While CBD oil won't get you high, it may have real benefits for your skin.
Now that a handful of states have legalized recreational marijuana, cannabis has gotten a whole lot more sophisticated. And the beauty business is not about to miss out.
Cannabis-derived ingredients are trendy, and they may well offer a raft of possible benefits, which beauty brands are quick to tout. CBD oil, specifically, is nonpsychoactive (it won’t get you high), and is said to offer relief from pain, anxiety and depression; stimulate appetite; and have anti-inflammatory and anti-acne properties.
There are already devout fans, some boldfaced, who are drawn to CBD topical products largely for their pain-relieving properties. Olivia Wilde recently said that she used it to relieve physical aches during a Broadway run. Fashion stylist Karla Welch, who works with Wilde, Ruth Negga, Katy Perry and Sarah Paulson, uses Lord Jones CBD lotion on her clients’ feet when they walk the red carpet.
“It’s perfect for long nights in high heels,” Welch says. “All my girls love it, and bottles live in my styling kit.”
Jessica Richards, the founder of Shen Beauty in Brooklyn, is often a trendsetter in beauty retailing, and she started carrying Lord Jones in December. “I do so much SoulCycle that I have one hip that hurts,” she says. “I tried out the CBD lotion. It’s not a placebo. It really does work for pain management.”
A spate of new products
Lord Jones, which is based in Los Angeles, is not the only brand to market a pain-relieving CBD body lotion.
Seattle’s Van der Pop recently added CBD-infused skin-care products to its line of luxe cannabis containers and smoking accessories. Other lines include Cannuka, with topical products containing CBD and manuka honey; Khus & Khus, a skin- and body-care line by ayurvedic specialist Kristi Blustein; and Vertly, a line of lip balm by Claudia Mata, a former W magazine accessories editor.
Beauty lines, including Malin+Goetz and Boy Smells, make reference to cannabis in their products purely for the scent.
For example, Boy Smells has a cannabis-scented candle called Kush. “We’re aware that having a cannabis candle is a little provocative, but I personally love the flavor and smell of cannabis,” says Matthew Herman, a founder. “It has a wet earth smell that is very attractive.”
Fad or actually helpful?
But as CBD oil seeks to go mainstream, it’s tough to tell which products hold up to scrutiny. The cannabis plant is complex and studies on effectiveness are limited.
“CBD lotion that also has THC in it, it’s going to help you much more with pain relief,” says Shereene Idriss, a dermatologist in Manhattan. “But the ones from hemp, are they going to help as much? It’s hard to tell because we don’t have the data and studies. Also, the problem is you often don’t know how much you are getting — it’s completely unregulated.”
Idriss says there are reports that offer some support to benefits, including one that said CBD can help reduce oil production. “It wasn’t a perfectly well-rounded study, but it does have merit,” she says. The other study addressed cannabinoids in dermatology in general, including THC, but didn’t deal with risks.
“I would need more, a randomized clinical trial, before I could, with full-fledged belief, recommend CBD oil as something more than just offering regular hydration,” she says.
ShopNW staff contributed to this story.