Cannabis use is mentioned in ancient Japanese texts dating back to between 10,000 BC and 300 AD during the Jōmon period. Researchers speculate that it was used for making clothing, rope, fishing line, and other textile goods. On their wedding days, brides wore veils crafted from the plant, and Shinto priests used it for spiritual cleansing rituals.
In modern history, though, marijuana has been illegal in Japan since 1948. Although its use has been steadily increasing over the past several years, there have been no signs of decriminalization.
The country’s reputation as a well-oiled, industrious, and hard-working culture clashes with the chill, laid back weed scene. So much so, that getting caught with even one joint could land you a trip to prison and up to 10 years of hard labor, not to mention a hefty fine. In 2018 when Cannabis became legal in Canada, Japanese officials even warned their citizens abroad to avoid partaking or face stiff penalties. The rules regarding pot are pretty clear cut in the Land of the Rising Sun—just say no.
Is CBD Legal in Japan?
Hemp, on the other hand, is a different story entirely. And that means CBD (which has been legal in the country since 2016) is available for Japanese citizens and tourists to enjoy to the fullest. CBD products are wildly popular, and sales have been increasing around 100% year over year. However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind.
In most other countries, the presence of trace amounts (between 0.2% and 0.4%) of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is permitted in hemp-sourced products. In Japan, however, any amount of THC is punishable. And while this is not a widely-enforced regulation, its existence means that customers need to opt for brands containing no THC if they want to stay compliant.
Fortunately, high-quality THC-free CBD oil products are widely accessible in Japan. Shoppers will find an array of legal hemp-sourced products that can be purchased in salons and shops all over Japan.
Consumers in Japan who wish to purchase CBD oil online from other regions need to be sure that their purchases are made with broad-spectrum or isolate-based cannabidiol. So if you’re traveling within the country, it makes sense to buy from a reputable CBD brand to avoid any misunderstanding.