A New Contact High: Cannabis-Based Skincare

Turns out toking isn't the only way to enjoy a little green.

Images courtesy of Apothecanna and Malin+Goetz

Turns out toking isn't the only way to enjoy a little green. Recently, a crop of cannabis-based grooming products—ranging from skincare to fragrances and even candles—have hit the market, proving there's much more to marijuana than blazing it up.

Brands like Malin+Goetz, Fresh, and Demeter have taken some of the more familiar characteristics of the unmistakable scent of pot—which is slightly spicy and faintly floral and funky—softened it around the edges, and introduced it into fragrances, candles, and soap. Malin+Goetz's first cannabis-scented product, a candle, resonated with its customers so much that the brand also launched a perfume oil, and earlier this month, a three-in-one multitasker that performs as a hand soap, body wash, and bubble bath.

Apothecanna, a skincare line made in Colorado (the state legalized recreational marijuana use this year) offers a pain relief lotion, a stimulating body cream, and skin calming. But the company took things a step further by incorporating actual organic cannabis seed oil in all of its products. The ingredient "tells the skin to stop freaking out, and that everything will be cool," said James Kennedy, who founded the company. "It does a great job of balancing the skin and relieving irritation, and is really helpful with eczema, psoriasis, and even acne." What you won't experience here, however, are any of the side effects of actually smoking pot. "There is no psychoactive effect associated with topical cannabis, and it won't cause you to fail a drug test," he said.

While Kennedy extols the virtues of topically-applied cannabis, he acknowledges why the ingredient is so alluring and provocative, to both grooming brands and consumers. "Cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I drug. It can be used for medicine, and for marketing. The taboo surrounding cannabis excites people, and people love a good story."

—Katie Chang is a writer and shopkeeper based in Brooklyn. Follow her at @katieshewrote.

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