Cannabis has been lauded for a number of benefits, from reducing anxiety to aiding in sleep — and, well, the obvious one. But it’s only been in recent years that beauty companies have looked to the plant for its skincare benefits.
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To be clear, hemp seed oil is extracted from the cannabis sativa plant but it doesn’t have psychoactive properties, nor does CBD, another cannabinoid which is extracted from both the cannabis sativa and the cannabis indica plant. The ingredient that will give you a euphoric feeling is THC, and it’s available in the sativa and indica varieties.
It’s important to note that THC does not have the ability to induce psychoactive reactions when applied topically to the skin. (The jury’s still out on whether a lip product infused with cannabis will have an effect, though.)
“The CB1 receptors in the brain are what THC binds to in order to induce a reaction, and anything that’s applied to the skin will be eaten up before it can make it into the bloodstream or to the brain,” Pride says.
The reason these ingredients are beginning to make a splash in beauty is because they’re natural answers to skincare concerns. Hemp seed oil is credited with mimicking the skin’s lipids almost exactly, Pride says, making it very readily absorbed at the cellular level, while CBD is lauded for being an effective agent for curbing seasonal dryness, and chronic skin irritations like rosacea and eczema.
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Overall, CBD is emerging as the hero ingredient in skincare as well as general health. It’s credited not only for having restorative skincare benefits, but also for helping to regulate a number of the body’s functions, including sleep, mood, appetite and hormone production. Celebrities like Olivia Wilde also credit it with relaxing muscles and cutting down on the need for painkillers.
Van der Pop has a comprehensive beauty line that includes a serum, body oil, moisturizer, body cream, and a balm for sore muscles and joint relief. In fact, Pride says, the balm is such a hit among users that they’re in the process of bumping up their 30 mL container to one that’s four times bigger to meet demand.
“It’s a great product and people cannot get enough of it,” she says.
Here are seven more hemp-based products to incorporate into your beauty routine this 4/20.
Lush Jasmine and Henna Fluff-Eaze, $26.95
Marley Natural Hemp Seed Hand Cream, US$7 (on sale)
Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree Organic Shaving Soap, US$8.99
Earthly Body Miracle Oil, $23.99
Malin+Goetz Cannabis Hand and Body Wash, $24US
Herb Essntls Cannabis Infused Moisturizer, US$60