Heels. Why do we put ourselves through the pain? I’ll tell you why: longer, slimmer legs. Now that awards season is upon us, or upon the celebrities who face the next few months teetering on vertiginous footwear, Hollywood stylists have come up with a solution involving cannabis. No, no. They’re not adding bleary eyes and a case of the munchies to the look. It’s all about the beauty world’s new favourite ingredient: CBD oil.
CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound first extracted from the cannabis plant in 1940. To the disappointment of some, it does not contain high-inducing THC. It is believed to provide relief from pain, anxiety and stress but I’d like to see more research to back up the claims.
Others market its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and numbing properties, and it is even touted as a therapy for eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and epilepsy. In the beauty industry, it’s used in creams, tinctures, moisturisers, oils, masks, serums, bath bombs, vapes, sprays and pretty much anything you can pack it into.
The beauty industry thrives on novelty. We’ve cycled through snail mucus, bee venom, salmon eggs and 24-carat gold, so why not cannabis? Since recreational marijuana use was legalised in various countries, we’ve seen cannabis-derived products move from “head shops” to mainstream stores such as Barneys and Neiman Marcus. Last year, Origins, which is owned by cosmetics giant Estée Lauder, launched the Hello, Calm mask made with cannabis sativa seed oil.
Don’t worry. Contrary to another cannabis stereotype, CBD-infused products will not have you smelling like a patchouli-doused hippie. Instead, you will find elegantly packaged, sophisticated products scented or unscented like any other cosmetic. Lord Jones may be the highest-profile brand. According to the Page Six gossip website, celebrities such as Michelle Williams and Mandy Moore swear by its High CBD Body Lotion. Karla Welch, stylist to Sarah Paulson, Karlie Kloss and Olivia Wilde, is not alone in having recently raved about it on Instagram.
Unlike flash-in-the-pan fads such as snake venom, CBD has long-term investors. Dedicated retailers including White Label CBD Market, Fleur Marché and Miss Grass are claiming to be competitors to established beauty retailers such as Sephora.
I’d still advise caution, though. Certain CBD products include THC. Originally, Lord Jones made its cream with both CBD and THC, before removing the latter for wider distribution. Cannabis sativa oil is derived from hemp seeds with negligible to zero traces of THC. Hemp seed oil is high in omega fatty acids and therefore popular in anti-ageing products. It is different from CBD oil, which is extracted from the flowers and the buds of marijuana or hemp plants.
The legality of CBD remains in a grey area. The Hong Kong government website is vague but suggests you might need a prescription for CBD. I’ll use mine at home but I won’t cross international borders with it. I love my heels, but I won’t do jail time for them.
*This article has been updated to correct an earlier version, which misstated that hemp oil was different from CBD oil.