First for Thailand: Amado Group launches hemp seed oil capsule as country relaxes regulations

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Amaprai Hemp Seed Oil Plus. ©Amado Group
Amaprai Hemp Seed Oil Plus. ©Amado Group

Related tags: Hemp, Cbd, Thailand

Thailand health and nutrition company Amado Group has launched what is said to be the country’s first hemp seed oil capsule product since the Thai FDA had relaxed the use of hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) earlier this year.

The product, known as Amaprai Hemp Seed Oil Plus, was launched in Thailand in late November.

Aside from hemp seed oil, each capsule contains nine other oils, namely coconut oil, rice bran oil, safflower oil, gac oil, garlic oil, perilla oil, sacha inchi oil, flaxseed oil, and black sesame oil.

With its omega 3,6,9, vitamin C, D, E, and K content, it claims to support the immune system, nerves, bone and joint health, and serves as an antioxidant.

Amaprai is a newly added trademark of the Amado Group, with the portfolio focusing on natural nutritional products.

The product is sold on e-commerce platforms Central Online and Konvy, as well as being distributed in offline health and beauty stores.

Prior to the launch, the Amado Group was best known for its flagship Colligi hydrolysed fish tripeptide collagen powder​, vitamin C effervescent tablets Ben-C, and also recently entered into the probiotic space.

At the soft launch, only 10,000 boxes of the hemp seed oil have been made available. The company aims to ramp up its production by next year's Chinese New Year period as it overcomes the issue of raw materials shortages, chief marketing officer Jongshan Fan told NutraIngredients-Asia.

The company sources its hemp (cannabis sativa ssp. sativa) seed from a greenhouse facility based in Petchabun, north of Thailand.

Premium product

At the moment, Amaprai Hemp Seed Oil Plus is considered a premium product priced at THB$1990 (US$58.75) for a box of 20 soft gel capsules.

Nonetheless, Fan believes that hemp products will become more affordable as the market scales up. 

“If we take a look at only the pharmaceutical and dietary supplement products, the value in 2021 is estimated to be ​THB$50m (US$1.5m), because it was just legalised this year.

“But within the next five years, we believe that the CAGR will be at 123 per cent, so the pharmaceutical and supplement markets in which hemp is permitted for use is expected to be at THB$1240m (US$36.7m),”​ she said.

The company also plans to increase its range of herbal, natural, and organic products next year.

Herbal traditional products will still be one of the key drivers in Thailand,” ​she said, citing the example of how the country went into a frenzy over Andrographis supplements for its purported benefits to the immune system amid the current pandemic. 

Hemp is (almost) everywhere

From supplements to food services, hemp is finding its way into various products in Thailand these days.

For instance, there are now shops selling hemp tea and even restaurants selling omelette garnished with hemp leaves, Fan pointed out.

"If you walk on the streets in Bangkok, you are going to see hemp-related products in places such as restaurants and coffee shop,"​ Fan said. 

Thailand's Ministry of Public Health had announced earlier ​that hemp can be used in food products, including breakfast cereals, bakery, beverages, snacks, butter, and food supplements.   

"In terms of the hemp category, we are definitely planning to expand [products containing] this ingredient and CBD as well.”

For now, the biggest challenge lies in ensuring ample supply of the raw materials. 

"I will say that the regulations are quite clear. I think the most difficult thing would most likely be getting the supply amid COVID-19." 

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