European Demand For CBD Cosmetics and Medicines

A recent survey from a CBD cosmetics company in Europe revealed that the majority of their clients were actually cannabis users. This came as no surprise to the cosmetic company, which had recently launched a line of CBD cosmetics for grown-ups, and whose parent corporation was a cannabis extract firm. The fact that the cosmetics were for adults only may have been a factor in the unexpected popularity of the hemp products. But the real question is why are so many adults choosing to incorporate hemp into their beauty regime?

Many European companies market themselves as “cosmetics,” but when it comes to CBD cosmetics, that word has a specific legal definition in Europe. In order to be marketed as a cosmetics product in Europe, any chemical must be approved by the European Union’s Cosmetic Products Agency. While oils, lotions, creams, bath gels, and “other similar substances” are allowed as ingredients, the more controversial “scents” – including cannabis-related scents – are not, and are limited to a maximum of one percent of a product. So why are Europeans turning to CBD cosmetics europe-wide?

There are at least two major reasons. The first is that European governments have for years shied away from fully legalized marijuana. While some countries, like the Netherlands, have voted to legalize the herb, most European nations have maintained their strict stance on the drug trade, seeing it as a criminal activity that threatens the security of the continent.

By making CBD products available over the counter, Europeans hope to take control of the growing industry in this untapped and often-forbidden area of the world. Even though the US government has taken a strong stance against recreational marijuana use, European retailers are free to sell CBD cosmetics and CBD hair oil to people who follow the law. That means potential legal income for European companies, many of which are small, startup companies without any real track record in the industry. The second reason is that CBD products containing cannabidiol and are beginning to become more popular in Europe, which is a positive sign for the CBD cosmetics regulation in the United States. (If the FDA ever began regulated CBD products, it could spell disaster for the US economy, which depends on American companies for its medical supplies and other items.)

In Europe, many companies sell CBD products in health food shops and online. Health food stores in particular have a lot of shop business because many people are now interested in buying products that don’t contain chemical preservatives, additives and artificial flavors. (Americans, by the way, have been buying huge amounts of CBD oil and other “natural” cosmetics from Europe for decades, but there has been very little promotion on the part of the European companies.) With some cities, like Amsterdam, already seeing a surge in CBD use among the city’s citizens, more locations may soon see a boost in business. With a little luck, the European companies will continue to grow the hemp and CBD cosmetics market into North America, eventually replacing more harmful chemical ingredients with beneficial, natural substances.

But the biggest thing that has put hemp and CBD-intel on the US healthcare map isn’t the European demand for these items. The largest thing is the US Food and Drug Administration’s acceptance of cannabis extracts as medicine. Although the CBD-intel industry has long opposed legalized cannabis, the FDA has finally let the cannabis market to take its chances. If the FDA says it approves, the market will be opened up to other types of cosmetics.

Even if the European companies’ products don’t make it across the Atlantic Ocean, the medicinal benefits of CBD cosmetics are clear. The oils, creams and potions are already sold legally in some European countries and they’re expected to be widely available in the US by next year. If the US FDA ever decides to regulate CBD-infused pharmaceuticals, American consumers will benefit from the worldwide trend towards herbal medicines.

So why haven’t more companies jumped on the “end products to your advantage” bandwagon? The answer lies in the fact that until recent years, the medical establishment in the US was largely opposed to the use of CBD-infused pharmaceuticals. Several major corporations, like GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer, severed ties with hemp companies because of their association with hemp growers. But under new leadership, these companies have recently signed deals with two major cosmetic manufacturers in Europe, allowing them to produce a line of CBD cosmetics in Europe.