Here’s what we do know: The cannabis plant contains a wide variety of chemical compounds, many of which fall under the broad category of cannabinoids. There are more than 100 — exactly how many, we’re not sure. The best-known and certainly most profitable are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both of these compounds stimulate the same receptor in the brain, called CB1, but have differing effects on the brain. Researchers aren’t totally sure why.
After seasonal harvests of specific cultivars, these high-CBD hemp crops are put through a specialized solvent-free extraction process to yield a hemp oil that is naturally high in cannabidiol. This pure hemp extract is then tested for safety, quality, and cannabinoid content before being exported to our processing facilities in the United States. Importing any cannabis or hemp product into the United States is a complicated and serious task, so we leave nothing to chance before our high-CBD hemp oil makes its journey across the Atlantic Ocean.
Further explanation is in order. The difference between psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana,” by the increasingly disfavored traditional term) and hemp is a question of THC content — and legal classification. The federal government defines hemp as cannabis with 0.3 percent THC or less in terms of dry weight. The 2014 federal Farm Bill legalized state pilot programs for hemp, and 40 of the 50 states now have defined industrial hemp as distinct from cannabis and removed barriers to its production — including California. However, California’s hemp pilot program is overseen by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) — not either the CDPH or Bureau of Cannabis Control.
Previously, I had reviewed hemp-based beauty topicals and THC beauty products pioneering the way for cannabis in the skincare industry. This time, I tested the diverse range of CBD oil-based beauty products, which are both potent and legally available for shipping to most states. This is the new frontier in skincare—and these companies are paving the way. Go support them before Sephora hears about this.