Can cannabidiol (CBD) be used in cosmetics?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a type of cannabinoid that can be synthetically produced or isolated from Cannabis plants and used as a single ingredient. In cosmetics, CBD can function as an antioxidant and facilitate anti-aging properties.
What is the difference between hemp, CBD and marijuana?
The Cannabis plant contains over 80 biologically active chemical compounds (cannabinoids). However, the most known ones are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Different taxonomic classifications of the genus Cannabis vary in their THC and CBD content. For example, Cannabis indica originally from India contains a high THC content associated with marijuana hashish production, whereas Cannabis sativa L. from Europe and western Eurasia has a high CBD content, traditionally associated with the textile industry, and more recently to applications within the cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical sectors. Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects.
How does regulation work outside the EU?
In the USA, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not prohibit or restrict the use of cannabis or cannabis-derived ingredients in cosmetics, and considers the possibility that a product containing these substances can have both a cosmetic and a drug use (for instance, creams to treat dermatitis or acne). Unlike in the USA, however, no therapeutic or medical claim should be asserted for cosmetics in Europe. This applies as well to products containing permitted cosmetic raw materials extracted from Cannabis sativa.
What is hemp?
Hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa L. Hemp is a dioecious plant, which means that it can be separated into male and female plants. In hemp fields, there is usually a concentration of female hemp and sporadic placed males to pollinate the females and produce nutrient-rich seeds. Hemp has been used for over 10,000 years to make paper and fibres for clothing and fabric, but also in cosmetic products, particularly as an oil but also as other extracts and derivatives.
In this context, Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 for cosmetics bans the use of CBD derived from resin, tinctures and extracts of Cannabis, as well as cannabinoids, resin and various extracts (e.g. Cannabis Sativa flower extract, Cannabis Sativa flower/leaf/stem extract) from cosmetic use (Annex II). Synthetically produced CBD is acceptable for end use.
To this date, cosmetic regulatory compliance of CBD as an ingredient itself relies on the part of the plant from which it is extracted. For instance, seeds when not accompanied by tops are acceptable, although these do not contain CBD, whereas CBD prepared from Cannabis extracts or tinctures from flower/fruiting tops where the resin has not been separated, as well as the separated resin, are not allowed for use. Indeed, the UN 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs defines controlled cannabis as “the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant”, but does not consider Cannabis sativa seeds or leaves as controlled substances (as long as they are not accompanied by the tops).
How is hemp used in cosmetics and what are its properties?
There are several types of extract from hemp used in cosmetics:
Cannabinoids are active compounds produced in the Cannabis sativa plant and are generally concentrated in the plant’s leaves. Two of the most well-known Cannabinoids are THC and CBD.
In keeping with our apothecary heritage, Kiehl’s chemists gained inspiration from the traditional and medicinal applications of Hemp-Derived Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil. Our 100% naturally derived* concentrate has been carefully formulated with 60% Hemp-Derived Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil and helps visibly reduce redness, relieve the feeling of discomfort and calm stressed skin. Non-acnegenic, our Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate is uniquely formulated for problem skin types—including oily, sensitive and blemish-prone.
Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil
THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is a cannabinoid and the primary psychoactive component found in Marijuana. Marijuana typically averages 10% THC—well above the amount found in Hemp.
Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil is derived from Hemp and used in skincare formulas to provide essential moisture and nourishment while helping strengthen skin’s barrier. Since it is derived from the stalks and seeds of the plant, Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil contains less than 0.3% THC making it non-psychoactive.
Sourced primarily from Germany, our Cannabis Sativa seeds are harvested from September to October. After harvest, the seeds are cleaned, then pressed using a mechanical cold pressing method before the final filtration and purification step.