CBD might as well be a celebrity in the world of wellness. Since the new era of legalized cannabis began a few years ago, this buzzy ingredient has gained popularity as a treatment to help with everything from muscle relaxation and sleep to sex, showing up in all forms ranging from fruity gummies to seltzers.
Naturally, the ingredient has entered the beauty scene, too, being formulated into oils, serums, and creams. But with its arrival comes a new set of terminology that can be difficult to understand. There are more than 80 different naturally-occurring cannabinoid compounds that can be extracted from the cannabis sativa plant (otherwise known as marijuana). Of these, the two compounds that are the most commonly discussed are cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol—CBD and THC (the latter being the one with psychoactive effects that produce a high). Another, albeit lesser-known, ingredient that can be harvested from the plant is cannabis sativa oil, which comes from the seeds (whereas CBD is derived from the leaves). It’s this oil, which does not contain any CBD or THC compounds, that is starting to make waves in skincare.
Rich in hydrating omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, cannabis sativa has been shown to have highly anti-inflammatory properties that can rejuvenate complexion, balance the skin’s oil production, and combat environmental damage. And the longer you allow this potent antioxidant to work into your skin, the more benefits you’re likely to see. The skin has an innate endocannabinoid system, and receptors are found throughout the body (think brain, organs, immune cells); these receptors regulate a wide range of physiological processes, including skin health. So when CBD affects the endocannabinoid system, it can help the skin look more radiant and balanced, even becoming helpful for conditions like acne, psoriasis, and eczema. And when paired with other actives that calm and nourish the skin barrier, such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and niacinamides, CBD-infused products are given an even greater opportunity to work their magic.
Interested in exploring these potential benefits for yourself? Here are five skincare products for the cannabis-curious.
Cannuka Harmonizing Face Cream
What do you get when you mix hemp-derived CBD with Manuka honey? A silky-smooth face cream that moisturizes parched skin. Using crystallized CBD isolate (the purest form of CBD), plus Manuka honey from New Zealand that is known to help retain and seal in moisture for extremely supple skin, Cannuka’s Harmonizing Face Cream delivers a big boost of radiance. Although described as lightweight, the cream is quite thick, making it feel rich; plus, thanks to hyaluronic acid, the formula is an excellent option for those with acne.
Empyri Holistic Hydration Daily Moisturizer
Founded by biochemical engineer Jennifer Grant, Empryi works with our planet’s natural healing ingredients, including cannabis sativa seed oil, to soothe stressed-out skin. Combining hydrolyzed extracts with naturally-derived actives, this super-light Holistic Hydration Daily Moisturizer hydrates and heals dry and uneven skin, making it a great year-round product. For a bonus, the subtle scent of lavender, orange blossom, and honeysuckle extract is a delightful addition to any morning skincare routine.
Deew Dream Cream
With certified organic cannabis sativa seed oil as its hero ingredient, Vancouver-based Deew (yes, as in “weed” spelled backwards) delivers a dreamy dose of glow to the skin with its collection of creams for the body and face. When it comes to the brand’s cannabis moisturizers—which are crafted with nourishing murumuru seed butter and pure argan oil—there’s Morning Deew for energizing a dry complexion; Dream Cream for soothing the face during beauty sleep (our personal favorite); and Body Buzz for scrubbing away the day and revealing soft skin underneath.
Prima The Afterglow
Designed to be the last step of your skincare routine, The Afterglow by Prima—the first hemp CBD brand to be verified by the Environmental Working Group—melts into the skin to deliver a soft, supple complexion with a radiant glisten. This is thanks to the pure, whole-plant hemp extract sourced from a family farm in Oregon that works synergistically with a blend of hyaluronic acid, vegan collagen, and ayurvedic adaptogens. For those of us sitting in front of a computer all day, this never-greasy face cream also combats aggravators like blue light.
Kana Lavender Sleeping Mask
Fortified with antioxidant-rich phytocannabinoids (a natural pain reliever, relaxant, and antioxidant) to hydrate and brighten the skin while you sleep, Kana’s Lavender Sleeping Mask is great for your beauty rest. This leave-on mask is a lightweight moisturizer, with fast absorption to calm inflammation, brighten complexion, and deeply heal and hydrate the skin. Plus, it harnesses the power of 28 botanicals to work through the night while its aromatherapeutic properties soothe the senses.
So go on: get your glow on.