Cannabis-based beauty products: where are we at?

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Cannabis-based beauty products: where are we at?
Here, Silvija Špehar, co-founder of natural hemp cosmetics brand Hemptouch, explains how cannabis-related products have huge potential in the beauty industry.

Ecovia Intelligence will be covering these developments and more at its upcoming European edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit​​ (Paris, 5-7 November).

Špehar will be presenting further insights into hemp beauty at the summit.

Where has the demand for hemp/cannabis based beauty come from? Why is it hitting the industry agenda now?

Demand for cannabis products has moved from medicine to cosmetics.

A modern way of life brings, we find, chronic problems that modern medicine doesn’t know how to deal with in a long term, non-invasive way.

More and more, people have found a solution to their health issues in a natural, alternative form of treatment.

The enthusiasm for cannabis has moved from this sector to all others, since a detailed study of this plant opens up many solutions for all possible sustainable industries from construction, medicine, personal hygiene, textile, food and agriculture.

What evidence do we have for the efficacy of cannabis on health and wellbeing?

There is an increasing amount of scientific research on the positive effect of cannabis on people.

One of these studies was done by company Hemptouch (a therapeutic effect of CBD-enriched ointment and inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars), with collaboration of University Of Modena in Italy (Department Of General Surgery And Surgical Specialties, The University Of Modena And The Reggio Emilia Medical School , Surgical Clinic, Modena, Italy).

We hear personal stories which are beginning to destroy taboos and require changes in legislation. Consumers can support changes with product purchases which lead the industry’s trends.

Where are we seeing consumer interest?

Hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.) as a raw material can be integrated into all segments of consumers, depending on what products a particular company is producing.

The vast majority of consumers of hemp-based cosmetics are also using hemp or marijuana for medical therapeutic purposes.

Our customer segment is very niche, narrowly focused on people with skin problems, sensitive skin, looking for natural, quality raw materials. These are both men and women on average from 25 to 50 years old, with average income.

What are the latest shifts and innovations that have been seen in this space? 

As customers are more and more educated, it is no longer enough to them to see the desired ingredients in the product.

They are interested in the product as whole - whether there is any harmful, unnecessary ingredients mixed together, the quality of the active ingredient, how much the product is adapted to their needs.

The very presence of cannabis in a particular product is not yet sufficient, as it is necessary to know about certain molecules that can act negatively on a particular skin type.

Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) a multi-purpose crop. It has a rich spectrum of phytochemicals, molecules of industrial interest, including cannabinoids, terpenes and phenolic compounds, and their biosynthetic routes.

Cannabinoids are the most studied group of compounds, most of the biological properties related to cannabinoids rely on their interactions with the endocannabinoid system in humans.

The therapeutic and commercial interests of some terpenes and phenolic compounds, are also the next big thing.

How is cannabis related personal care set to impact on the wider market?

Cannabis in personal care has shown that topical treatment with cannabis enriched products can significantly improve the quality of life of consumers with several skin issues.

This is something that has impact on market behaviour, regulation and trends.

Because of a highly regulated and restrictive world of advertising and banking policies, cannabis industry is facing the ongoing challenges .

To adapt, companies have turned primarily to free social media platforms to create meaningful brands and connect with customers.

Every social media channel, internet platform, online banking  has their own policy dictating how you can and cannot advertise, transfer money on their channels and these policies are especially restrictive towards cannabis.

It leaves an enormous gray area where businesses aren’t quite certain what is and isn’t allowed, so most companies are on the side of caution by avoiding anything that would be questionable.

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