A Japanese Company is Making CBD from Orange Peels
Apparently, cannabis and hemp are not the only plants in the world that can produce CBD.
A company from none other than Japan has found out how to make CBD from orange peels. The company, Hiro International, was established in 1984 to initially import fruit juice and fruits. But they eventually discovered in 2020, that orange peels from the United States contained some CBD, which had a biological structure similar to the CBD produced from hemp.
Later on, they were able to distill the CBD into an oil which could be used therapeutically. They now make a wide array of CBD-oil infused healthcare products from orange peels such as lip balms, hair care, makeup removers, and body lotions. “Orange-derived CBD oil has the same ingredients as hemp CBD, similar effects, and additionally, zero danger in terms of THC intake and legality. This discovery offers a different CBD story, which is better than the currently standing CBD narrative to the consumers,” explained Ryousuke Koseki, a spokesperson for the company.
“Some companies have run into huge problems because THC has been detected in their products,” Koseki said. “Many companies are now concerned and consumers are confused.”
Japan Still Has Tough Cannabis Laws
The stigmas surrounding marijuana use in Japan are almost as ancient as the country, but attitudes are now changing.
The cannabis control law needs some major revisions, as it still criminalizes cannabis use. However, the health ministry is looking into some changes, and there are groups that are fighting for these to happen. Currently, cannabis-derived therapeutic drugs are still restricted here, though an expert panel which is being led by Tsutomo Suzuki of the Shonan University of Medical Sciences, is going to look into revisions this year.
The current law was enacted in 1948, which is why it still reflects archaic stances on cannabis. Prior to that, the processing and cultivation of hemp was legal; its fibers were widely used to make rope, strings, and clothes while its stems were utilized as building materials. In addition, hemp seeds were used for animal feeds and in food, its flowers were used for traditional Chinese medicine, and its leaves were used for fertilizer. But with all that, they still have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to THC, and any product that is made from cannabis which is why they are very strict about the source of CBD. Absolutely no traces of THC will be allowed for export to Japan.
The cultivation and possession of marijuana is prohibited but there are no criminal punishments involved when one smokes it. Despite that, the Cannabis Control Act still prohibit its import and use, even if other nations around the world are already working to regulate it because of its benefits in treating epilepsy, cancer, and many other life-altering diseases.
Having said that, the CBD-infused cosmetics market in Japan is flourishing because the laws allow for CBD oils extracted from hemp; experts forecast that Japan could even be the single biggest market in Asia for the next 10 years.
“The market in Japan is small compared to what we see in Europe. However, out of all the export markets for us outside of Europe, japan is the single fastest-growing market. The next fastest-growing market is Israel, but Japan is growing at almost twice the pace of that,” explained Gavin Ogilvie, managing director for AP Organics, a Swiss-British company who has set their sights on the Japanese cosmetics market.
The Japanese CBD Market
According to data from Statista, the CBD market in Japan was worth some 4 million USD for topicals alone, and 2.7 million USD for cosmetics, by the end of last year. They expect that the topicals segment will grow to 100 million USD in 2025, though cosmetics can eclipse 100 million dollars.
It is possible to obtain CBD in Japan, though it can be challenging. There are also strict laws and steep export costs to deal with, so it isn’t surprising that any available CBD products already in the market are sold at high prices.
What was also surprising over the last few years was the rise of CBD cafes in Japan. It’s no secret that the coffee culture especially in Tokyo is booming, and while you can still get your favorite drip coffees, the local coffee shops have decided to turn things up a notch by offering CBD-infused coffees. Aside from coffees, these shops also offer infused goodness like cookies or chocolates with 10 or 15mg of CBD, which is a fairly low dose that can relax you and melt away stress and anxiety.
Overall, the Japanese CBD market is still very young but the changing attitudes make it very promising. After all, the Japanese are trendy but also put a high premium on health and wellness, so CBD is very attractive for them. Japanese customers have long been advocates of natural wellness, plant-derived health, and more. Domestic production still can’t happen but there is certainly a big demand.
There are also many other factors that make it clear, CBD is poised to be successful in this market. For one, Japan has an aging population where seniors aged 65 and up make up almost a third of the population. They also have a culture notorious for long working hours, and high levels of work stress; many of the population work more than 60 hours a week and they are always looking for new ways that they can relax.
We are looking forward to seeing other innovative ways that the Japanese will be incorporating CBD into their market.