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.