Thailand CBD innovation: Research project explores local botanical twists for anti-inflammatory supplements

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Thai researchers are planning to develop herbal supplements that combine CBD with local herbs. ©Getty Images
Thai researchers are planning to develop herbal supplements that combine CBD with local herbs. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Thailand, Cbd, herbs

Researchers from Thailand’s Rajamangala University of Technology Isan (RMUTI) Khon Kaen Campus are planning to develop herbal supplements that combine CBD with local botanicals.

This include combining CBD with green tea, lemongrass, and turmeric, assistant professor Dr Ada Raimaturapong, VP of RMUTI Khon Kaen Campus told NutraIngredients-Asia.

The idea is to explore and make use of the synergistic effects of CBD and the herbs in producing anti-inflammatory benefits, she said. 

The tertiary institute recently signed a memorandum of understanding with GreenWorks Asia and Thai authorities – the Na Fay Tambon Administrative Organisation (TAO) in the northeastern province.

Dr Raimaturapong said that the university would be in charge of lab research, while GreenWorks Asia would play a role in CBD product development.

“As you know, hemp is high in protein and has culinary, medicinal, and industrial uses.

“Our aim is to develop a range of premium, quality, fully tested certified toxic-free, and 100% natural personal care and nutrition products from hemp CBD extract,”​ she said.

For a start, the team will work with local farmers in farming hemp in Khon Kaen, which is in the northern part of Thailand.

The greenhouse facility needed for hemp farming was recently completed and the team would now plant different hemp strains and identify the ones which produce higher yield.

The next step would be extracting CBD from the hemp plants before exploring the different CBD and herbal combination, as well as the optimum CBD dose to be incorporated into the supplements.

“This is a very exciting project, but we are still at a very early stage and extensive research is required. We need to be careful with this, we are still very new in this field,”​ she said.

Aside from herbal supplements, there are plans to develop CBD oil as a skin moisturiser and for muscle massage use.

CBD and hemp have been approved for use in herbal, cosmetics products​ in Thailand one year ago.

Challenges

There are a number of challenges confronting the hemp and CBD industry in Thailand, including a lack of public awareness in the health benefits of hemp and CBD supplements, as well as a lack of professional expertise, Dr Raimaturapong said.

“There is a lack of public awareness amongst Thai people on the use of hemp and CBD products, it is a sensitive issue over here.

“There is also a lack of experience in the hemp commercial market and infrastructure. If we were to cultivate the plants in Thailand, we will have to get funding from the business sector to do the research,”​ she said.  

Aside from RMUTI, Thailand’s Public Health Ministry also granted permission to the Highland Research and Development Institute to grow local hemp strains in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan, Tak, and Phetchabun provinces last July.

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