Japan is weighing the option of prohibiting the cannabinoid HHCH.

Ban on HHCH and psychoactive cannabinoids in Japan

Last week, Japan’s Ministry of Health announced plans to shut down HHCH, a synthetic tissue that mimics the effects of cannabis, following an incident where several people were hospitalized after consuming gummies. Health Minister Keizo Takemi stated that once HHCH, or hexahydrocannabihexol, is designated as a psychoactive drug, its possession, use, and distribution will be illegal in Japan.

In early November, five people fell ill after eating gummies distributed at a festival in western Tokyo. Subsequent inspections by the Health Ministry’s Narcotics Control Division uncovered gummies containing HHCH in a Tokyo store. As a result, the ministry has ordered the suspension of sales of the product until an analysis of its components is completed. The Health Ministry is also considering banning all substances with a similar structure to HHCH, which can cause hallucinations and memory disorders.

It is worth noting that the main psychoactive component of cannabis, known as THC, is already banned in Japan. This recent move by the Ministry of Health indicates a further crackdown on substances that mimic the effects of cannabis and poses a threat to public health.

For more information, visit Japantimes.co.jp (EN).

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