Beauty Says ‘Yes’ to Kush

An NYU student displays their CBD oil.

With marijuana usage becoming legalized in more states and Americans beginning to publicly embrace it, the beauty industry now furiously grapples to keep up with today’s fast-growing and booming cannabis culture.

Cannabidiol, or CBD oil —  a primary cannabis derivative that accounts for approximately 40 percent of cannabis extracts — is now being used as a primary ingredient in many lotions, eye creams and lip balms. This chemical compound is completely non-psychotropic, which means that you cannot get high from it, though it still has anti-inflammatory properties that can be used to treat sore muscles and acne. Many pre-existing brands, such as Malin & Goetz, have added CBD to their product line-up, and new CBD-focused brands have also emerged to fulfill the cannabis craze.

Lord Jones, a Los Angeles-based company founded two years ago, sells a small range of CBD edibles and topical products. Founders and spouses Robert Rosenheck and Cindy Capobianco, who has done public relations work for Vogue and Allure previously, have been able to successfully market their products as a symbol of a chic, luxurious yet radical style.

Later this year, Lord Jones is expected to open its very own retail shop on Sunset Boulevard, partnering with The Standard Hotel. According to an article published in The New York Times, Rosenheck and Capobianco aimed to normalize cannabis use through this partnership and believe creating products that help consumers relax without actually getting them high might be the best approach. As Capobianco put it, “The closer we get to de-stigmatizing cannabis, the better it is for all.” Public support from celebrities such as Meryl Streep, Olivia Wilde and Katy Perry have also contributed to this de-stigmatization and allowed the brand to grow rather quickly.

In an interview with the NYT, Verena Von Pfetten, the founder of Gossamer, a publication centered on the higher-end weed culture, notes that despite the success of high-end CBD beauty brands, there is still a debate as to how effective all of these products truly are.

In turn, there has been an overall confusion in the marketplace that could end up stunting the CBD beauty industry’s sustainability. Most of this confusion lies in the fact that very little research has been done on the topical effects of cannabis. Some studies sided with the popular theory of the entourage effect, which concludes that “CBD works best within the plant’s cannabinoid system, meaning that combinations of compounds are more effective than isolated ones.” Others have claimed the opposite. It seems that until a well-rounded study is conducted, CBD beauty might continue to operate as a niche market.

A version of this article appeared on the Tuesday, Feb. 20 print edition. Email Elijah Scott at [email protected]

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