Cannabis-based skincare seemed like a fad at first, but the trendy ingredient is proving to be one of the most powerful forces in the skincare industry. Known for its calming and restorative effects on the skin, cannabis is becoming a go-to for those suffering from dryness, irritation, stress, inflammation, and redness. “It’s one of the most amazing ingredients for skincare,” High Beauty founder Melissa Jochim tells SheFinds.

Not sure how to navigate the cannabis-CBD-hemp skincare world? Here’s everything you need to know:

What Is CBD?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant. Will CBD get you high? Nope. Junella Chin, DO, an osteopathic physician and a medical cannabis expert for cannabisMD, assures that the buzzworthy ingredient will not alter you in any way. “CBD is the non-psychoactive portion of the plant, so what that means is you won’t have any effects like euphoria,” she tells When used in skincare and wellness products, CBD effects the body by soothing any pain, discomfort, or inflammation and promoting relaxation and calmness.


THC is the other compound found in the cannabis plant that is responsible for creating the psychoactive effects of “getting high.” But like CBD, THC also provides benefits for the body. There’s evidence that suggests CBD works best for pain management when combined with THC. “Depending on what type of pain you have, you might be able to do just CBD, but sometimes you need CBD and THC,” Houman Danesh, MD, director of integrative pain management for the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, says. Talk to your doctor to find the appropriate dosage of each to manage your pain levels.

CBD Vs. Hemp Oil

Hemp oil is another cannabis term that often gets thrown into the mix when talking about CBD beauty products. Hemp is one of the two primary species of the Cannabis sativa plant (the other is marijuana) and it contains a higher percentage of CBD. When used in skincare and wellness products, hemp oil refers to the oil that has been extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant, meaning that it is free of CBD and THC. Hemp oil beauty benefits those with dry or irritated skin and can help alleviate the symptoms associated with stress and inflammation, including uneven texture and tone and redness. That’s because this natural oil is rich in omega fatty acids and vitamin E, giving it great skin-healing powers. The nourishing, amino acid-rich oil helps soothe irritation and impart a glow.

Cannabis oil, however, is made from the leaves and the flowers of the plant and does not contain much THC. But like hemp oil, it boasts several skincare benefits and can make an excellent addition to your current regimen. “[It’s] awesome for inflammation and [is] going to be healing, especially if you have breakouts,” Jochim explains. “It also helps with overall aging and inflammation that leads to aging. It’s apoptogenic, which means it’s going to balance your skin if you’re oily and it’s going to give you oil if you’re dry. And then beyond that, it’s jammed with antioxidants and bioflavonoids.” Cannabis sativa oil is also used in skincare to provide essential moisture and nourishment while helping strengthen skin’s barrier. It contains less than 0.3% of THC and does not possess any non-psychoactive properties.

The Best Cannabis Beauty Products

Now that you’re up to speed, check out some of our editors’ favorite CBD beauty brands and products. We’ve also included some cannabis sativa oil picks and hemp health and beauty products that will help get your skin even and radiant as well: