Snoop Dogg put it on the map, Gwyneth Paltrow jumped on the bandwagon and now retail guru Martha Stewart has taken it mainstream by launching her own brand.
Celebrity or citizen, it’s hard to ignore the explosion of CBD, or therapeutic cannabidiol, in the beauty, natural health and wellness market.
But is it simply hype behind the hemp?
CBD is a close chemical cousin of another cannabinoid — tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
While THC gets you high, CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive properties and is available to buy as food and wellness supplements from health stores.
But, says the NHS, ‘there’s no guarantee these are of good quality or provide any health benefits’. Even Boots, which stocks CBD-based products, says ‘the scientific evidence remains a little sketchy’.
Nonetheless, the UK CBD market has hit £300million and is expected to surpass £690m by the end of 2021.
What does the expert advice say about CBD?
The UK Food Standards Agency advises against using cannabidiol extracts during pregnancy or breastfeeding, and for anyone taking any medication. It recommends healthy adults should take no more than 70mg a day
Why? Possibly because, amid the sketchiness, what little research on CBD there is does contain some intriguing promise.
The World Health Organisation says there is evidence that CBD can calm spasms during epileptic seizures and that early research suggests CBD may have therapeutic benefits for a range of medical conditions.
The actor Patrick Stewart uses a CBD topical spray to treat his arthritis. Former EastEnder Pam St Clement takes CBD oil drops for her polymyalgia rheumatica (an inflammatory condition), while Poppy Delevingne takes CBD Night Drops to aid her sleep.
Freddie Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen use Naturecan (CBD-infused arnica cream) to deal with injuries, while Paddy McGuinness takes a supplement to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Beauty brands are the latest market to harness the power of the cannabis plant.
They use hemp oil, which is technically slightly different from CBD because of the way it is extracted from the cannabis plant and is even less potent — though hemp oil and CBD can be mixed together.
Hemp oil is used in skincare products because it’s packed with fatty acids and omegas that balance and hydrate. So it’s no surprise that beauty brand This Works was bought last year by a CBD firm and is now rebranding with a CBD range.
If you want to try it but have concerns nutritionist neuroscientist and Dr Elisabeth Philipps, has advice. ‘The right product at the right dose for the right person can be brilliant — although it’s not a cure-all wonder drug,’ she says.
‘I’m a huge proponent of more research and better accessibility to good products, with good labelling.
‘We have strict laws in the UK on what you can claim, and although it’s a case of buyers beware, if you know your company, talk to them about what’s in their product or consult someone like myself.’
Interested in trying out CBD for yourself? Give these a go….
Rebound Plus Canna 360
A daily dose of 20mg of CBD (that’s 6% potency) along with vitamins C, B2, B6 and D, for a straightforward CBD supplement in vegan capsule form.
Lady A Daily Fix capsules
Made with rosehip oil and matcha green tea, these offer a slow-release of caffeine and 25mg of CBD to help you focus, sharpen your mind and sooth anxiety throughout the day (hopefully).
Scientia Green Supreme CBD Vegi-Tox Serum
This is like a morning smoothie for your skin.
Antioxidant goodies avocado, kiwi, pistachio, broccoli, aloe and sea kale, plus CBD and hemp, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid promise to energise, brighten and hydrate.
Naturecan’s CBD cookies and nut butter
Freddie Flintoff is a fan of the Milk Chocolate CBD Peanut Butter (£6.99) or make like Micah Richards and choose the CBD-infused double chocolate cookies — if nothing else, they’re delicious.
Dreem Distillery CBD Night Drops
Night Drops are loved by many, including Poppy Delevingne and Clara Paget. Try them 30 minutes before bed, to feel soothed, relaxed and sleepy.