Land of the Rising Bud
Japan has long been known as the “Land of the Rising Sun”; however, with an aging population, it may soon become known as the Land of the Rising Bud. Japan’s recent delving into the CBD market has been spurred by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s use of CBD. Encouraged by his wife, Abe began taking a CBD extract to successfully gain therapeutic relief from his colitis symptoms, a severe form of IBD.
This recent development has coincided with certain companies being allowed to import CBD extract into Japan for retail sale. CBD has been shown to be therapeutically effective for a host of age-related conditions. Japan is known as a notoriously hard market to penetrate, but it is also an ideal market for CBD with an aging population looking for therapeutic relief to conditions associated with aging, such as osteoporosis and macular degeneration.
Japan is likely to import most of their cannabinoid extracts as they currently import most of their soy and cooking oils as well as a large percentage of their meat consumption. Australia is one possible beneficiary as the federal government began promoting cannabinoid wellness exports at the beginning of 2018.
Japan’s aging population is an ideal target for cannabinoid wellness products as the example of Abe’s relief has started to liberalize views in a very conservative country. However, like most countries, prior to prohibition in 1948, there was an extensive use of the plant in Japanese society for medicinal purposes.
For thousands of years, cannabis has been at the very heart of Japanese culture. The earliest evidence of the cannabis plant in Japan was discovered in the western portion of the country – seeds and woven fibers were used for clothes and fishing line dating back to the Jomon Period (10,000 BC – 300 BC). Until the middle of the twentieth century, Japanese cannabis farming used to be a year-round cycle. Historically, cannabis was so renowned for growing tall and strong that there was a Japanese proverb related to positive peer pressure which stated that even gnarly weeds would straighten if grown among cannabis plants.
The 20th century misconception of the plant is slowly starting to change and just in time, it seems. According to a 2014 study, people aged 65 and older in Japan comprise one-fifth of its total population, and that figure is estimated to reach one-third by the year 2050. Cannabinoid pre-clinical trial data and anecdotal evidence is very supportive of therapeutic benefits ranging from neurodegenerative diseases to osteoporosis-related issues.
Current pharmacological therapies for aging conditions have been associated with a host of side effects and no long-term studies on the impact of those medications to the ECS (endocannabinoid system) have ever been conducted. Phyto-cannabinoids, such as CBD, have been shown to have an excellent safety profile with very low incidence of side effects. I strongly encourage you to speak to your doctor regarding cannabinoid therapies that may be currently available to you.
As always, please let us know if you have any questions or comments, and thanks as always for your continued support.
Chief Investment Officer
CB1 Capital Management
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