the narcotics list has led to an eruption in recreational use. 

Officially speaking, commercial products approved by the regulator of food and drugs may include CBD as this is not psychoactive. However, any product's amount of psychoactive THC is limited to just 0.2%.

Thanks to Thailand's long history of using cannabis in traditional medicine to relieve aches and pains. Innovators have wasted no time developing new ideas, even if they flaunt the 0.2 THC limit.

Surawut Samphant, the "Channherb Cannabis Shop" owner, has even invented a cannabis toothpaste.

One of the main ingredients is cannabis sativa seed oil, which contains CBD. He has stated that the toothpaste helped with gum care, and his customers are backing him up.

Nikom Rianthong has used the toothpaste for two months and said, "I have receding gums, and sometimes they get infected. This has solved my problems; I won't be going back to the other brands.

Likewise, the owner of a dessert shop Kanomsiam, Kreephet Hanpongpipat, has incorporated cannabis into some of his dishes to attract new customers.

The feedback from customers is that cannabis-based desserts help them sleep better.

Thai Health minister Anutin Charnvirakul, the main force behind the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes, estimates that the industry may be worth more than $3 billion within five years.

"I want to see people getting rich out of doing these products in a positive way," he said, reiterating that his original decision was in the name of medicinal use only.

"My policy on cannabis is only focusing on medical purposes and health care. That's all. We can't encourage the use of cannabis in other ways."

Cultivators of THC-loaded cannabis have taken advantage of the push to promote "medical cannabis", with stalls selling weed for "therapeutic reasons" popping up nationwide.

This free-for-all might not last long, so entrepreneurs are cashing in. Health Minister Anutin has said that there are public health laws that the police can enforce to prevent recreational use. A cannabis bill addressing the situation and any exploitation of the new regulations is currently being deliberated in parliament. 

For now, though, the list of new and exciting cannabis-infused products in Thailand continues to grow!


Liz Filmer