Cannabis skincare is sweeping the globe and new and existing brands are using cannabis buzzwords to sell products and ride the cannabis wave. However, not all cannabis skincare is the same so it’s important to be an educated consumer to get the most out of your purchase.
I’ve been using cannabis skincare for over 5 years now and here’s how I determine if a cannabis topical product in one that I want to try.
Does it have Cannabinoids or is it Only Hemp oil?
The word cannabis technically includes both the hemp plant and the cannabis plant with its hundreds of different varietals (commonly called strains).
From the hemp plant, we see hemp seed oil, hemp root oil, full spectrum oil (all of the active compounds in the flower) and isolated CBD (cannabidiol only). The hemp plant is more or less void of THC.
From the many cannabis varietals, there are skin care infusions using whole plant extracts (the full spectrum terminology for the cannabis plant) that include THC, CBD and other therapeutic compounds all extracted together, or isolated THC (products infused with Tetrahydrocannabinol only).
This means a product that is marketed to include cannabis could be including hemp seed oil which is legal in most parts of the world and derived from the hemp cannabis sativa plant. There is nothing inherently wrong with this it’s just good to be aware as a new consumer what you are paying for.
Hemp seed oil itself is moisturising and anti-inflammatory as it’s high in omega-6 fatty acid.
However, if you are buying a hemp product because it says cannabis on the packaging, be aware that your cannabis product may not have cannabinoids in it. In a regulated, legalized cannabis market any product with any THC or CBD content should be clearly marked with its mg (milligram) value.
Any purchase of a hemp-based product is a consumer vote for sustainability. I personally purchase hemp-based products, including hemp seed oil only products, over all other non-cannabis products.
What are the Other Added Ingredients?
The other ingredients in a cannabis skincare product are very important to me in determining its quality.
The THC infused salve that I find the most effective for pain relief are often inclusive of menthol and peppermint. The CBD infused face oil I use daily for reduced redness also includes jojoba and rosehip oil.
Equally important to me is that the product is 100% natural and non-toxic. When I’m getting the plant based benefits of cannabis I would rather not be absorbing petroleum based oils into my body.
What Effect Do I Want it To Have?
Different parts of the cannabis plant have different effects and this, in turn, affects what cannabis skincare product I purchase for different needs.
The extracted cannabinoids infused into skincare, mainly THC and CBD, interact with the receptors on and within our skin to produce different effects.
When I’m applying a cannabis product for pain relief I want it to include THC for more powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
If I’m packing my bag to travel internationally I leave my THC and CBD products at home and take my face oil with hemp root oil, a powerful anti-inflammatory.
Is it in Sustainable Packaging?
It seems counterintuitive that a plant that is a renewable resource and a holistic way to take care of our skin is packaged excessively in plastic. While manufacturers have limited options for eco-friendly packaging they do exist including hemp plastic and bamboo.
Initially sustainable packaging may increase the cost per unit however, this should decrease as more consumers vote with their wallet and demand more sustainable packaging and less use of plastic.
Could I Make this Myself?
Selling cannabis topicals that include CBD and THC are not legal everywhere. Even where they are legal you may want to consider making cannabis topicals yourself. There are kitchen top appliances that will infuse your choice of oil using cannabis flower. I find this to be an excellent way to use up my excess cannabis flowers and make the most of the leaves and stems when I’m growing my own cannabis.
There may also be DIY workshops in your area where you can learn to make your topicals on the stove top. While I regularly purchase cannabis topicals I also like to make my own cannabis infused coconut oil for full body application.
I store all my cannabis and hemp skin care products in my insulated and lockable Stashlogix storage case. This keeps the products at an ideal temperature and ensures that any of my skincare products that are infused with THC are out of reach of children and pets.
Do you have a favourite hemp or cannabis skin care product? I’d love to hear about your favourites in our Flower & Freedom Community Facebook Group. A private space for cannabis for wellness community conversations.
Disclaimer: The information shared in this post is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered medical or legal advice. Please consult with a cannabis educated health care practitioner and seek legal counsel on the cannabis laws in your area.
Disclosure: Flower & Freedom and Stashlogix have a paid educational partnership to collaborate on creating education on safe and responsible cannabis storage. Bethany and the Flower & Freedom team have been using Stashlogix cannabis storage solutions since November 2016.
Author Bethany Rae is the founder of Flower & Freedom. She is a cannabis education advocate and fitness enthusiast. She inspires honest, experience-based conversations to guide awareness around healthy cannabis consumption. Follow Bethany Rae on Instagram here.