People have been talking about the use of Cannabis by-products in both the health and beauty industries for quite a while now. As of June 25th, the FDA has approved CBD (Cannabidiol) oil for use in Epidiolex, a medication that treats two types of epilepsy in children. The cannabis by-product has actually been sold in a variety beauty products up until now, but this new approval might just give the substance a new sense of legitimacy and thus, heighten its popularity among consumers.
CBD is not the same as marijuana that is grown for recreational use. The component of the plant which produces psychoactive effects is THC. In contrast, CBD is derived from hemp, which is a different strain of the cannabis plant altogether. Both plants are typically grown for completely different reasons, one being a psychoactive substance, and the other for use in a variety of industrial products.
CBD, which typically comes in the form of oil, is said to have numerous benefits; such as assisting in relieving pain and having relaxing properties among many others. However, there has been past concern as to the truth and extent of these claims. Many companies attempted to market the ingredient as a treatment for cancer, prompting a warning from the FDA last fall:
“The FDA has grown increasingly concerned at the proliferation of products claiming to treat or cure serious diseases like cancer …In this case, the illegally sold products allegedly contain cannabidiol (CBD), a component of the marijuana plant that is not FDA approved in any drug product for any indication.”
However, the recent FDA approval of the substance does not necessarily grant companies all possible medicinal usages. If anything, it would mainly apply to the treatment of seizures.
It should be noted that the legality of CBD is unclear and is much debated. The use of hemp oil is technically legal in all 50 states. Though there are no specifications as to the hemp by-product. According to sources such as Above the Law, CBD is technically illegal, but the law also states that the substance can be considered legal if it is taken from a certain variety of hemp plants. Most companies that use CBD of course report that their usage is legal.
In the case of the beauty industry, many brands have already made use of the debated ingredient. For example, Milk Makeup, a vegan beauty brand, released their “Kush Mascara.” The company swapped the conventional ingredient of beeswax for CBD oil, stating that it was “known as a beauty superstar for its versatility and its ever-growing list of benefits.” Another brand, Vertly, sells lip balms with various levels of CBD. It even offers balms made with THC in states where the marijuana is legal.
However, many of these claims have to be taken with a grain of salt. The FDA has tested several products claiming to contain the substance, and have found that many do not contain the advertised amount if any CBD at all. Nonetheless, the new approval of Epidiolex may mean further popularity for the ingredient.
But, caution should be exercised, as CBD does come with its fair share of risks. For example, the substance is said to potentially have negative side effects on the liver. Considering the legal ambiguity of the substance, it has been speculated the makers of Epidiolex will try to ban the over-the-counter sale CBA. The beauty industry should brace itself.
Featured Image via Flickr/Chris H