Kota Shimomura, owner of CBD Coffee in Tokyo's Meguro Ward, has noticed a peculiar thing about his clientele. "When talking to customers, they do things like cry," he says.
The 35-year-old Shimomura stands outside his newly opened, white-walled storefront, eyeing a group of patrons taking curious sips of coffees and smoothies infused with droplets of the cure-all taking Tokyo, and the global lifestyle market, by storm: CBD.
Also known as cannabidiol, CBD is a nonpsychoactive ingredient found in cannabis, specifically hemp. It can be consumed in topical and edible forms, and its proponents claim it can alleviate ailments ranging from acne to inflammation to PTSD. But Shimomura says it’s more than just product intrigue that has drawn in droves of customers: It’s his shop’s consultations, which allow Tokyoites to release their stress.