New launches and trends in the Japan CBD scene

Last summer, Meros discussed the state of CBD in Japan. But nearly every week there are new launches and updates in Japan. We have been following trends in Japan’s CBD sector closely and here are a few of the recent highlights!

New CBD restaurant opens in Ginza

A concept restaurant called Today’s CBD by ONE-INCH just opened in Ginza this September. The restaurant is open three days a week, Wednesday through Friday, and a different chef is in charge each night. There is a regular menu, but in addition, the day’s chef adds daily specials to the menu each day. CBD is included in the condiments and CBD drinks are also offered.

New CBD specialty store opens near Shibuya

CBD (coffee) is a specialty CBD store that opened in Komaba Todai-mae in September. The store offers smoothies and coffee which include CBD oil. First you choose a drink, then you select the type and concentration of CBD to add. Each brand of oil is unique –  some are tasteless and odorless, while others have a hemp flavor. You can also enjoy the drinks on their own without and CBD added. The shop also sells CBD products such as CBD vapes and gummies.

New CBD beauty brand has launched in Japan

Japanese company Balanced (株式会社バランスド) has just launched a CBD brand called Walala and announced its first product, a CBD face cream, using synthetic CBD. In order to create a 100% legal CBD brand in Japan, they decided to use only chemically synthesized CBD for their products. Although CBD derived from cannabis stem and seed is not illegal in Japan, Balanced couldn’t find a partner who could provide CBD to their standards so they decided to use chemically synthesized CBD instead. All products are manufactured at their Japanese factory. In the future, they plan to sell products to beauty salons, esthetic salons, and massage parlors, as well as developing CBD products such as supplements and oils.

Follow Meros on social media for other updates on CBD trends in Japan and any new and interesting launches we find next!

CBD Products Making a Move into Mainstream Channels in Japan

CBD products are increasing in the Japanese market, taking steps to move from a niche product into mainstream channels. Although the Japanese government hasn’t explicitly legalized CBD (and continues to strictly ban cannabis itself and any trace of THC),  Japan allows importation of some types of CBD products as long as the products remain within the guidelines of several key relevant laws. CBD products first entered Japan around 2016 and have been continually expanding their market. Now, some mainstream retail chains have begun to handle CBD products and a CBD specialty store opened just this year in Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku.

cbd products in japan

Discount retailer Don Quijote has shelves of CBD vape liquid and HealthyTOKYO cafe in Harajuku offers original CBD beverages.

Don Quijote, one of the largest discount chain stores in Japan, with almost 400 branches nationally, sells a large variety of CBD vape products such as CBD vape liquids, cartridges, and disposable vaping devices. Don Quijote handles overseas brands such as NATUuR CBD, as well as domestic CBD vape liquid brands like Kamikaze and Tsukinoha. Not all branches of Don Quijote handle CBD products, but the fact that this kind of mega-chain has started to sell CBD indicates that CBD awareness has moved to the next level in the Japanese market.

Vape products are not the only CBD products that you can find in Japan. Biople by CosmeKitchen, a shop that sells natural and organic cosmetics, sells foreign branded health and beauty CBD products such as EliXinol’s CBD oil, Endoca’s CBD capsules and Medeterra’s CBD cream. Biople has 18 stores in Japan and some outlets are located in well-known department stores such as Lumine and OIOI (Marui).

While Don Quijote and Biople sell a variety of CBD products, they don’t have their own branded products. HealthyTOKYO CBD Shop & Café, the first CBD specialty store in Japan just opened this year, sells its own branded CBD products. HealthyTOKYO not only sells CBD oil, cream, and capsules but also CBD snacks, coffees, teas and cocoa in their café.  According to the manager, their own private brand HealthyTOKYO CBD is the best-selling of their product lines. The store’s main customers are non-Japanese people and travelers, and therefore sales have unfortunately dropped recently due to COVID19 and the decline in tourists.

With CBD products beginning to appear in popular discount chains and well-known department stores, as well as many online channels, it is clear that CBD has entered a new phase of market expansion. As more people become aware of what CBD is, we expect further domestic product development, increased imports and potentially new usages in health, beauty and food products.

Interested in understanding more about the CBD market in Japan or understanding the steps that exporters have to take in order to export CBD products to Japan? Reach out to us at inquiry@merosconsulting.com


What is CBD?

CBD (Cannabidiol) is a chemical compound found in cannabis. Unlike the cannabis compound THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) that makes a user feel “high”, the chemical compound CBD is associated with health benefits such as relaxation of the mind and body and relief of anxiety and worry. Products such as oils, cosmetics, and even snacks that contain CBD are increasingly popular in many countries around the world.