CBD-infused beauty products growing in popularity in Japan

newsonjapan.com -- Dec 24
Cannabis has a long history in Japan, dating back to the country's pre-historical period.

In fact, researchers have found fiber and seeds of hemp in the remains of human habitats dating from the Jomon period (10.000 BC to 300 BC).

In Japan, people would widely cultivate crops of hemp throughout history, and the plant played a significant role in Japanese people's lives. Hemp was used for making clothes, paper, oils, and the plant's seeds were eaten. What's more, hemp is considered a sacred plant in Japan's religions. For example, the country's indigenous religion called Shinto considers hemp to be a symbol of purity and fertility, and hemp has been used in many ceremonies and rituals.

Similarly, cannabis was considered a medicine, being listed and prescribed to treat various conditions, including asthma, pain, or insomnia.

Yet, despite its rich and long history in Japan, after becoming prohibited only a few decades ago, today, cannabis has a taboo status. Possession of cannabis can now lead to up to ten years in jail in Japan. However, that's not the care for the plant's non-psychoactive CBD compound that is totally legal to sell and to purchase.

Now, let's dig deeper into the status of CBD in Japan and what do Japanese people use it for.

First thing first, you're likely wondering what's the legal status of CBD in Japan right now.

CBD is legal to own, sell, and purchase. Yet, in Japan, unlike how it is in most other parts of the world, CBD extracts and products are legal only if they are THC-free and they are made from hemp stems.

When CBD oil was first imported in Japan back in 2013, the Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare allowed the THC concentration to be no more than 0.3. However, The MHLW soon banned any products containing THC after liquid marijuana was imported and sold in fake CBD oil.

CBD in Japan is mostly used in cosmetics, dietary supplements, health products or food, pet snacks, and drinks. The market is growing so rapidly in the country that the Prohibition Partners expect it to reach $2,057.7 million by 2024, of which $794.6 million in medical cannabis and $1,623.1 million in cannabis.

Yet, it's important to note that CBD products in Japan are not served for medical purposes. They are sold as skincare or beauty products, edibles, drinks, or pet snacks. For medical marijuana to eventually become legal here and for CBD restrictions to become less strict, Japan must first normalize using CBD and link it to medical cannabis as a part of it, instead of dividing it.

Normalizing CBD usage in Japan is still a work in progress as cannabis has been treated as taboo for the last couple of decades. What's more, hemp farmers are also very few, leading to a current shortage of domestic cannabis production, requiring CBD products in Japan to be fully imported. For example, data shows that while in 1954, there were 37,313 hemp farmers across Japan, in 2016, there were just 37 of them.

So, it may take some time before CBD products can be produced in Japan and have more fans across the country. Yet, even if things aren't so bright right now for the industry in the country, Japan is expected to become one of the biggest CBD markets in Asia soon.

But why the CBD hype?

CBD, or else known as cannabidiol, isn't popular only in Japan. Over the last couple of years, this compound from the cannabis plant has taken the entire world by storm.

Everybody is talking about CBD these days. The medical community, Tv shows, people on social media are sharing opinions on what CBD is and its benefits.

Now, let's make sure we're on the same page about what CBD is, and then we'll dig deeper into what has made it so popular worldwide.

CBD is one of the most prevalent compounds found in the cannabis plant. The other prevalent compound is THC, a controversial topic in Japan, as mentioned above, that causes the sensation of getting "high" that is often associated with cannabis.

Now, unlike THC, CBD doesn't have intoxicating effects, meaning that it doesn't induce euphoria, enhancement of sensory perception, and impairment of memory. So, why do people use CBD? Well, one of the reasons why CBD is so popular is exactly the fact that it doesn't have intoxicating effects, but it does have plenty of health benefits.

Various scientific studies have called CBD a natural remedy for a number of medical conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, cancer-related symptoms, epilepsy, high blood pressure, and acne.

What's more, other studies have shown promising results that suggest CBD can have many other potential uses such as antipsychotic treatment, treatment for substance abuse, anti-tumor effects, and diabetes precaution.

Does it sound too good to be true? But wait, there's more. CBD is also generally well-tolerated by most users. In cases where it does cause some adverse reactions, these side effects involve diarrhea, changes in appetite and weight, fatigue.

What's more, CBD also comes in various forms that cater to different user preferences and needs. CBD can be in the form of oil, tinctures, capsules, or vape juice. It is also added to edibles and drinks, a popular choice among Japanese consumers. Or, you can even buy CBD flower wholesale. The fact that it comes in such a great variety of products and forms is another reason why CBD is so popular these days.

Several studies have suggested that CBD is a potential natural remedy for plenty of medical conditions, including anxiety, heart disease, depression, epilepsy, or acne. Yet, research on its other potential benefits and the exact efficacy of CBD is still ongoing.