Cosme Tokyo 2020

Hemp-free CBD: Japanese firm launches alternative ‘orange’ CBD

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

 Japanese firm launches a THC-free orange CBD oil. ©GettyImages
Japanese firm launches a THC-free orange CBD oil. ©GettyImages

Related tags: CBD, Japan

Japan-based company Hiro International was at this year’s CosmeToyko to launch a THC-free cannabidiol (CBD) oil product, dubbed Orange CBD, as alternative to hemp-based CBD.

According to the company, the product is made from a compound that can be found in orange peels.

The company claims that it is exactly the same as hemp-derived CBD, except that it can guarantee it does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

While CBD oil is legal in Japan, THC is strictly banned. According to Ryousuke Koseki, a spokesperson for Hiro International, this has hindered the progress of the CBD trend in the market.

“There have been some companies that have gotten into big trouble because THC was found in their product,” ​he claimed.

“Now some companies are afraid to use it and consumers think there are dangers associated with it,”​ said Koseki.

As it does not contain THC, Orange CBD will not have any issues with the laws and regulation of Japan, he added.

Koseki stressed that Orange CBD was structurally the same as hemp-based CBD and can offer the exact same relaxation and skin care benefits to nourish the skin.

“With Orange OBD, you get the same ingredient, same effects and there’s no danger in terms of legality. It also provides a different story of CBD for the consumer that sounds better than being derived from the marijuana plant.”

The company has already prototyped a few skin care formulas such as body scrub, lip gloss, hair mist, face mist and make-up remover.

However, he noted that studies have not been done to compare the effects of Orange CBD and hemp-based CBD. This is something the company may look into soon.

Hiro International was founded in 1984 and specialises in importing fruits and fruit juice for the Japanese market. It is most well-known for its own brand of organic bananas, Natural Hero.

The company also develops and supplies ingredients such as banana extract, horse placenta extra and red bean extract for food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic purposes.

The company’s research into its US-imported oranges led to the discovery of CBD oil in orange peels, which are typically discarded as food waste.

Potential in Japan and beyond

According to Koseki, the firm hoped to capitalise on Japan’s growing CBD oil trend in the health supplements.

He observed that the trend has not yet gained traction in the cosmetics market but is optimistic about the potential it can have.

“In Japan CBD oil is big for relaxation. We hope this trend will continue to grow in cosmetics as well. We think it will because everyone is looking for new things now.”

Koseki said the company was completely overwhelmed by the interest in its new product on its launch day.

This has boosted its confidence of the potential of the product and is now thinking of targeting overseas markets as well.

“We didn’t expect so many international visitors. This is only the first day and judging by the reaction, there are a lot of people who are interested. Now we will have to decide if we still want to focus on the domestic market or take on overseas markets as well.”

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