Cannabis is on the tip of everyone’s tongue and all sorts of products containing it are gaining popularity around the world.  One of the industries most enamoured with cannabis is the consumer cosmetics market, which is using the plants CBD component and other derivatives in an increasing variety of beauty products.  Cannabis is now being included in product lines from some of the top cosmetic brands, to help enhance the skincare routines of consumers worldwide. Its benefits have not gone unnoticed and cannabis cosmetics are being touted as the next big thing for skincare and beauty.

The beauty benefits of Cannabis

We know cannabis is great, but why is it so valuable for skincare and cosmetics?  What does it do for your skin?

Before we get into some of the reported benefits, it’s important to understand that there are three distinctly different types of cannabis cosmetic products out there.

The first being products that include hemp oil pressed from hemp seeds.  These have been on the market for years and provide great natural moisturizing properties due to being rich in omegas and beneficial oils.

The second areproducts using CBD as an ingredient.  These are generally also made from industrial hemp, but also contain exciting phytocannabinoids because they are derived from the flowers and leaves of the plant instead of the seeds.  Many major brands have embraced CBD infused cosmetic products and are now marketing them to North American and global consumers. The CBD cosmetic variety are guaranteed not to get you high, as any THC absorbed would be a tiny trace amount which would give no psychoactive effects.

The thirdare ‘full spectrum’ cannabis cosmetics, usually creams, salves and topicals, which incorporate CBD from the cannabis plant and, in many cases, THC as well.  These types of products are only available through licensed retailers or to medical patients (outside of Canada).   Even these products, laced with THC rich cannabis typically won’t deliver any psychoactive effects because they don’t absorb into the bloodstream.

Hemp seed oil products are great natural moisturizers but that’s about all the benefit they provide.  The newest and most excitingvariety of cannabis cosmetics contain CBD oils. These are reported to be powerfulnatural tools used to combat skin ailments like psoriasis, eczema, allergic dermatitis and the appearance of wrinkles and skin aging.  Aside from being rich in omega acids and beneficial oils, CBD may also possess anti-inflammatory properties that provide relief from pain and swelling. This has led some to use CBD rich skin creams prior to Botox treatments or skin laser therapy.

Types of Cannabis Cosmetic Products

The new age of CBD infused skin care includes products spanning the whole range of consumer cosmetics.  Everything from anti-aging creams, anti-acne facial cleansers, hydratingserums, soaps, scrubs, deodorants, sleep masks to mascara is available for purchase.  These products are not generally used to treat a medical condition, but rather to be used as part of a person’s skin care routine. The cannabis beauty market combines well with the broader ‘natural & clean’ beauty movement, while providing its distinct skincare benefits. CBD infused beauty products can be found on the shelves of major retailers including Nieman Marcus, Body Shop, Sephora and Barneys.  

Some example CBD infused skincare and beauty products available in stores:

Estee Lauder Origin’s – Hello, Calm Relaxing & Hydrating Face Mask

MGC Derma – CBD Brightening facial cream

Radical Skincare – Rejuvafirm CBD Facial Oil

Milk Makeup – Kush High Volume Mascara

Nannette de Gaspe – Bain Noir Cannabis Sativa Bath Soak

Herbivore – Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil

I-Pekar – Tissue Repair Serum Infused with CBD Oil

Is the use of cannabis in cosmetics and skincare products legal?

Not all forms of cannabis cosmetics are legal everywhere in the world.  While the hemp and marijuana plant are both members of the cannabis family, sharing many characteristics – they differ on one pertinent factor – the amount of THC that presents itself in each. Generally, so long as the THC content of a plant is under 0.3% THC, it can be legally sold in most places.  To be safe, most cosmetics that advertise cannabis, or CBD as an ingredient are using hemp-derived varieties. There is a lot of uncertainty and grey area when it comes to the legality of cannabis infused cosmetics products, which often causes a lot of confusion. Companies are being forced to ensure that any products shipping internationally do not contain any THC and are made from parts of the cannabis plant not considered a controlled substance by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).  This often means using CBD derived from industrial hemp to stay on the safe side of the law.

Global cosmetics &skincare are massive industries

It’s difficult to find an industry that’s more pertinent to a large number of peoples daily lives than health and beauty.  There is a ton of wealth being spent on feeling good and looking young everyday, all over the world – and the expectation is that the industry is just going to keep growing.  

According to a report by Zion Market Research, the global cosmetics products market is projected to reach USD863 billion by 2024.  Another projection made in a report by EuroMonitor International has the skincare segment of cosmetics expected to generate north of $USD130 billion by the end of 2019.

Comparatively, the CBD industry alone has been valued at around $USD 50-100 billion, and the rising popularity of CBD as a cosmetic ingredient could see this number grow by leaps and bounds.

Many skincare insiders are excited that cannabis could be the next miracle ingredient the beauty industry has been searching for and are clamouring for looser regulations regarding its addition to cosmetic products.  Becoming a big part of the cosmetics industry would also mean another massive revenue stream for our favourite plant.

Cannabis cosmetics are perfect for markets like Canada, but the truth is that cosmetics containing cannabis aren’t accepted everywhere.  Even though cannabis skincare and cosmetics have already come a long way from stovetop topicals made at home, countries with stricter drug laws haven’t yet embraced these products.   However, as regulations continue to ease around the world, it’s reasonable to suspect the cannabis cosmetics boom is really just beginning.



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