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Is cannabis-infused makeup worth the hype?

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Is cannabis-infused makeup worth the hype?

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Cannabis is everywhere these days. From CBD toothpaste and pillows to lotions, face creams and everything in between, it seems like anything you can buy can be infused with cannabis. Makeup is no exception. 

But is weed makeup safe, or will it get you high? Does it have any benefit, and will you be able to snag weed lipgloss from your local pharmacy anytime soon? 

Why add cannabis to makeup? 

First and foremost, no, cannabis makeup won’t get you high. But your endocannabinoid system is present all over your body, including on your skin, and endocannabinoids play an important role in skin health. 1

So even though using a weed lipgloss won’t get you high, there are other benefits to using cannabinoids on your skin. Studies on using infused makeup are slim, but the benefits of topical application is a growing field of research. While most makeup products aren’t made for cannabinoid absorption, there could still be a benefit to having them in your products. 2 3

Some products are made with THC or CBD, and most contain hemp seed oil. All three ingredients have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which may slow the spread of microorganisms and bacteria building up in your eyeshadow palette or lipstick. The presence of these organisms can cause irritation, even before the product expires. But keeping bacteria out of your makeup isn’t the only benefit of infused products.

Cannabinoids also are well known to have anti-inflammatory effects, which can be helpful for a range of skin conditions. And it’s not just THC and CBD; less commonly-discussed cannabinoids like CBG are slowly making their way into beauty and skincare products. Cannabinoid acids like CBDA and THCA, the natural precursors to the cannabinoids you know and love, may also have many activities in the skin. The actions of these acids could be mediated through the classical ECS, but also through other important channels on our skin known as TRP ion channels. 4 5

1
  • Effects: reduces redness and gentle on sensitive skin
  • Vegan friendly/animal testing: Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Price range: splurge, $35
2
  • Effects: conditioning lashes
  • Vegan friendly/animal testing: vegan and cruelty-free
  • Price range: budget, $14
3
  • Effects: hydrate dry lips and restore skin barrier
  • Vegan friendly/animal testing: Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Price range: Budget, $7
4
  • Effects: gentle on sensitive skin
  • Vegan friendly/animal testing: Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Price range: Budget, $15
5
  • Effects: hydrating and skin barrier protective
  • Vegan friendly/animal testing: Cruelty-free
  • Price range: splurge, $20

Is infused makeup with the hype? 

The short answer is probably. 

If you already have products you know and love, there’s no reason to throw them out just for infused makeup. But if you’re looking for new products with more wholesome ingredients that are gentle on skin, hemp-oil infusions are worth a try. 

  • A 2021 review of studies on topical use of cannabis seed oils found that hemp seed oil has anti-aging properties and is non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog your pores). The authors called the omega-3 and omega-6 balance “ideal for the skin… especially sensitive skin.” They also noted the topical use of Cannabis sativa is “of dermatological interest” for treating inflammatory skin conditions. 6
  • Hemp seed oil also contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which are omega fatty acids. GLA is an omega-6 fat that is beneficial for skin health, and has been shown to improve skin barrier function. ALA is an omega-3 fat and is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. 7 8
  • When consumed orally, hemp seed oil has been shown to improve atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema. 

Who could benefit from trying cannabis-infused makeup? 

  • People with sensitive skin 
  • People looking for products with clean ingredients
  • People who enjoy trying new makeup products

5 cannabis infused makeup products to try

KUSH QUEEN Kingdm Cosmetics Foto Blur Primer 

Effects: reduces redness and gentle on sensitive skin
Vegan friendly/animal testing: Vegan and cruelty-free 
Price range: splurge, $35

Special features: 

  • Make with Amplifi™ nanotechnology for maximum absorption
  • Works well for oily and sensitive skin 
  • Vegan and cruelty-free 

The Foto Blur primer has a luxurious silky texture that makes it easy to spread and apply makeup on top of. 

Specially formulated with Kush Queen’s Amplifi™ nanotechnology, this primer is infused with nano-sized CBD molecules that increase cannabinoid absorption through the skin. 

Rave reviews mention the primer works well on oily skin and reduces redness. 


Milk Makeup KUSH Mascara 

Effects: conditioning lashes 
Vegan friendly/animal testing: vegan and cruelty-free 
Price range: budget, $14 

Special features: 

  • CBD oil conditions lashes to look soft and full
  • Safe for sensitive eyes 
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Made with cannabis seed oil, this vegan mascara promises to deliver thick, voluminous lashes in no time. 

The oil keeps your lashes looking soft and luscious while fibers create stunningly long lashes. Safe for contacts and people with sensitive skin, this mascara is easy to put on and remove. 

If you want more cannabis, Milk has a full line of cannabis seed oil-infused KUSH products, including eyeliner, brow gel, primer, lip glazes, and more. 


NYX Bare with Me Lip Conditioner 

Effects: hydrate dry lips and restore skin barrier 
Vegan friendly/animal testing: Vegan and cruelty-free
Price range: Budget, $7

Special features: 

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • CBD seed oil conditions and hydrates dry lips 
  • No-makeup look 

Perfect for the no-makeup makeup look, this glossy lip conditioner from NYX is more than the sheen that brings your look together – it’s also a conditioner to revitalize dry lips. 

Part of NYX’s cannabis-infused collection, this gloss is made with hemp seed oil to help replenish and bring chapped lips back to life. 


Revolution Beauty Forever Flawless Eye Shadow Palette

Effects: gentle on sensitive skin 
Vegan friendly/animal testing: Vegan and cruelty-free 
Price range: Budget, $15

Special features: 

  • Vegan and cruelty-free 
  • 18 colors included 
  • Matte, pressed, and shimmer shadows 

Made with 18 earthy-toned shadows, this weed eyeshadow palette is perfect for creating 420 inspired makeup looks. Not only is the iconic leaf pressed into the shadows, but each color is also infused with cannabis sativa seed oil. 

The oil makes the shadows soft, creamy, and easy to layer while providing you with sensitive-skin-friendly ingredients. 


Colorganics Hemp Organics Lipstick

Effects: hydrating and skin barrier protective
Vegan friendly/animal testing: Cruelty-free
Price range: splurge, $20 

Special features: 

  • 37 shades to choose from 
  • Cruelty and paraben-free 
  • Safe, organic ingredients 

The expansive line of lipsticks from Colorganics means you can have richly infused lipstick in every shade your heart desires. Each of the 37 shades is hand-poured in small batches and crafted with all organic ingredients, hemp seed oil included. Best of all, there are no fragrances, synthetic preservatives, or dyes, making this lipstick truly edible (but not an edible)


Bottom line

Cannabis makeup is becoming increasingly popular as the topical effects of CBD are more extensively explored. Thanks to CBD’s federally legal status, you can easily get hemp and CBD products no matter where you live in the US. However THC legalization varies by state, and THC makeup may not be available where you live if cannabis isn’t legal. 

THC, CBD, and seed oils are safe to use on your skin, will not get you high, and may provide other benefits for some skin types and conditions. 

Sources

  1. Tóth, K. F., Ádám, D., Bíró, T., & Oláh, A. (2019). Cannabinoid Signaling in the Skin: Therapeutic Potential of the “C(ut)annabinoid” System. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 24(5), 918. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24050918
  2. Karas, J. A., Wong, L., Paulin, O., Mazeh, A. C., Hussein, M. H., Li, J., & Velkov, T. (2020). The Antimicrobial Activity of Cannabinoids. Antibiotics (Basel, Switzerland), 9(7), 406. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9070406
  3. Jin, S., & Lee, M. Y. (2018). The ameliorative effect of hemp seed hexane extracts on the Propionibacterium acnes-induced inflammation and lipogenesis in sebocytes. PloS one, 13(8), e0202933. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0202933
  4. Muller C, Morales P, Reggio PH. Cannabinoid Ligands Targeting TRP Channels. Front Mol Neurosci. 2019;11:487. Published 2019 Jan 15. doi:10.3389/fnmol.2018.00487
  5. Suryavanshi SV, Kovalchuk I, Kovalchuk O. Cannabinoids as Key Regulators of Inflammasome Signaling: A Current Perspective. Front Immunol. 2021;11:613613. Published 2021 Jan 28. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2020.613613
  6. Mnekin L, Ripoll L. Topical Use of Cannabis sativa L. Biochemicals. Cosmetics. 2021; 8(3):85. https://doi.org/10.3390/cosmetics8030085
  7. Mikulcová V, Kašpárková V, Humpolíček P, Buňková L. Formulation, Characterization and Properties of Hemp Seed Oil and Its Emulsions. Molecules. 2017;22(5):700. Published 2017 Apr 27. doi:10.3390/molecules22050700 Thomsen BJ, Chow EY, Sapijaszko MJ. The Potential Uses of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Dermatology: A Review. J Cutan Med Surg. 2020;24(5):481-494. doi:10.1177/1203475420929925
  8. Kawamura A, Ooyama K, Kojima K, Kachi H, Abe T, Amano K, Aoyama T. Dietary supplementation of gamma-linolenic acid improves skin parameters in subjects with dry skin and mild atopic dermatitis. J Oleo Sci. 2011;60(12):597-607. doi: 10.5650/jos.60.597. PMID: 22123240.
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