What is CBD Skincare? Here are 5+ Facts about Cannabis Derived Beauty Products (2021)

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In an age dubbed the marijuanaissance, attitudes to cannabis are changing. From widespread decriminalisation, to scientific evidence of skin-healing and natural medicinal properties, brands are welcoming the drug as a main ingredient in skincare products globally.

As of this month, specialist doctors in the UK can now legally prescribe medicinal cannabis to their patients. A report by the World Health Organisation revealed that CBD (cannabinoid) may help treat numerous diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s , cancer, anxiety and depression. The cannabis-based medicines contain varying amounts of THC, the part of the cannabis sativa plant that provides the high, and CBD, a chemical compound offering a range of natural medical and health benefits.

Thanks to the natural anti-inflammatory in CBD, it has also become an important ingredient in the latest skincare products that are dominating the market, with the number of CBD consumers growing from 125,000 in 2017 to 250,000 in 2018, according to the Cannabis Trades Association UK.

But before you start imagining getting high from your moisturiser, CBD is the non-psychoactive chemical compound of cannabis. CBD’s natural anti-inflammatory properties make it a miracle worker against ageing, irritation, redness, acne and other skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis.

Image courtesy of CBD of London

New brand CBD of London is one of the countless new skincare ranges to feature the cannabis derived oil. Founded by two cousins who were successful pharmaceutical practitioners, CBD of London was created with the aim to uncover the potential of CBD after a close relative of the cousins was diagnosed with cancer.

Samir Juneja, strategy director at CBD of London, says: “Our objective is to explore the body’s own endocannabinoid system through plant-based botanicals found all over the world. We uniquely formulate with an ethos of blending scientific research with uniquely beneficial natural ingredients for pure, cutting-edge skincare made with British spirit.”

He continues: “We now know free radicals are extremely bad for our skin, but it’s something we can’t get away from as free radicals are in the air that surrounds us. This is where CBD comes in. As an anti-oxidant it provides the missing particle for the lonely free radicals to bond with, therefore preventing any attack on your DNA structure and as a result also protects from accelerated ageing of skin.”


The Body Shop Hemp collection. Photo by Megan Bevis

With over 40 cannabis cosmetics on beauty site Cult Beauty and The Body Shop’s bestselling Hemp collection, this natural holy grail of skincare is the latest ingredient in products used by some of the leading names in beauty. Used as a key ingredient since 1992, The Body Shop has been an advocate for the Hemp plant, raising awareness of the advantages of the crop on the packaging of its products.

From regenerating the surrounding land, to being four times more effective at capturing CO2 as trees, Hemp is one of the oldest crops in the world. “They are very popular and one of our icon products. When a product becomes an icon, it means that item really represents the brand,” says Sophie Jones, store assistant at The Body Shop.


Image courtesy of CBD of London

Aimed at the younger generation of Glossier obsessed, dewy-faced skincare enthusiast, the latest CBD skincare has been branded like any other luxury beauty product. Letting go of the green-pot-leaf logo, the new reputation of cannabis beauty has been met with a round of applause from industry insiders. With Harvey Nichols being the first UK department store to stock a range of cannabis oil products, and Holland & Barrett on the high street, the hottest new ingredient is dominating the industry.

Juneja adds: “I think the UK is beginning to understand the versatility of the cannabis plant and is becoming more accepting and people’s attitudes are changing. I think the UK will see a lot more CBD based products being released in various shapes and forms – edibles, drinks, sprays, oils and even more skincare innovation.”

While the UK has not totally legalised cannabis, unlike Canada – which almost ran out of weed two days after the legalisation came in – you can still get high on having perfect skin instead by throwing out those old chemical products for a fresh batch of cannabis beauty.

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