Cannabidiol is the latest must-try product in the beauty industry


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Move over activated charcoal, CBD is poised to be the next big thing in beauty and wellness.

It’s no secret that the beauty and wellness industries have long had a penchant for unique ingredients, and CBD is no exception. Short for cannabidiol, it’s the chemical compound in cannabis that manufacturers and users claim has anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, pain relief, and even anti-acne benefits. In the United States, CBD is increasingly showing up in balms, creams, salves, oils, makeups, and sprays (from $100-an-ounce Eve Lom CBD-infused face oil to $28 Vertly hemp-infused lip balm.) Cannabis beauty products have none of the stigma of smoking, no psychoactive effects, and no limits on who can buy them. Think of them as cannabis for everyone — except Canadians, who won’t be able legally buy CBD cosmetics until concentrates are legalized in late 2019.

For insights into what the future of cannabis and cosmetics might be in Canada, look to our neighbours down south where CBD wellness is gaining mainstream acceptance thanks to celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Olivia Wilde, who have professed their love for the cannabis products. Beauty titan Bobbi Brown even forecasted the oncoming swell of CBD’s popularity in an interview earlier this year, telling The New York Times that it’s “going to be the biggest trend.”

To be sure, celebrities and cosmetics moguls weren’t the first or only people to sing the praises of CBD. Everyone from arthritis sufferers to music festival goers have long championed balms, salves, and creams associated with the old look — and stereotypes — of cannabis culture. In recent years, however, numerous mainstream lifestyle brands with sophisticated branding and targeted messaging have emerged down south. LA-based Lord Jones is the best known in the US, and with its regal packaging and savvy media push (co-founder Cindy Capobianco was a PR executive at Donna Karan and Banana Republic) has developed a decidedly non-stoner following. Even brands that don’t use CBD have capitalized on the trend: grooming brand Malin and Goetz sells a Cannabis eau de parfum for $210.

While there have been several studies suggesting that the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving claims have some foundation, no large scale randomized trials back them up completely. But this hasn’t stopped other beauty trends from taking off. Think of CBD like green tea or any number of yet-to-be-proven but alluring ingredients that consumers continue to embrace. As for early entrants to the Canadian market, look to companies owned by Hiku, such as Van der Pop, which already sells CBD skincare products in Washington state, and Tokyo Smoke, whose cannabis lifestyle brands already have a loyal following.

This story is part of our Civilized series from our September 2018 issue. Click here for more content from the series. 

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