The beauty scene is all about buzzy ingredients, so the recent boom of cannabis-infused products is no surprise. You could argue that the hype all started with the highly coveted, ultra-versatile CBD oil, which has been endorsed by celebrities including Dakota Johnson, who uses it to get shut-eye while traveling, and Mandy Moore, who uses it to relieve foot pain from high heels.
“Cannabis is a medicinal herb that contains compounds that can help the human body regenerate itself,” says Dahlia Mertens, a wellness expert and founder of topical cannabis product company Mary Jane’s Medicinals. “Cannabis has antiviral and antibacterial properties, so it works to address a myriad of skin issues, from cold sores to acne and psoriasis or eczema.” The secret sauce that helps make that magic happen: cannabinoids, a group of active chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that stimulate balance in our bodies.
When shopping for cannabis-infused products, Mertens warns customers to beware of formulas with concentrates or isolates. “Many topical treatments on the market are made by essentially processing the plant and breaking it up into different compounds,” she says. “When the cannabis plant is broken apart and put back together, it loses some of its synthesis.” Similar to with fruits and veggies, we gain more benefits when we consume them whole versus processed. For best results, opt for formulas that are purer, less processed, and include a variety of different cannabinoids.
To find out more about the best-known and understood cannabinoids and their effects, read on—and then click through the slideshow to find the perfect cannabis-infused product to add to your beauty routine.
While much more research needs to be done, the existing anecdotal evidence and limited studies point to CBD’s positive healing potential. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers found that CBD could help reduce acne by curbing the production of sebum that leads to unwanted breakouts. Another study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD substantially reduced chronic inflammation and pain in mice and rats.
CBD is easy to extract in large quantities from various parts of the cannabis plant, including the fibers (hemp), flowers (marijuana), stalk, and seeds. Unlike THC, CBD isn’t psychoactive, meaning it’s much easier to legally incorporate into products and sell.
Though THC may be the reason most people celebrate 4/20 (since it’s the part of the plant that gives people a blissed-out, laid-back high), when applied topically, THC produces entirely different results than when ingested. “For someone who doesn’t want to experience the psychoactive properties of the plant, a topical is a great option,” says Mertens. She explains that the THC in the product won’t enter the bloodstream, but it will bind to the receptors in the skin to promote a similar healing response to CBD.
Now that you’ve got the scoop on how to reap the benefits of cannabis-infused products, we’ve rounded up some CBD-infused goodies that are worth a try.