Will Weed Meet the Expectations of the Beauty Industry or Take a Hit?


Marijuana, the budding fad in beauty.

By Abby Fritz

With the legalization of marijuana sweeping the nation, stoners are celebrating this success by repping the plant more openly (insert Dollskill obnoxious weed leaf earrings). Marijuana is no longer confined to its reputation as an under-the-table drug, but has become a lifestyle necessity for many in legalized states and nations. You can even get marijuana based products for your dog!

The beauty industry is one of many to capitalize on this hot topic. Makeup and beauty brands alike have recently picked up marijuana products. Everyone from Milk Makeup to Origins is hopping on the weed bandwagon. Yet only time will tell if these products are destined to last in the quick paced beauty industry. While from a chemical standpoint, kush has promise. Yet, not much separates weed from the thin eyebrows and charcoal toothpaste fads of yesterday.

The magic behind marijuana based skincare and beauty products lies in the use of cannabidiol, or more commonly known as CBD. It is a natural oil that can be extracted from hemp, but does not contain the psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana that is commonly associated with the plant. Basically, CBD has a lot of similar properties to THC, but without the “high”. CBD is a calming agent, used by people daily to help them sleep, relax, or take a deep breath. It is also completely legal everywhere.

What makes CBD effective in skincare and beauty products is its ability to hydrate. It binds to the cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system that is located within the brain and nervous system. This just means that when using topical products, skin receptors and cannabis work to produce anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidants that will leave your skin super hydrated and even has anti-aging properties as a bonus.

Sounds like hemp should be the new it girl of beauty, right? Even though marijuana works efficiently in beauty products, it is still battling the social stigmas that have kept it under wraps for years. However, much like charcoal that got a lot of attention from celebrities in its prime, marijuana products are getting a lot of free press right now. But maintaining this high for marijuana, will take a little more than press.

Hemp has been ignored by  beauty forerunners such as Clinique, Chanel, and Mac. If these companies aren’t picking up on the magical properties of marijuana, it’s probably because they are avoiding the customer backlash that could arise from the use of a  controversial ingredient.

While it might be premature in marijuana’s beauty career to claim it’s blacklisted in the eyes of big beauty brands, one can’t ignore that marijuana is still not legal in all states within the U.S., and has more important problems to take on than battling for a spot in beauty.

Marijuana activists are currently working with the criminal justice system to repeal convictions regarding marijuana. Many people are incarcerated due to a marijuana charge, or could have their sentence shortened considerably by such a repeal. Especially in states like California who have the Three Strikes Sentencing Law, which mandates that if a defendant is convicted of any felony, and has two prior strikes in the justice system, the automatic term is 25 years to life regardless of the crime.

Weed politics (yes, it’s a thing) right now is transitioning growers from illegal businesses to being on the books. Many growers are finding it is too expensive to buy all the proper permits, and would yield them bankrupt if they go legal. This has allowed for big companies to step in and overtake any small businesses within marijuana, and will lead to fewer companies owning a majority of the marijuana production. Capitalism strikes again.

It doesn’t surprise us that  popular brands are reluctant to take part in the normalization of this plant. Maybe down the line, when marijuana is more fully integrated into the U.S. and the rest of the world (if it ever gets there),  the beauty industry will fully accept marijuana for its chemical and vegan wonders.