Cannabis beauty. It's the next frontier in the increasingly chic world of weed, with new products addressing everything from skin hydration to wrinkle defense, pain elimination to muscle relaxation.
The magic ingredients being sourced from cannabis plants and used in beauty products include hemp seed oil (said to have up to 80 percent essential fatty acids, one of the highest percentages of any plant oil in the world), plus terpenes, sterols and vitamin E, which can help keep skin moisturized and balanced.
"It's a natural rejuvenator for skin," says registered nurse Tamara Anderson of cannabis. Anderson is the founder of Culinary and Cannabis, which held its inaugural Cannaspa in Palm Springs during the second weekend of Coachella. Cannaspa attendees received cannabis massages with products containing extractions of THC, CBD and turpines. The oils penetrate your muscle tissues more effectively, she says, "so massages are deeper and the effects last longer. Your muscles already have cannbanoid receptors, so when you give it to your body, your body is like, 'Thank you!'"
This kind of gratitude has been ringing across social media from high profile names like Jessica Seinfeld, who loves the High CBD Pain & Wellness Body Lotion from Lord Jones. According to the brand, celebrity stylist Karla Welch and her clients, Sarah Paulson and Busy Philipps, apply the lotion to their feet to combat pain before a long night in heels.
"We have patients who have reported that our topical stimulates nail growth and hardens nails," says Cindy Capobianco, co-founder of Lord Jones and the nonprofit collective Hollywood Hills Wellness. "One patient in particular was using our lotion each night before bed as hand cream — not thinking anything of it — and suddenly, her paper thin, peeling nails changed into strong and healthy nails."
She notes that they also have fans in patients who suffer from MS, cancer, AIDS related issues and various types of arthritis, as well as people who use the lotion to combat chronic joint pain, endometriosis, menstrual cramps and neuropathic pain.
While cannabis creams and topicals may have more established proven effects as medical aids, the beauty benefits have yet to be researched as extensively, says Dr. Carlos A. Charles, a New York City-based dermatologist and founder and medical director of Derma Di Colore.
“While it does seem plausible that CBD could potentially play a role in alleviating various inflammatory mediated skin conditions, extensive placebo-controlled research still needs to be performed to make any definitive conclusions as to it's efficacy and tolerability on human skin at this time," says Dr. Charles. "However, the current research on the effects of CBD on the skin is clearly an exciting area with a great deal of interest and attention. There are sure to be many more skincare products available as restrictions on marijuana for both recreational and medical uses are eased and any residual stigma associated with cannabis use is lessened."
The excitement surrounding the potential of the potent plant plus current trends in beauty and wellness are fueling the growth in the luxury segment of the lifestyle business.
"Consumers these days are really prioritizing health and wellness and the idea of inner and outer beauty," says Andy Wyss, marketing director of global advertising and marketing agency Select World. "Beauty consumers are increasingly turning to 'unusual' or 'mystical' practices, such as crystal healing, herbal remedies, etc. The novelty of marijuana health benefits fits right under this consumer trend of wanting new, unusual and interesting ways to achieve their holistic health goals."
Add to that, says Wyss, the fact that luxury is now about health and products and services that are experiential, and the market for high-end marijuana products is far more Hermes than head shop.
"As long as it is packaged right and marketed to the luxury lifestyle adding value to their lives and ultimately benefiting their bodies, I don’t see why this wouldn't become a high-end indulgence," says Wyss. "Soon everyone will want to ride the high of cannabis in beauty."
Below, a sampling of the new cannabis beauty products.