Herbal remedies: how cannabis products are disrupting beauty and wellness

Wild & the Moon’s Hollyweed cashew milk

Wild & the Moon’s Hollyweed cashew milk

As regulation around recreational and medicinal marijuana use becomes increasingly more relaxed, a whole stream of products containing the substance have started to appear. The cannabis-infused beverage market, for example, has seen everyone from Coca-Cola to Heineken looking to get a piece of the action. But now a number of beauty and wellness brands are looking to market cannabis and its active ingredients as the next big thing.  

While hemp has long been a staple ingredient in natural beauty products, brands like Apothecanna, Perricone MD and MGC Derma are now using Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive element of cannabis, as an active ingredient in their skincare products. CBD is said to not only have anti-ageing properties, but also helps to reduce inflammation and even out skin tone. 

Alongside its topical use, CBD is said to have a range of benefits when ingested, including helping to calm anxiety and relieve pain; vegan café chain pop-up Feelz by CHLOE is selling a range of CBD-based sweet treats, and Wild & the Moon’s CBD-based cashew milk Hollyweed helped to calm nerves at Paris Fashion Week.

Meanwhile, LA-based Torii Labs’ Re-Leaf is a herbal shot that fits in with a holistic wellness routine, promising to soothe anxiety while reducing post-exercise inflammation. Re-Leaf, alongside products by brands such as Aceso and KIKI Health, is helping to shift the focus from stimulant to supplement. Given that it is widely accessible and available, CBD use could be seen as the more responsible and acceptable face of cannabis-based self-medication, and a launchpad for the acceptance of other forms.

Yet skincare and supplements are just the beginning; looking more broadly, products containing Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, look well placed to tap into the huge potential surrounding female self-care. A few months ago, Canadian brand 48North Cannabis Corp launched Latitude, a platform dedicated to women who wish to improve their health and wellbeing through cannabis use. The platform features a diverse range of women who are using cannabis in a number of forms, and for a variety of reasons. Not only does Latitude challenge negative stereotypes surrounding cannabis use, it also presents a refreshing model for the wellness movement as a whole. Separate from the — often inaccessible — strict diets and toned yoga bodies of the more mainstream wellness role models, Latitude presents cannabis-based wellness as diverse and inclusive.

The physically and mentally therapeutic properties of cannabis provide a one-stop-shop for a multi-faceted wellness routine. The Little Book of Cannabis: How Marijuana can improve your life includes chapters by a range of academics and experts that recommend cannabis for everything from curing insomnia to improving your sex life. The combination of a natural product combined with holistic benefits positions cannabis as the ultimate wellness tool.

Promoting cannabis under the umbrella of self-care could not only allow it to comfortably occupy the mainstream, but enable aspects of its counter-cultural kudos to challenge the existing wellness narratives. Its supposed ability to de-stress, enable new perspectives and enhance creativity presents an exciting new face for wellness. Much of the existing discourse is centred around discipline, control and obligation – whether that be through diet, exercise or even mediation practices – but as we have seen, cannabis-based self-care leans towards a more holistic, constructive and inclusive message. It encourages more of a focus on setting your own standards and crucially, understanding what works for you, and why.

Jessie Smith, Flamingo