CBD is a plant-based oil.

For good reason, CBD-infused beauty products are all the rage with new products coming to market daily. What isn’t being talked about, but should be, is the “greenwashing” of CBD, meaning everyone is using CBD to look like they have a trendy, natural product, but the way it is being used and formulated doesn’t actually provide its touted benefits.

Every day you can read publications with attention-grabbing headlines about how many CBD products there now are and about what impactful health benefits they produce, but are companies delivering CBD products that actually have benefits?

I’ve always been drawn to natural ingredients that are intensely effective, which is what I used to base the vegan beauty brand I started a few years ago. It’s clear that CBD has amazing benefits but topically, the CBD molecules in their natural form are often too big to penetrate the skin. That’s why, at Vegamour we’ve micro-encapsulated the CBD molecules in our topical formulas, breaking them down to 100 nanometers from 1,200 to 2,000 nanometers, which allows them to penetrate into the upper layer of the dermis and into the hair follicle roots.

I’ve seen several skin-care lines come to market that isn’t doing that, therefore it’s kind of a mystery to me as to how the CBD benefits being claimed by many of these products are, in fact, working as advertised. In many cases, the consumer may not be aware that they aren’t getting the benefits they sought out.

Having spent the better half of my career researching, testing, and creating natural formulas, I am a huge proponent of CBD products. What needs to happen in this space is for brands to be honest and create products not just to be on trend and for sales but formulated to provide the true benefits.

Our research into CBD as shown that it was practically designed by nature to help promote healthy hair growth. It increases blood circulation around hair follicles and instantly reduces inflammation upon contact with the skin. Also, by reducing stress and anxiety and improving sleep, it helps to lower cortisol levels, which causes both hair loss and weight gain. Added with vitamins to help hair grow and become stronger, as an indigestible, it balances the endocannabinoid system that is beneficial for both hair and overall body wellness. That’s why it’s understandably popular. But let’s make sure it is formulated to work first before jumping into the game.

CBD is short for cannabidiol, a naturally occurring substance found in cannabis plants, like hemp and marijuana. It is not to be confused with THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s intoxicating effects, but CBD does not contain any of the psychoactive properties and thus does not get users “high” if produced correctly. As CBD is not yet regulated, it is important to note that manufacturers should have a direct relationship with the harvester and a deep knowledge of the process to remove the THC so it is extracted correctly.

All of these steps, making sure CBD is broken down, harvested and processed correctly, will make all of us in the industry more responsible to the customers we are asking to trust our brand and the benefits we are selling.

Daniel Hodgdon is cofounder and chief executive officer of Vegamour, a vegan hair wellness company that uses plant-derived actives with proven clinical and visible results.

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