Cannabis has been steadily gaining popularity around the globe over the past few decades. However, despite this, certain countries have been slower to adopt the plant than others. Japan is one such example, as their drug laws have been notoriously stringent on the cannabis plant.
In Japan, THC is prohibited in all its forms. It carries criminal charges for mere possession in the country. In the public eye, consumption of the plant is seen as something done by outlaws and outcasts. Put simply, the consumption of marijuana is still not seen positively within the broader Japanese society.
However, in Japan CBD is allowed. The legal loophole allows its extraction from the plant’s seeds or fully-grown stems, but not other parts like the leaves. This allows its medicinal benefits to be enjoyed by those in the country and many rejoice in this.
Despite Japan’s strict policies against marijuana, it has a long and rooted history within the country. According to the Asia-Pacific Journal’s interview with Takayasu Junichi, a leading cannabis expert within the country, cannabis’ history can be traced back to 10,000 BC in Japan!
According to Mr. Junichi, there is a very old Japanese saying that states even gnarly weeds would straighten if grown among cannabis plants. Thousands of years of history show an intertwined relationship between the plant and the country of Japan, and Japan’s youth have shown to be waking up to this!
As a result, CBD products are being sold in vapes, drinks, and sweets sold all over the Japanese island! Products are sold at specialist cafes, health stores, and even a shop in Tokyo’s main airport. A huge win for cannabis policy in Japan and a sign of forwarding motion for the cannabis movement!
Recreational use of the plant is however still seen as a long way off. According to France24, the Ministry of Japan still sees substances like THC as ones that could compromise learning ability and muscle control in adults. As well as potentially increase the risk of mental illness.
While much legal progress is still looking to be made regarding cannabis in Japan, we are still seeing progress, nonetheless. Those who are aware of CBD’s medicinal benefits can claim them within the country, which is a monumental step in the right direction.
France 24. (2022, June 17). ‘The power of cannabis’: Japan embraces CBD despite drug taboo. France 24. Retrieved June 22, 2022, from https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220617-the-power-of-cannabis-japan-embraces-cbd-despite-drug-taboo
Journal, T. A. P. (2014, December 5). The secret history of cannabis in Japan. The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. Retrieved June 22, 2022, from https://apjjf.org/2014/12/49/Jon-Mitchell/4231.html