The Green Wave: How the Cannabis Industry Became the Darling of the Fashion and Beauty Industries

The Green Wave: How the Cannabis Industry Became the Darling of the Fashion and Beauty Industries

Cannabis has enjoyed an image overhaul of which most politicians could only dream.

And no product has seen such a rush to fame as CBD. For those not in the know, CBD, which is found in cannabis and in its cousin, hemp, is non-psychoactive – in other words, it won’t get you high. And its appearing in products from creams and lotions, to lip balms and oils.

The beauty industry, never one to miss a trick, swiftly jumped on the weed wagon. Today, CBD is perhaps the buzziest and most bragged-about ingredient in high-end makeup, skincare and hair products. In Hollywood, the fashion stylist Karla Welch – who works with Olivia Wilde and Katy Perry – applies CBD lotion by Lord Jones, a brand based in Los Angeles, to clients’ legs and feet before they walk the red carpet.

It’s true: Cannabis-infused skincare is all the rage.

But as CBD oil scrubs up and goes mainstream, it is not easy to tell which products stand up to scrutiny. The consensus among dermatologists and dieticians is that the cannabinoids produced in plants are indeed exciting ingredients, but there is a huge amount of confusion among consumers.

“Phytocannabinoid-rich products applied topically to the skin can be extremely soothing when dealing with skin damage or inflammation of different kinds,” says Martina della Vedova, the lead nutritionist at  Natures Plus. But there is an important distinction between hempseed oil, which is made from the seeds of the cannabis plant, and CBD, which is extracted from the flowers and leaves.

“Hempseed-based products are a great way to keep skin naturally moisturised, thanks to the richness in omegas and beneficial oils,” says Della Vedova. “But hempseed oil doesn’t contain phytocannabinoids, so no comparison can be done with phytocannabinoid-rich products.” In other words, not all cannabis derivatives possess the same qualities – and not all CBD products are created equally.

No more stigma

“It used to be a thing — if you did pot brownies at a party, no one would ever talk to you again,” said a 40-something Manhattan socialite in the beauty industry.

“Now, the first thing people give you when you walk into their house are edibles . . . and these are Fortune 500 CEOs — Upper East Side, rule-abiding people.”

While recreational marijuana is still illegal in New York state and medical marijuana is only legal for those with serious diseases, more and more Gothamites are using cannabis. Some have tapped local chefs to make them custom marijuana-infused treats on the down low. And then, of course, there is the private-jet delivery method.

One Manhattan socialite who winters in Aspen, said her pot-loving friends are always trying to get her to transport weed for them from Colorado to New York on her private plane.

“I am the most popular girl,” she said with a laugh.

Gummy edibles, often resembling Sour Patch Kids, are big among parents on the bar mitzvah circuit, according to an NYC fashion publicist.

“You can go to multiple bar mitzvahs in a month with the same people again and again,” she said. “There’s only so much drinking people can do. You take it after the cocktail hour when you don’t need to worry about making conversation anymore.”

“It’s like what you’d get with a glass of wine,” an Upper East side woman said about her cannabis-infused chocolate covered coffee beans. “Snow days are a popular time to take them. There is an ongoing joke: ‘Is this a one- or two-coffee-bean snow day?’ A lot of 40-year-old women don’t want to go out and make snowmen in the cold with their kids. But after a coffee bean or two, you love the snow. You love snowmen. You love sledding. You love it all so much, you’re posting pics online.”

The most sought after items on the market? Marijuana­-infused topical lotions, which can be used for any­thing from pain relief to en­hanced sex.

And in a recent issue of Town & Country, writer Carol Mack said that the trendiest hostess gift in Aspen is a cannabis-infused vaginal cream said to increase sexual pleasure.

No doubt, the stigma surrounding marijuana has subsided.

Cannabis Jewelry

Another industry cashing in on the cannabis trend, is jewelry. Companies are popping up with their versions of cannabis leaf pendants, earrings and even cufflinks.

Everyone from soccer-moms to business executives to celebrities are now wearing these “cannabis-inspired” jewels. And many of them are so subtle, that it is often difficult to distinguish these items from any other type of “mainstream” jewelry.

Among the celebs seen sporting cannabis jewelry are Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, and Victoria’s Secret models Alessandra Ambrosio, Chanel Iman, and Emily Ratajkowski.

Genifer Murray, the Co-founder of GENIFER M Jewelry (, says that her company’s jewelry can help “start a conversation” about the healing properties of CBD and cannabis.

“We aim to create a space in which our customers can fully express their beliefs, hopes and passion for the healing properties of cannabis,” Murray said. “We want to shatter traditional perceptions of cannabis and reverse 90 years of negative propaganda.”

Some of the most trendy items are the company’s CBD- and THC-molecules, which offer an unusual fashion statement that will be understood by only a few. The Modern Leaf pendant, which is sold in five-point or seven-point leaves, is the company’s most popular item. The lovely leaf shape looks like a botanical design, and many will not even realize that it is modeled after a cannabis leaf.

Now soccer moms and business executives can wear cannabis-inspired jewelry, and no one will be the wiser.