New player in Japan's CBD market as Phivida secures regulatory approval

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

The firm recently launched its Nano-CBD Iced Tea.
The firm recently launched its Nano-CBD Iced Tea.
Canadian cannabinoid firm Phivida has received approval from the Japanese authorities to sell its hemp products in the country, following 12 months of negotiations.

The firm has now entered into a product distribution agreement with Asayake to sell its CBD-infused functional food and beverages, and its Vida+ line of clinical CBD hemp oil products in the country.

It hopes to then use this as a springboard for further APAC expansion.

Phivida's manufactured products are hemp-derived and THC-free, "providing premium non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids, compliant with federal regulations in Japan"​.

Among the products available will be its latest launch, Nano-CBD Iced Tea. These are designed to treat the gastrointestinal tract, and maximise the body's ability to absorb orally ingested cannabinoids and phyto-nutraceuticals.

Phivida Clinical Advisor Dr Chris Meletis said the global health care community was paying close attention to CBD and gut health.

"Phivida presented a lecture on the connection between cannabinoids and the gut-brain system at the Global A4M Conference and the response was very positive. The GI tract has endocannabinoid receptors for a reason, as CBD studies show strong clinical outcomes in the treatment of gut health,"​ he said.

The company said it had spent several years researching key emerging markets, and nurturing key relationships.

"We are honoured to offer Phivida products to patients, practitioners, and everyday active families in Japan,"​ said John-David Belfontaine, President and CEO of Phivida. 

"Culturally, Phivida is assertively collaborative, seeking mutually accretive relationships internationally, yet deeply respectful of those ancient traditions that share our honour for whole-plant medicine, like the naturally occurring phytocannabinoids from Phivida's medicinal hemp extract."

Sporting success?

He added that several recent regulatory shifts had resulted in an acceleration of the company's global expansion.

For example, the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) officially approved the use of cannabidiol from hemp for professional and amateur athletes on 1 January.

This positive regulatory shift came just ahead of the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeong Chang, which the firm said provided an ideal educational platform to highlight the research on CBD to a global audience.

In addition, Japan's role as host of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games — and the focus on health and wellness they inspire — may present related opportunities to Phivida to engage with the greater international athletic community.

Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently issued a report declaring cannabidiol from hemp "safe, non-toxic, non-psychoactive and medicinal"​, in a strongly defined move toward shifting regulation on a global scale.

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