Is CBD Legal in Japan? All About the Legal Rights

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Are you wondering whether CBD is legal in Japan?

The truth is that a lot of people are for one simple reason: Japan has always had a negative attitude towards addictive substances like cannabis. However, the fact that the country hasn’t yet legalized weed doesn’t mean that the same rules apply to cannabidiol.

Surprisingly, CBD products such as oils, gummies, or balms are perfectly legal in Japan. Still, if you’re thinking about purchasing any of the products that contain cannabidiol, you should be careful because every country has specific rules regarding this substance, and Japan is no exception.

So, before you take further steps and buy cannabidiol products online at Happy Garden CBD, let’s first find out the legal status of it in Japan, get to know Japanese laws about substances that contain CBD, and places where you can buy it.

A Brief History of CBD in Japan

Cannabidiol and cannabis products in Japan originated from the prehistoric period. In fact, scientists discovered hemp seeds in Japanese residents during the Jomon period, which is Japan’s earliest historical era (from 14, 500 BCE to 300 BCE).

Throughout different periods of time, hemp seeds have been widely cultivated in Japan, and products derived from various types of hemp were found in paper, food supplies, oils, and even clothes. Surprisingly, wealthy merchants of ancient times in this country used to create clothes using hemp. Considering this, it’s not surprising that the cultivation of hemp strengthened the economy of the country for so long.

The official laws regarding the use of cannabis changed only less than a century ago, in 1948 when the government of Japan created strict laws regarding marijuana. Still, people continue to manufacture and apply cannabidiol products, and consequently, the CBD market in Japan keeps on growing.

How is CBD Connected with Cannabis?

In most Asian countries, buying illicit substances is always accompanied by a specific degree of risk. Therefore, if you’re considering buying cannabidiol products, you should know how they’re connected to cannabis. So what is CBD as a substance? Is it used for medical or recreational purposes? Is it the same as marijuana?

As a matter of fact, cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical that has been found in the cannabis Sativa plant. Basically, it’s a different substance from marijuana, but specific types of weed contain various amounts of cannabidiol. Therefore, CBD is connected with cannabis, and the most common cannabinoids can be found in cannabis products.

Nevertheless, it’s not the same as marijuana as it’s derived from the hemp plant. Considering this, laws in Japan vary based on the exact amount of cannabidiol and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that a specific product contains. In particular, while some of the CBD chemicals are used for seizures, cancer, mental health conditions such as depression, or simply for pain relief, using cannabis for recreational purposes remains illegal in Japan.

Is CBD Legal in Japan?

The short answer is yes, CBD is completely legal in Japan. In fact, the cannabidiol market in Japan is growing at a fast pace, and the usage of this substance has significantly increased over the past few years in this country, especially for medical purposes. 

Even though Japan is famous for having a negative view of substances that are somehow related to cannabis, the country legalized selling CBD products in 2016. However, the manufacturing laws regarding this substance still remain very strict, and the country has several authorities that control the allowance of illicit substances in Japan. In particular, the Narcotics and Psychotropics Control Act is the law that regulates 

Due to strict manufacturing laws since it became legal to sell in 2016, the industry has relied on imported CBD. Unfortunately, despite having a growing audience, importing Cannabidiol into Japan is difficult at best. The Narcotics and Psychotropics Control Act regulates which substances are allowed in the country. However, it’s important to understand that this doesn’t specifically apply to cannabidiol, while it bans substances that contain THC.

Therefore, although CBD is legal, consumers still have to be very careful when buying products that contain this substance because different types of cannabidiol, such as oils, creams and balms, or gummies, contain different formulations of THC.

Cannabis Control Act

The specific law that regulates the use and manufacturing of CBD in Japan is called the Cannabis Control Act. The law was introduced in 1949 and has been used in the country ever since. The act defines who can and who can’t use cannabis in Japan, and what types of it can be used and manufactured. Even though the act hasn’t been significantly changed for more than 70 years, there have been some amendments.

Under the terms of this law, people who possess or cultivate cannabis are punished. In fact, the Japanese government sentences everyone who disobeys the law to prison for about 5-7 years. However, legal arthritis has been discussed in the Cannabis Control Act, meaning that it might be updated or replaced by a new law in the near future. Unfortunately, while the current law applies only to individuals who cultivate or possess the plant, the new law may be related to those who smoke or ingest cannabis.

Still, for now, this law has nothing to do with CBD products, and therefore, it’s considered perfectly legal in Japan as long as it doesn’t contain more than 0.03% THC.

CBD Revolution In Japan

Did you know that the Japanese cannabis industry was worth approximately 148 USD in 2017? Despite the strict laws regarding the use of this substance, the country is among the world’s largest importers of cannabis, making up about 5% of the global market. Surprisingly, the market continues to grow rapidly, and as a result, Japan often gets the center of the attention of CBD producers too. 

Nowadays, the Japanese cannabis market looks notably promising, and although hemp cultivation remains a subject of license, specific shops that sell cannabidiol are all around the country. What’s more, you can even find special cafes and mini markets that sell CBD-infused coffee, tea, and other drinks. Of course, Japanese people who are involved in the CBD business understand that it’s important to pay attention to THC laws and make sure that the product doesn’t contain more than 0.03% THC. It’s obvious that the CBD revolution keeps growing all around the country.

CBD Laws in Japan

According to the NY Times, while various countries in North America and Europe have been loosening their laws regarding marijuana use, Japan and the entire Asian market remain tough on cannabis. 

The reason is that the Asian CBD market tends to be extremely unique. In fact, Japan and other Asian countries have different laws when it comes to purchasing, using, or cultivating products that contain various amounts of THC. That’s why it’s crucial to find out the exact CBD laws in Japan.

Growing Hemp

Usually, the laws regarding growing hemp and using hemp-derived products are different in most countries. And the same applies to Japan. Specifically, Japanese law considers industrial hemp legal. However, the cultivation of hemp is strictly regulated in the country. 

Moreover, people in Japan have the legal right to import products that are made from cannabis stems, but only as long as they don’t contain THC. Otherwise, importing THC products is considered illegal.

All in all, most hemp products in Japan are imported because cultivating hemp is linked to a strict licensing system and sanctions. Considering this, there are only about 40 licensed cannabis farms throughout the country.

Using CBD for Medical Purposes

When it comes to medical purposes, most countries legalize CBD products because studies prove that this substance has a positive impact on mental and physical health (e.g., Eskander et al., 2020). As a result, CBD oils, gummies, and other beneficial products that contain this substance remain legal in Japan for medical use. However, before buying a specific product, you need to pay attention to the ingredients and make sure that it contains less than 0.03% THC.

Japanese markets consider CBD oils and similar products as simple food supplements, which is why it’s completely legal to purchase and use cannabidiol products in this country. This means that using CBD is legal in Japan to improve sleep quality, relieve pain, lose weight, or for other medical reasons. And as analysts predict, the country has the potential to grow by about 800 million USD as a result of CBD by 2024.


Cannabidiol oil is also legal in Japan, but it’s only under very firm conditions. In particular, CBD oil and similar products can be used only on two occasions:

  • If it’s not derived from hemp;
  • If it doesn’t contain any THC (or if it doesn’t exceed 0.03%).

Therefore, the products have to be derived from cannabidiol instead of hemp. If you meet these two criteria while purchasing CBD products, you can easily use your oil either as a food supplement or for other purposes.

How to Buy CBD in Japan?

Considering the success of the CBD market in Japan, purchasing products that contain this substance is totally legal both online and in regular shops throughout Japan. Currently, Japanese customers have a wider choice of products available on local markets than foreigners can imagine. In fact, the Japanese market consists of various authoritative brands that sell high-quality CBD in their physical stores.

Other than regular stores, you can also find specific cafes in the country that offer CBD-infused drinks and food. However, people in Japan who want to use this substance for medical purposes often prioritize online stores as they have a broad spectrum of CBD markets on their websites. 

Consequently, you can buy CBD in Japan either in online stores or physically, and most importantly, you can enjoy various types of drinks and meals on the local fasciitis that tend to be cannabidiol-friendly.

Where Can You Buy CBD Online?

Although there are plenty of local stores in Japan where you can buy CBD online, many customers prefer to shop in international stores where they can get reliable products.

So, if you’re looking for high-quality CBD products that are derived from natural cannabidiol, think about contacting our team at Happy Garden CBD. In our shop, you can find various products for your personal use or for your pets that meet the highest standards. 

Keep in mind that we understand that our customers need to have information about the exact composition of certain products. That’s why we list the exact ingredients on each product page. Most importantly, we use GMP-ISO 7 production standards and our products are kosher and halal certified, meaning that high quality is guaranteed.

Final Words

Let’s quickly wrap up the entire article:

  • Buying CBD in Japan is totally legal but under specific circumstances: it should be isolated from hemp plants and it should contain less than 0.03% THC.
  • The CBD market in Japan is rising, and there are plenty of opportunities to ship cannabidiol products either online or physically. 
  • Using and manufacturing CBD is regulated by the Cannabis Control Act in Japan.

So, if you’re thinking about buying cannabidiol products from Japan or any corner of the world, check out Happy Garden CBD and get premium-quality products for your or your pets’ well-being.

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