You’re walking down the beauty aisle at Whole Foods when to your surprise, you spy a bottle of lotion that appears to have a cannabis leaf on it. Is this for real? Can you actually purchase cannabis beauty products from your local grocery or drug store? Sort of.
If you happen to see cannabis beauty products in a store that isn’t a dispensary, what you’ve encountered are hemp beauty products. These products are made with industrial hemp, which contains less than 0.3% THC making them legal to sell in stores nationwide—no medical cannabis recommendation needed. You’re probably wondering, “Do these products differ from the cannabis topicals sold in dispensaries?” Yes, they absolutely do.
Like I mentioned before, products made from industrial hemp contain less than 0.3% THC and are higher in CBD. In addition, industrial hemp doesn’t contain the terpenes & other phytocannabinoids that are found in whole plant cannabis. Why is this important? It is believed by many that one of the main benefits whole plant cannabis products provide their users is the Entourage Effect—the synergy that occurs between the THC, CBD, other phytocannabinoids, terpenes & flavonoids present in whole plant cannabis. The Entourage Effect allows for the various phytocannabinoids to reach their full potential and essentially be more effective all around. Hemp beauty products certainly have benefits as well, but they don’t have the added benefits of the Entourage Effect because they don’t contain THC, terpenes or the array of phytocannabinoids found in whole plant cannabis.
So now the question becomes, “Should I use beauty products that contain hemp or whole plant cannabis?” It really depends on what you’re trying to achieve by using them. For example, if you’re looking for something for general pain, skin moisture and don’t have any skin conditions that you’re trying to treat hemp products can totally do the trick! Hemp lotions are high in CBD which is anti-inflammatory, helps reduce pain over time and has also been shown to promote cell regeneration and decrease sebum production. If you try a hemp beauty product and don’t feel like you’re seeing or feeling the kind of results you want, you most likely need to try a product made with whole plant cannabis instead. Those who are trying to eliminate acne definitely benefit from products that are made with whole plant cannabis over those made with industrial hemp—the terpenes linalool and limonene when combined with CBD are showing a great deal of promise in the treatment of acne. CBD is particularly effective at not only getting rid of existing acne but also at preventing more acne from occurring--its anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce the inflammation in the acne, then it promotes cell regeneration in the skin to help eliminate acne scars & finally CBD has been shown to reduce the production of sebum in the skin, which will result in fewer breakouts. If you currently live in a state where cannabis isn’t legal, you’ll have to stick with hemp beauty products for now but don’t worry—CBD on it’s own still offers plenty of benefits for your skin! One thing both hemp and whole plant beauty products have in common? They won’t get you high, so you never have to worry about feeling impaired when you use them!
I like to think of the difference between hemp beauty products and whole plant cannabis topicals as similar to the difference between over the counter medicine and medicine you get with a prescription—both have benefits, but one is more powerful than the other. If you do have your medical marijuana recommendation & you’re interested in cannabis topicals, stop by The Higher Path. We offer a variety of products made with whole plant cannabis in a range of ratios to suit your needs like Absorb CBD, Annie’s Own, Awakened Topicals, Cannariginals Emu Oil, Loki Lotion, Papa & Barkley, Whoopi & Maya and more!
(1) How the Legalization of Marijuana Affects Your Skin
(2) Medical Jane: Terpenes
(3) Terpenes and the "Entourage Effect"
(4) Cannabis’s Entourage Effect: Why Whole Plant Medicine Matters
(5) Some of the Parts: Is Marijuana’s “Entourage Effect” Scientifically Valid?
(6) Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid-Terpenoid Entourage Effects