'The power of cannabis': Japan embraces CBD despite drug taboo

malaymail.com -- Jun 17
With its zero-tolerance cannabis laws, deep social stigma against the drug and moves to tighten rules on consumption, Japan is no stoner's paradise.

However, cannabidiol (CBD) -- a non-intoxicating component of cannabis -- has become trendy worldwide and is fast catching on in Japan.

Japan’s CBD industry had an estimated value of US$59 million in 2019, up from US$3 million in 2015, says Tokyo-based research firm Visiongraph.

It is sold in vapes, drinks and sweets at specialist cafes, health stores, and even a shop in Tokyo’s main airport.

The government is discussing approving medicines derived from marijuana, already used in many countries to treat conditions like severe epilepsy.

But despite its budding interest in the plant’s health benefits, the country is not getting softer on illegal use, with cannabis arrests hitting records each year.

Just 1.4 per cent of people say they have tried marijuana, compared to more than 40 per cent in France and around half in the United States.

Even so, cannabis-related arrests have been rising for nearly a decade to a record 5,482 last year, with most offenders in their teens or 20s. ...continue reading

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