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How Many CBD Consumers Are There In Japan?

A March 2023 analysis by Comprehensive Research Report found that the global cannabidiol (CBD) market is projected to reach $59.43 billion by 2030. The researchers estimated that the global CBD market was worth $18.43 billion in 2022.

One nation where CBD products are growing in popularity is Japan. Japan boasts one of the lowest cannabis consumer rates around the globe, just a mere .12% according to Euromonitor International. The main contributing factor to the low consumption rate is Japan’s strict approach to cannabis policy.

In December 2023, Japan’s government lifted a long-time ban on cannabis-derived medications. Unfortunately, coupled with the lifting of the ban for cannabis-derived medications was the institution of a new law that bans consumption of THC outside of the rare instances in which someone is using an approved cannabis-derived medication.

The penalties for cannabis use in Japan are considerable. Someone caught consuming THC cannabis products in Japan faces up to a seven year prison sentence. The penalty is purposefully designed to deter THC use.

CBD products can be made in such a way that they do not contain THC. Many consumers prefer CBD products to other substances, such as an alternative to tobacco products. Japan’s emerging cannabis industry expanded sixfold during four years spanning from 2019 to 2023 according to a new report by Euromonitor International, thanks in large part to Japan’s expanding CBD market.

Per excerpts from The Japan Times:

Japan’s cannabis market expanded sixfold over four years to ¥24 billion ($154 million) in 2023, a trend that is expected to accelerate with the amendment in December of cannabis laws, market research firm Euromonitor International said in a recent report.

The growing sales of products using CBD (cannabidiol), a compound found in marijuana, are attributed to the rising demand for products that offer relaxation, sleep and stress relief, the firm said, estimating the current number of CBD users in Japan at 588,000.

“Despite challenges in ensuring quality, complying with regulations, and educating consumers, CBD sales are projected to outpace the illicit cannabis market by 2026, driven by increasing health and wellness awareness among consumers seeking alternatives to traditional products like cigarettes and alcohol.” Euromonitor stated about its report.

Additionally, Statista lists the following information about Japan’s emerging CBD industry:

  • In Japan, the revenue in the CBD Products is projected to reach US$0.37bn in 2024
  • It is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2029) of -2.26%, resulting in a market volume of US$0.33bn by 2029