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What Is The THC Limit For CBD Products In Japan?

In December 2023, Japan’s Parliament approved legislation that will overhaul the nation’s cannabis policies and regulations. Japan’s new cannabis laws permit the importation of cannabis-derived medications.

The policy change was hailed by many observers as a great thing at the time since Japan had previously not permitted such commerce, however, part of the policy change also included major changes to how THC is classified. THC will now expressly be classified as a narcotic, and merely having THC in a person’s system can yield a potential prison sentence of up to 7 years in Japan.

Additionally, the law proposes a very, very low THC level for CBD products.  CBD products have grown in popularity in recent years in Japan, with The Japan Times reporting that “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.” The Japan Times also reported. However, drastic changes could be on the horizon for Japan’s emerging CBD industry.

“While regulating THC limits for hemp and CBD products is common practice around the world—it’s capped at 0.3% in some U.S. states, for example—Japan’s proposed new cap of 0.001% for oils (and even lower for beverages and products in other forms) has been slammed by advocates and experts as unrealistic and likely a death knell for Japan’s CBD industry, effectively banning the substance altogether, as some regional neighbors like China have recently moved to do.” Time reported in its original coverage.

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

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.