Is Cannabis The Skincare Industry’s Next ‘It’ Ingredient?

Cannabis is having a skincare moment. 

Beauty and wellness products containing cannabidiol (CBD), and possibly tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are becoming increasingly popular.

CBD, along with THC, are the two most common cannabinoids found in cannabis (a.k.a. marijuana), but they have different effects. CBD is touted as having therapeutic and stress-relieving benefits, while THC is responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana use. Additionally, CBD is legal in many states, while THC is not. 

You can find cannabis products for a relaxing bath, for soothing sore muscles and for healing chapped lips. They’ve even a found fan in Olivia Wilde, who raved about a topical CBD lotion by Lord Jones in a 2017 New York Times profile. And celebrity stylist Karla Welch has said she tells her clients (like Wilde, Katy Perry and Sarah Paulson) to use it on their feet for red carpet events. 

Dr. Samer Jaber of Washington Square Dermatology told HuffPost that while the enthusiasm for cannabinoids in skincare is definitely growing, the science behind cannabis and cannabinoids for skin health is still sparse. A lot of the research focuses on the cannabinoids’ usefulness in relieving itchiness associated with dry skin and eczema. Cannabinoids also have some anti-inflammatory effects, as well as potential anti-tumor effects, Jaber said, though he added that much more research remains to be done. 

“Unfortunately, most of the studies on the cannabinoids have been done in the laboratory only and there are very few studies on people,” Jaber said. “So additional well-controlled, clinical studies need to be done to see how effective these ingredients actually are in real life.” 

Another issue with cannabinoids in skincare products is that it’s difficult to know exactly what you’re getting, Jaber said. 

“Since it is not regulated it’s difficult to know what you are actually putting on your body,” he said. 

Dr. Angela Lamb, director of the Westside Mount Sinai Dermatology Faculty Practice in New York, echoed Jaber, telling HuffPost, “We just do not have any strong research to support beneficial effects on the skin. My aim is to be research-focused in health care. Anyone can make claims, but I want to see what studies have shown, and as it relates to cannabis, there is just not a lot of support ― yet.”

“It may come in several years, but until then, I think a lot of it is hype,” she added. “I do not think it is harmful, I am just not sure it helps.” 

As a result of the varying state laws regarding marijuana, much of these products are mainly available in states where marijuana is legal (like California and Colorado) and they often aren’t available online.

But if you’re interested to see what’s out there, check out the products below:

  • Vertly Hemp Infused Lip Balm


    Vertly’s hemp-infused lip balm also contains coconut oil, shea butter and jojoba oil to moisturize and nourish dry, cracked lips. 

    Vertly hemp-infused lip balm, $22

  • Papa & Barkley Releaf Soak

    Papa Barley

    Papa & Barkley’s Releaf soak contains both CBD and THC and is said to provide a relaxing effect. 

    Papa & Barkley Releaf Soak, price upon request. Available only in California.

  • Khus & Khus Copius Body Serum

    Khus Khus

    Khus + Khus’ Copius serum is said to treat everything from acne to wrinkles and dry skin, as well as insomnia, stress and fatigue. 

    Khus & Khus Copius Body Serum, $48

  • Lord Jones Pure CBD Pain And Wellness Lotion

    Lord Jones

    Lord Jones’ Pure CBD lotion is meant to moisturize while also provide relief to sore muscles and joint pain. Olivia Wilde is a fan. 

    Lord Jones Pure CBD Pain and Wellness lotion, $50

  • High Gorgeous Pop The Bubbly Bubble Bath

    High Gorgeous

    This High Gorgeous’ bath soak is advertised as a multi-purpose product that can be used as a bubble bath, body wash or a soak to soothe sore muscles. 

    High Gorgeous Pop The Bubbly Bubble Bath, contact for pricing and availability. 

  • Herb essntls Body Lotion

    Herb essntls

    This body lotion by Herb essentls is formulated with cannabis sativa oil, aloe vera, shea butter and chamomile to leave skin moisturized. It’s made with organic ingredients and it’s also paraben-free. 

    Herb essntls body lotion, $48

  • Cannuka CBD Calming Eye Balm


    This Cannuka eye balm, which contains CBD and Manuka honey along with rose hip oil and vitamin E, is meant to “moisturize, refresh, and protect delicate under-eye skin.” 

    Cannuka CBD calming eye balm, $38

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