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By Bee Shapiro
Now that nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, and with many other states with varying latitudes of access, cannabis has gotten a whole lot more sophisticated. And the beauty business is not about to miss out.
Cannabis-derived ingredients feel trendy, and they may well offer a raft of possible benefits, which beauty brands are quick to tout. CBD oil, specifically, is nonpsychoactive (it won’t get you high) and is said to offer relief from pain, anxiety and depression, stimulate appetite and have anti-inflammatory and anti-acne properties. Cannabis products also nod to enthusiasms that have already gained momentum in the beauty industry, like ingestibles (CBD-infused gummies, caramels and drops) and wellness (CBD lotions to relieve soreness from new year workouts).
There are already devout fans, some boldfaced, who are drawn to CBD topical products largely for their pain-relieving properties. Olivia Wilde recently told this reporter that she used it to relieve physical aches during a Broadway run. The fashion stylist Karla Welch, who works with Ms. Wilde, Ruth Negga, Katy Perry and Sarah Paulson, uses Lord Jones CBD lotion on her clients’ feet when they walk the red carpet.
“It’s perfect for long nights in high heels,” Ms. Welch said. “All my girls love it, and bottles live in my styling kit.”
Jessica Richards, the founder of Shen Beauty in Brooklyn, is often a trendsetter in beauty retailing, and she started carrying Lord Jones in December. “I do so much SoulCycle that I have one hip that hurts,” she said. “I tried out the CBD lotion. It’s not a placebo. It really does work for pain management.”
Lord Jones, which is based in Los Angeles, is not the only brand to market a pain-relieving CBD body lotion, but it is one of the chicest. Founded in 2016 by Robert Rosenheck, who has a branding background, and his wife, Cindy Capobianco, who has led public relations for Banana Republic and marketing for Gap, it is a leader in a movement to make marijuana more attractive to a mainstream audience. The packaging, with a baronial crest and gold accents, would look at home in a fashionable department store. That celebrities use the products adds additional cachet.
“The closer we get to de-stigmatizing cannabis, the better it is for all,” Ms. Capobianco said.
That sentiment is shared by upstarts including Cannuka, a line of topical products containing CBD and manuka honey; Khus & Khus, a skin- and body-care line by the ayurvedic specialist Kristi Blustein; and Vertly, a line of lip balm by Claudia Mata, a former W magazine accessories editor, which is introducing body care this year. And beauty lines, including Malin & Goetz and Boy Smells, make reference to cannabis in their products purely for the scent.
For example, Boy Smells has a cannabis-scented candle called Kush. “We’re aware that having a cannabis candle is a little provocative, but I personally love the flavor and smell of cannabis,” said Matthew Herman, a founder, who previously worked for the fashion labels Giles Deacon, Proenza Schouler and Zac Posen. “It has a wet earth smell that is very attractive.”