Is CBD Legal in Japan?

While there is a basic pattern amongst most countries that have legalised CBD products, Japan does things a little differently. While CBD is legal in Japan, the products sold in the country have to be made specifically to keep within unique legal guidelines. 

The Asian CBD market is an interesting one in general, with CBD being illegal to purchase in mainland China and Hong Kong, but many of the CBD products that are sold around the world being produced in China

But what about Japan? The rules here differ greatly from those in China, and Japan is in the midst of something of a CBD boom. But how does the legality around CBD in Japan actually work? 

CBD Law in Japan

Essentially, CBD is totally legal in Japan and has been since 2016. However, if you intend to take your CBD products into the country for any reason, it is worth being very aware of the small print. 

Unlike most other countries with legal CBD sales and consumption, where trace amounts of THC (usually between 0.2% and 0.4% depending on the country) are acceptable, THC is 100% illegal in Japan, in all circumstances. 

Travelling into Japan with any products with THC content at all is likely to be classified as drug trafficking, and that is a charge that you really don’t want to deal with! 

CBD products that are sold in Japan, whether homegrown or imported, are formulated to contain no THC at all. 

The ‘CBD Legal in Japan‘ Revolution

If you’re familiar with Japan,  you probably know that if something is trendy globally, it’s probably uber-trendy in Japan. That’s certainly the case with CBD. 

The Japanese market has captured the attention of international CBD producers due to the rapid rise of the market, which is said to be growing at nearly 100% year-on-year

CBD shops are popping up all over the country, and CBD is also available in non-specialist shops. Cafes will sell you CBD coffees, while mini-markets carry CBD ice teas and other drinks. 

CBD basically couldn’t be more accessible in the country at this point, but due to the strict THC laws, it is heavily advised to only consume products in Japan that you have bought in Japan. 

Other Asian Country Laws

Asia is a clusterfudge (that’s a word now, you should all start using it immediately) of different laws and regulations, on extreme ends of the spectrum, from legalised CBD in Japan, to the shocking case of a doctor given the death sentence (which is currently being reviewed, but has had a concerning lack of additional information in the last two years) for giving CBD products to patients in Malaysia. 

CBD has been legalised for medical purposes only in South Korea, while Thailand legalised medical marijuana back in December 2018 and as for Indonesia, yeah, don’t take CBD to Indonesia

Basically, if you’re travelling around Asia, if you are not sure about the rules, don’t buy anything unless you know categorically it is legal to do so. That’s a rule that covers all cannabis products, not just CBD. Drug laws can vary a huge amount in the region. 

That being said. If you fancy embarking on some cannabinoid tourism, and checking out the CBD scene in various countries around the world, then we highly advise putting Japan on that list. 

It isn’t rare for Japan to be at the forefront of evolution, and while we are used to that being more in technology, the country is leading the charge when it comes to CBD too. 

With products available all over the country, in multiple different stores and outlets, and an increasing number of international producers looking towards the region, if we can’t refer to Japan as the Mecca of CBD yet, it doesn’t feel like it’ll be too long until we can! 

What’s your opinion on CBD in Japan? Is it the Mecca of CBD? Why not let us know in the comments for the chance at a 10% lifetime discount on all our products!


The products we sell do not have proven health benefits. While research is being carried out, these products are not, and should not, be considered to be medical products.

Any information we give in these articles is taken from scientific research, but should not be considered as a statement of fact. Links and information included in these articles do not reflect the opinion of Plant & Hemp. Any link to scientific studies is for information only, and not intended as a proof of any specific fact, or to validate any specific opinion.

We are simply bringing you the information needed to make an informed decision on what you want to use CBD for, and what you are comfortable using our products for.

CBD products should not be used as a replacement for any prescribed medication, under UK and International Law.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.