CBD: The new avocado toast

CBD: The new avocado toast

My morning routine has been pretty much the same since I can remember. I’m a simple girl at heart; wash my face with water (don’t shoot), slather it in Eurcerin (body moisturisor – I don’t even go to the hassle of buying the dedicated face creams), a layer of foundation and the odd bit of blusher and lip gloss. Et voila. However, since turning vegan last year, I have upped my game and started introducing vitamins. Noting that I was experiencing quite significant tiredness I included a B12 vitamin, amongst others.
And, of late, there’s a new member of the morning team in the form of CBD oil. An avid Instagram follower of vegan accounts, it started to come to my attention that the health benefits of this tiny bottle were phenomenal. So, feeling smug, I pat myself on the back most mornings for my new found little habit.

And it seems I’m not the only one. Since taking the product myself, it feels like everywhere I look there are signs that CBD oil is big business, and the beauty industry is no exception. So what exactly is CBD oil, and why are we rushing to buy it in its droves? Well, according to one Instagram post, it’s the ‘new avocado toast’ – a bold claim indeed. In scientific terms, it is a cannabinoid derived from a hemp plant. However, unlike its THC cannabinoid sibling, it is not psychoactive and therefore is legal in the UK with a THC content of under 2 percent. While the laws in the US are murky at best, with states taking different approaches, it’s clear that it’s still huge there. According to The Hemp Business Journal, the US market for hemp-based CBD products was worth $190 million last year. What’s most astounding is its growth forecast – a cool 700 percent by 2020. That, my friends, is big business.

So how is the beauty industry getting on board? And, more importantly, who is getting on board. Well, with just one of its benefits said to treat dry skin and eczema, cannabis (CBD) cosmetic products are booming. Way back in 2016 MCG Pharmaceuticals moved forward with its commercialization strategy into both the Australian and Canadian skin care markets, with the company signing a $40 million deal to supply (CBD) cosmetic products to South Korea-based Varm Cosmo. While Together Pharma joined forces with Israeli skincare company Dead Sea Cosmetics Laboratories to develop a line that contains CBD for sale in the country.  MCG also made moves in the UK market with premium retailer Harvey Nichols stocking its cannabis-based products – showing that the luxury market is getting on board, and we all know that once you’ve ticked the booming luxury market, you’re undoubtedly onto a winner.

However, some companies are opting to steer clear of CBD in favor of other parts of the cannabis plant. For example, just this week Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) launched a new Origins face mask based around Cannabis sativa oil, which, according to Glossy has more research behind it to support skin anti-inflammatory claims. And probably to more easily side step the aforementioned murky laws linked with CBD in the US. However, with Cannabis surely set to become legal in Europe and the US, the investment into cannabis cosmetics by ELC and the big pharma companies R&D investment will surely stand them in a better place to make further strides in the industry when it opens up fully?

Regardless of ELC’s decision, the figures speak for themselves, and who can argue with a 700 percent growth forecast? Cannabis, CBD, whatever the term, it seems that consumers are ready. In the words of Julie Van Ongevalle, Origins SVP and Global General Manager, “We didn’t do it before because it had negative connotations, but as more people start to understand the benefits of it — even in medicine — it’s become more acceptable. We didn’t want to shock our customers.”