Cannabis and CBD are the most talked about ingredients of 2019. These formerly taboo materials are being seen in a new light thanks to revamped regulation and a growing population of shoppers who are tired of prescription drugs and want natural pain relief and skincare solutions.
Much Ado about Marijuana
For many years, the cannabis plant and its derivatives have been closely associated with one overarching theme: illegal marijuana. The US passed the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937, which effectively criminalized the drug, and in 1970, the Controlled Substances Act branded cannabis as a schedule I drug, alongside cocaine, LSD, and heroin.
In the last decade, though, a cultural shift has occurred with a change in consumer awareness and behavior, meaning that the American people are more accepting and open to the benefits of this hotly contested plant.
61% of Americans supported marijuana legalization in 2017, which is nearly double the 31% of those who did in 2000.¹
A significant reason for this shift in perception has been due to the rise of the opioid crises and the country’s increasing reliance on addictive prescription drugs. Many see medical marijuana as a very viable alternative to these drugs for pain management, and today, 89% of Americans support medical marijuana.²
29 US states have approved the use of marijuana to treat certain conditions, including epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, and PTSD, and the opportunities for other usages will continue to rise with additional research.³
The rise of widespread cannabis culture closely mirrors the other trends that we see in the wellness and personal care spaces. Today’s shoppers have an expanded definition of their own wellbeing, thinking beyond the traditional areas of diet and exercise, focusing on reducing physical and environmental stressors, maximizing sleep hygiene, and prioritizing mental health.
There is also a massive move towards the natural space with skincare and other personal care products, which is one of the reasons that premium bar soap sales are on the rise. Consumers are looking for safe, recognizable, naturally derived ingredients in everything from their afternoon snacks to their evening face masks, and hemp, cannabis sativa oil, and CBD are approachable ingredients that are easy to integrate into a more thoughtful wellness routine.
A New Cannabis Consumer
This movement plays well with the new cannabis-friendly persona. Many brands are fighting the stigmas that have traditionally been paired with cannabis consumers – the stoner stereotype is thought to be lazy and unemployed, going through life in a drug-induced haze. Today’s cannabis consumer is a far distant relative to that persona, embracing marijuana and other cannabis derivatives for the recreational and wellness benefits that they provide.
According to a study done by Eaze, today’s cannabis consumer is reported to:
- Be highly educated, with over 50% having at least a bachelor’s degree
- Be financially healthy, as 49% make at least $75,000 per year
- Be a frequent user, with 58% reporting that they smoke daily
- Be employed, as 91% have jobs⁴
The Rise of CBD
What does this cultural shift mean for the skincare market? It has set the stage for the most promising raw ingredient to ever enter the space: CBD.
CBD – cannabidiol – is one of the most well known of about 100 different phytochemicals found in the cannabis plant, known as phytocannabinoids. CBD is non-psychoactive, which means that it will not get the user high. That duty is relegated to THC.
In 2018, Congress passed the final version of the 2018 Farm Bill, which did one very important thing for the CBD industry: it differentiated between hemp and other cannabis plants. Hemp is a legal characterization, which designates it as a cannabis plant with no more than 0.3% THC. Anything more than 0.3% THC reclassifies the plant as marijuana. The Farm Bill allows for hemp cultivation and sale and transport across state lines, as well as the manufacturing of hemp-derived products. While there is still considerable grey space underneath this new classification, it has opened the floodgates for CBD in the wellness world.
CBD has high potential for treating a variety of skin conditions. However, the lack of standardization in clinical testing, regulation, and labeling makes it extremely difficult to substantiate any of these claims. At this point, brands and manufacturers should be extremely conservative about claims made in this space, and proceed with caution regarding the marketing and distribution of skincare products made with CBD.
Even without the research and clinical studies to back up these claims, consumers are ready for CBD skincare products to help with pain management and other ailments. Having specific dosage information and transparency about ingredient source, type, and potency are requirements for successfully marketing to today’s educated CBD user.
Contract Manufacturing & CBD
At Twincraft Skincare, we are actively exploring vendor partnerships with Vermont-based CBD suppliers, and are eager to talk about the opportunities surrounding CBD with our business partners. If your brand is interested in learning more about the opportunities surrounding CBD in skincare, and how we as your contract manufacturer can support your new product development goals, please reach out to our Sales team today.
¹,²,³,⁴ Source: CEW Event: The Future of Cannabis in Beauty, 2/19/2019, New York, NY