Will cannabis beauty products get you high on skin care?

Elena Scotti/FUSION

Welcome back to Weed Needs, in which we review new and dope products coming out of the cannabis industry!

I’m pretty terrible at taking care of my face. I mean, I’ve gotten better! I take my eyeliner off every night before I sleep. I rinse my face every day and do my best to actually wash it daily or at least when it feels like it needs a scrubadub. But maybe the one thing that I’ve needed to get my butt into gear and really take care of my face is cannabis.


In the last few years, cosmetic companies have been getting in on marijuana. After all, studies have shown that cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory properties and can be used topically on skin. Hemp oil contains fatty acids omega-6 and omega-3, which are good for keeping skin healthy. So this week I took a hemp-derived skin care regimen for a test drive.

L to R, Cleanser, Exfoliant, Toner, Serum, Moisturizer, Salve.

I tried six products from Cannabis Beauty Defined, a skin care line from hemp beauty company Kannaway.  All Beauty Defined products are labeled as “Anti-Aging” and contain “CBD-rich hemp oil,” as well as their own proprietary formula, Bi-Bong, a catch-all term referring to a secret East Asian concoction of herbs (although each individual product breaks down the individual herbs that make up the Bi-Bong). While I do appreciate traditional herbal remedies (but, like, GO SEE A DOCTOR DUDE AND DON’T PUT HERBS IN YOUR VAGINA), anything that involves a “secret formula” that “works for everyone” raises red flags, as does attaching said formulas to “East Asia” as opposed to a specific culture. They also refer to the effects of hemp as "miracles," so there's that.

So keep in mind that these aren't cure-all, miraculous potions and just consider how good these products are at making my face feel like a baby butt. Let’s get into it! Apparently there’s an ideal order of operations when it comes to a face care regimen: cleanse, exfoliate, tone, moisturize, so that’s exactly what I did.


Cannabis Beauty Defined Cleanser is a light beige cream that smells like a muddy spa (not a bad thing!), and spreads smoothly with a consistency that's more cream than butter. As far as a cleanser goes, it was too moisturizing for my taste, but I’m sure other people are into that. The bottle claimed it was effective for removing makeup, but I didn’t exactly find that to be the case.

After some scrubbing. Yes that's turquoise lipstick, I didn't eat a Bulbasaur.

I then moved onto the exfoliant, which was a solid scrub. The texture was a great balance of sandy and gentle, like lil’ beachy kisses in a small circular motion on your cheeks! But just as the tide must wash away even the most beautiful sand castles from the shore, I had to wash my face of the exfoliant and rinse this section of my terrible metaphor.

With my face feeling fresh, it was time to move to the toner. OK, I don’t really know what toner does, and I have never used it in my life, but it's supposed to further remove oil and nourish the face with antioxidants and sometimes "glycerin, fatty acids, and ceramides." Cannabis Beauty Defined Toner was cute and refreshing. I don’t know if it restored the pH balance in my face, or if it was truly moisturizing like toners reportedly should be. It was nice, but not a revelation or anything, although that may have more to do with the fact that that was the first time I had ever used a toner.


The moisturizer's aroma was similar to the cleanser, but not as strong. The consistency was a little bit on the watery side as far as lotions go and didn’t last long. I’m probably going to stick to my Olay.

But overall, my face felt clean, soft, and fresh as a daisy! But the products don’t stop there. There was a clear serum “for further protection and hydration,” that did feel refreshing. But there’s also a salve, which, unlike the other products, was a thick green paste that smelled like the wooden trunk my grandmother kept some of her saris in, a refreshing departure from the collection's other more muted, clay-like scents. Despite the ambiguous directions suggesting I use it “before and after activities,” it definitely feels like a moisturizing heavy hitter. While the exfoliant and the salve did stand out to me as products I’d probably use again, this collection is probably not going to convince me to make drastic alterations to my very lazy face care routine.


While my skin is pretty chill, it can be sensitive—right after applying all these products to my face, I felt a burning sensation in my upper right cheek. My skin has reacted similarly before to other natural products, so I’m assuming I have an allergy to one of the dozens of herbal extracts used in the products. It's probably not the hemp oil, though, so we're good!

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