More cannabis infused beauty products are making their way on to the shelves of beauty retailers across the country. In popular stores, like Lush, hemp seed oil is consistently appearing in skin care products to help with problems like inflammation, dry skin, and even specific skin conditions like eczema. Lush’s product line also features hair masks, that combine hemp oil, coconut oil, and olive oil to create a moisturizing mask that makes hair less prone to breakage.
Other popular brands that have release hemp based products are Dr. Bronner’s and The Body Shop, among many others. Most of the products showing up on store shelves are made using industrial hemp, the same plants that are used to make the hemp seeds that have recently gained popularity as a superfood. These products can be sold on grocery store shelves because they have absolutely no psychoactive side effects.
These cannabis beauty products, like hemp lotion and hemp infused face cream, are really just mainstream version of what many topical cannabis companies have been doing for some time with either hemp or whole plant extracts. Some well known cannabis companies, like Marley Natural, have even created topical product lines that can be sold outside of the purview of dispensaries.
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Marley Natural produces a variety of cannabis products, including oil for vaporizers, pre-rolled joints, and whole flower cannabis products. Marley Natural, however, has also curated a skincare line made completely with hemp seed oil, so it can be sold outside of dispensary walls. The specially formulated skin care line includes soaps, lip balms, and various lotions, which are all full with hemp oil filled with omega 3s, omega 6s, vitamin E, and other compounds that keep skin in balance.
Beauty products are even now popping up on dispensary shelves too, which often utilize CBD and may offer some medicinal value. These topical beauty products can help with issues such as inflammation or pain and they are a rising luxury trend, especially in high-end dispensaries. Often these dispensaries resemble a cross between an Apple store and an art gallery.
An example of a line of high-end beauty products infused with cannabis is the recently released line Whoopi & Maya. The collection, which is particularly designed for women during menstruation, was created by actor and cannabis advocate Whoopi Goldberg in collaboration with Maya Elisabeth, the founder of Om edibles. The topical line features luxurious products including a lavender bath soak and a body balm that ease discomfort associated with menstruation.
Cannabis’ presence in mainstream beauty products continues to help break down its stigma as a harmful drug. Hemp is a great way to introduce many skeptical people to cannabis, because the benefits of the plant can be separated from its ability to produce psychoactive side effects. The increasing amount of products shows cannabis’ growing appeal among the public because people are more open and willing to reach for these new beauty products that feature hemp leaves front and center on the packaging.
Though the formal dermatologist community has not embraced cannabis yet, it may be soon on its way. Tamás Bíró, PhD, director of the immunology department at the University of Debrecen in Hungary has done research on the potential of cannabis at targeting the endocannabinoid system in and through the skin. He says, “the skin barrier, which is very important for moisture retention, sebum production, and sweat-gland function, as well as skincentric sensory functions such as pain and itch. But perhaps most important, it appears that the endocannabinoid system controls skin inflammation—so if an inflammatory or irritation challenge assaults the skin, the endocannabinoid system fights against it.”
A study recently conducted by Bíró found that applying CBD to human skin cells prevented inflammation, showing great potential for its application as a topical anti-inflammatory. This study only further supports the large amounts of success that medical marijuana topicals have provided many people, including fighting against various pain and skin conditions.
Eventually, the mainstream dermatological community will start to take notice the positive results that cannabis topicals provide. Dr. Adam Friedman, an associate professor of dermatology believes that the dermatology tide may turn in favor of cannabis soon, “I think that's going to change. Given that there is a wide array of skin conditions notorious for chronic inflammation and debilitating itch or pain, there are numerous potential applications. There's going to be an exponential increase in the attention paid to this in the derm world.”
Similar to issues cannabis faces in many other mainstream medical practices, concerns about questions like dosage and access to particular products will need to be addressed. As more research comes to the fore, clinicians may start to pay attention to the anecdotal stories brought to them by their patients. Eventually, the great potential for cannabis to be incorporated into both everyday beauty and medical dermatological products cannot be ignored.