Episode 24: How Cannabinoids Work in Skincare

2018-12 Cannabinoid skincare

What is CBD skincare? If we’d told you even a year or two ago that CBD skincare is related to cannabis, it’s likely to have triggered an automatic association with scheduled drugs. However, today, certain bio-active compounds, or cannabinoids, found within both cannabis and its relative hemp are being used not only in medicine but also far more recently as legitimate, active ingredients in high-performance skincare.

In brief, cannabis itself is scheduled as an illegal drug in most western countries although as recently as October 2018, it was legalised in Canada for recreational use. It has hit the news in the UK in particular this autumn with the case of a boy with epilepsy who was denied legal use of cannabis oil to ease his symptoms. It seems timely then to look into the rising trend of cannabinoids in skincare formulations.

The main psychoactive part of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is one of just under 500 known compounds in the plant, including at least 65 other cannabinoids. Another group of cannabinoids however do not contain the psychoactive elements; these are cannabidiol (CBD) and it is these compounds that have been subject to cosmetic science research for their anti-ageing and other beneficial properties.

The journey of how cannabinoids came to be regarded as botanical compounds of huge interest to the beauty industry is of course a complex one. To help unpack the virtues of hemp cannabinoids in CBD skincare, we invited Samir Juneja of CBD of London, the UK’s first luxury CBD skincare brand to Green Beauty Conversations.

Launched early in 2018, CBD of London is pioneering CBD ingredients in luxury skincare and has had coverage in major UK magazines such as Tatler, GQ and Vogue. But, as Samir says, there’s a lot of education on CBD skincare to do yet for high street retailers to engage. This is why we invited CBD of London to the podcast to spread the true information on CBD skincare.

Everything you wanted to know about cannabis and hemp extracts in #naturalskincare. @CBDLondon explains the skincare science of #cannabinoids in @formulabotanica #greenbeautyconversations. Click To Tweet


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In this episode, you’ll hear about:

  • The science behind CBD and its differences from THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid compounds;
  • How the human body has its own cannabinoids, which act as receptors to topically-applied CBD;
  • The powerful benefits of CBD in anti-ageing, anti-pollution and anti-inflammatory cosmetic products;
  • How CBD is extracted from hemp and the pros of certain methods of extraction, like super-critical CO2; and
  • Why CBD, while a trending new ingredient, is still misunderstood.

Key take-outs from this episode include:

  • It can take time to build a brand using new, unknown ingredients, especially those with connotations or a legacy of use in other ways. However, pioneering does bring its rewards as you have near-on first-mover advantage;
  • Make time to educate your audiences and customers on the power of your ingredients, pointing out the positives and benefits; take every opportunity to speak to them using blog posts and social media to the maximum;
  • Make the science behind your ingredients accessible and understandable. Remember people can research online but also find misinformation, so be transparent and helpful.
  • Think carefully about your branding and brand positioning, as these are key to giving the right impression of your product offer. CBD overcame the cannabis connotations by creating a visually-appealing and high-end offer communicated consistently across its website, packaging and other collateral.

Find out more about CBD of London, its story and about CBD skincare science here:

CBD of London website.
CBD of London on Instagram.
CBD of London on Facebook.

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Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica: Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please share, subscribe and review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Gemma Ortega Perez | Formula Botanica

Gemma Ortega Perez was Formula Botanica’s Relationship Manager between 2015 – 2019. To read more about the Formula Botanica team, visit our staff page.


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