In my long career in the beauty industry—from celebrity hairstylist and colorist to licensed cosmetologist to beauty columnist and editor for numerous magazines—I’ve always been open to THC as a healing agent, as long as I didn’t get high from it. But when I saw how it transformed topical wounds on my body in a Matrix-style metamorphosis, cannabis took on a whole new meaning to me.
Yes, commonly used ointments and balms to minimize pain and inflammation (whether it be muscle relief, burns, ulcers or even cancers) have a place in contemporary anti-aging skincare because they assist in tightening, lifting and energizing the skin. Also, these products minimize the depigmentation of scarring and deduction of free radicals that can be at the root of aging, sagging and hollowing skin on our faces.
The Emergence of THC Skincare
In the exploding hemp/CBD/CBG universe of luxury skincare, each year feels like a leap year with the sheer number of brands and products that have fully embraced these components as critical to their current offerings. As challenging as it may be to find beauty brands that fully embrace higher levels of THC in their products now, I was similarly struggling to find beauty companies that incorporated CBD in their consumer-facing products as late as a few years ago. But as with CBD, the multi-billion-dollar beauty industry is gradually catching on to the other wonders of cannabis, or the higher levels of THC.
With the cannabis laws changing favorably and rapidly state by state—and with skincare companies concurrently increasing production in their topical and ingestible offerings—beauty brands are slowly adapting and carving out their spot in what’s become a super crowded CBD anti-aging skincare marketplace.
While many regard their personal experiences with CBD or cannabis as more highly effective at cell recovery, cell turnover and age preservation (skin and wrinkles), products containing higher THC doses (more than .03mg) are still heavily regulated and limited to states where adult-use cannabis is legal.
The thing is that even a year ago, I would’ve never put THC balm or CBD/THC oil on my face. Never. Why? Because I have at least two dozen serious luxury brands with cell-rejuvenating CBD standing next to one another in my bathroom and a full wall of super expensive “old-school” luxury skincare.
Recently I underwent a serious robotic surgery that required incisions on one side of my body. The procedure left some marks that were meant to heal naturally on their own. This is precisely the time I started ramping up my CBD/THC topical intake. And, yes, the second I got home from the hospital I slathered myself from waist to shoulders with silver dollar-sized applications of Wellfounded’s Relief Body Oil. In less than a minute, the oil absorbed into the incisions, leaving no trace on my white T-shirt, which I was prepared to throw away in the morning. That’s the moment I knew this THC product was special. When I woke up, the Wellfounded products had almost completely ironed out what looked like bumpy, surgical leeches on my body the night before (all normal for this type of surgery).
Powerful and rapid healing are genuine understatements here. This successful experience was what it took for me to apply a THC topical such as Relief Face Oil (750mg CBD + 750mg THC) as a rejuvenating sealer over my usual skincare regimen of an essence/toner, serum then moisturizer. Again, success. Particularly exciting was sealing this four-part facial routine with visible, lively, dewy results. Yes, I found a way to greatly enhance my usual skincare routine by adding a CBD/THC layer(s) to my skin for external transformation.
What I love about Wellfounded’s Tincture series is the clear, consistent labeling listed in order of escalating potency; as in Restore, Relief and Relax, starting with more CBD than THC (1000mg CBD + 50mg THC) in Restore, then equal parts in Relief, then flipping the ratio with Relax (200mg CBD + 1000mg THC). Similarly, Relief Body Balm comes in two sizes (25ml and 50ml), starting with 375mg CBD + 375mg THC.
The Relief Body Oil is a highly concentrated and absorbable cannabinoid formulation that starts with pomegranate extracts and complements active ingredients such as meadowfoam, safflower and sesame seed oils to perform deeper. “Wellfounded’s signature blend is designed to unclog pores, balance uneven skin tone and stimulate the regeneration of new skin cells to improve texture and softness.” wellfounded.com
No newcomer to the healing arena or the ever-changing laws surrounding cannabis use is Mary’s Medicinals. While some favorite and potent skin formulations are on hold or awaiting national allowances, you can still take advantage of Elite Compound or Transdermal Compound (100mg active hemp)with full-spectrum activated hemp extract, mango butter, beeswax and more.
Papa & Barkley
Highly regarded and more akin to a traditional facial skincare line is Papa & Barkley’s recently launched Releaf Repair Cream (150mg CBD + 150mg THC per 30ml bottle) which includes fresh-pressed rosin, jojoba oil, shea butter and mango seed oil. While Releaf Body Oil (400mg CBD per 60ml bottle) and their tiered-strength Releaf Balm range could be used everywhere, it’s effective as a healer to both inflammatory joints and bones even as it beautifies the body.
This story was originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.