Is CBD legal in Japan?

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Understanding the Legal Framework of Cannabidiol in Japan

As the world continues to explore the potential benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive constituent of Cannabis, many nations have started to reassess their stance on the substance. However, the legal status of CBD varies greatly from one country to another, and Japan is no exception. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the legal framework surrounding CBD in Japan.

The Japanese Cannabis Control Act

The Cannabis Control Act, enacted in Japan in 1948, strictly regulates the production, sale, and possession of cannabis. Violations of the Act can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment. However, the Act primarily targets cannabis plants and cannabis leaves, and does not specifically mention CBD.

CBD Derived From Hemp

Under Japanese law, CBD products derived from hemp (Cannabis Sativa) containing less than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis) are legal. This is because the Cannabis Control Act does not cover hemp stalks and seeds. Therefore, CBD oil extracted from these parts of the hemp plant is legal and widely available in Japan.

Importing CBD into Japan

While it is legal to use and purchase CBD products in Japan, the rules around importing CBD are more complex. Importing CBD products into Japan is legal, but they must contain absolutely no THC. Even trace amounts of THC in imported CBD products can lead to legal consequences. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that any CBD products you intend to bring into Japan are THC-free.

Regulation by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare

The Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW) is the governmental body responsible for regulating drugs in Japan. The MHLW has confirmed that CBD is not classified as a "Drug" under the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Act, provided it contains no THC. However, the MHLW strictly monitors CBD products to ensure they do not contain any traces of THC.

Recent Changes and Future Outlook

As of now, there have been no recent changes to the legal status of CBD in Japan. However, as research continues to uncover the potential benefits of CBD, there may be changes to its legal status in the future. It is always advisable to stay updated on the current laws and regulations regarding CBD in Japan.


In summary, CBD derived from hemp stalks and seeds, containing less than 0.3% THC, is legal in Japan. However, importing CBD products into Japan requires that they contain absolutely no THC. The Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare strictly regulates CBD products to ensure they do not contain any THC. Therefore, while it is legal to use and purchase CBD products in Japan, it is crucial to ensure that they are THC-free.

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