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CBD in Beauty Products, Is It Legal?

Since 2019, CBD-infused cosmetics have been meeting with a tremendous amount of success all around the globe. The use of cannabidiol in beauty products is subject to stringent laws, and in some countries it is even still illegal, despite the fact that sales are increasing and the future seems positive.

Have you ever given thought to whether or not the CBD-infused cosmetic products you use meet the requirements of international standards? 

The purpose of this article is to provide insight on ongoing cannabidiol restrictions and to help you get compliant labeling and formulation to any country's legislation. The article also aims to introduce regulations related to CBD in the European Union and the United Kingdom, as well as in other parts of the world. 

The use of CBD in the beauty sector

What exactly is CBD, and why is it used in beauty products?

Cannabidiol, often known as CBD, is an active component that belongs to the cannabinoid class of compounds and is found naturally in numerous Cannabis species as well as industrial hemp. CBD, in contrast to the psychoactive effect of THC, which is also found in cannabis, does not produce any psychoactive effects and may thus be utilized in cosmetics. 

It is considered to have antioxidant effects, as well as moisturizing characteristics, anti-sebum properties, or anti-aging properties, among other therapeutic advantages.

THC, on the other hand, can only be regarded as a contaminant and the maximum quantity that may be accepted in the final product varies greatly from country to country. While CBD can be legally utilized as an ingredient, THC cannot.


cbd cosmetic products 


CBD cosmetics trends

Since 2019, the market for CBD cosmetics has been a category that has been quickly expanding, which is encouraging for firms that want to join an area that is not yet saturated and has prospects in both mainstream and specialized markets.

The United States of America continues to be at the front of the pack, but other regions of the world, such as the European Union, may soon catch up to them. It is anticipated that the United Kingdom will emerge as a significant market for cannabidiol cosmetics. 

Cannabidiol (also known as CBD) is now all the rage, and industry experts anticipate that it will soon become an indispensable component in the cosmetics sector. CBD oil in particular is attracting a growing amount of attention from market participants and is increasingly being more incorporated into various formulas, such as those used in the formulation of cosmetics.

New CBD-infused cosmetics, haircare, and skincare products are continually being introduced to the market. This provides companies with the opportunity to develop cutting-edge beauty practices and game-changing ingredient combinations. 

Legal structure pertaining to cosmetics

Since 2020, CBD has not been considered a drug. Within the European Union (EU), an official record that dates back many decades and is kept by the European Parliament and the European Commission has listings for various cannabidiol species. 

Only the CBD species that are on the approved list may be utilized, and there is one additional requirement: the CBD compounds must be obtained only from the stem, fibers, or seeds of the cannabis plant, and their THC concentration must initially fall below a certain threshold. In point of fact, "the blossoming of fruiting tops of the cannabis plant" is expressly prohibited under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, which is still in place today. 

Because the legislation governing cosmetics in both the European Union and the United Kingdom make reference to this convention, the cosmetics industry in both regions follows these norms. 

Nevertheless, each EU member state has the authority to decide how to implement this law, which has led to a proliferation of national regulations. There is talk of harmonization on the European level, but until that happens, cosmetic companies need to make sure they are in compliance with every national legislation that is currently in effect. 

France is one of these countries; it permits the use of just a few CBD species that are recorded in the official European database, and it determines the maximum amount of THC that may be contained in a particular plant. Countries in Europe that are not members of the EU, such as Switzerland, also have discrepancies. CBD products are now being investigated for possible use as pharmaceuticals rather than cosmetics in Finland.


europe uk cbd cosmetics


Consequently, complying with cannabidiol cosmetics regulations in the EU and the UK is difficult. This is due, in the first place, to the various levels of regulation, which include the EU and Europe, the EU member states, and the United Kingdom, which share similarities at the moment but may diverge in the future. 

In addition, some representatives of EU member states have voiced their concerns regarding the safe use of CBD. These representatives have voiced their concerns primarily regarding the high levels of CBD that are sometimes found in cosmetics as well as claims that no longer fit the framework for cosmetics.

As a result, the EU commission intends to issue a call for data in order to formally request that the SCCS investigate the risks associated with the use of CBD in cosmetics. It is reasonable to anticipate that the use of CBD in cosmetics will soon be subject to further regulation in the EU.


How to fulfill the requirements

To summarize, the following are the considerations that need to be given in order to get a formula and label that are consistent with CBD cosmetic regulations: 

  • EU vs member state legislation (including future regulations to be adopted)
  • Toxicological examination of the CBD component, in accordance with article 3 of the EU Cosmetic Regulation Quality of the cannabis plant, THC level, and allowed CBD species
  • Cannabidiol should not be advertised as if it were THC (or Cannabis)

This last element is highly significant due to the fact that promoting THC is against the law. As a consequence of this, cosmetic companies should ensure that their marketing strategies, including the claims that they make, do not create misunderstanding between cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or, more broadly, between cannabis and pharmaceuticals.


In addition, the use of CBD is permitted in the EU and the UK, although despite this, the topic is still contentious. In point of fact, GAFA has banned CBD advertisements, and some of the most well-known payment service providers have the ability to ban the sale of hemp-related items.


As a result, the production of CBD cosmetics has to be done with an increased degree of caution, and selecting the appropriate claims and advertising is of the utmost importance.


CBD restrictions on an international scale for the cosmetics industry

CBD has been given the green light in a number of nations, including those that are members of the European Union (EU), which has imposed some restrictions on the amount of THC that may be included in cannabis and hemp products.


cbd around the world


How is cannabidiol (CBD) regulated in countries all around the world?

The CBD sector successfully lobbied for the legalization of hemp production in the United States in 2018, which has resulted in a robust market for CBD-infused cosmetics. In the same way as in the EU, the amount of THC that may be contained inside the plant is restricted (although the proportion is different than in the EU), and it can only be cultivated by those who have a valid cultivation license. 

In addition, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act makes it illegal to make therapeutic claims, even if the federal government and individual states are free to enforce their own laws, as is the case in California.


However, not every nation is as accepting of its citizens as the United States is. Cannabidiol (CBD) cosmetic products are considered Therapeutic Goods in Australia, which is one of those countries. Because of this, the legal criteria for importation are more complicated, which results in larger investments. In addition to this, the manufacturing process is carefully inspected, and it is required to adhere to the PIC/S GMP compliance regulations.


It is also possible to ban cosmetics containing CBD, as has been done in China from 2021 and in Canada since 2018. A number of ASEAN nations, such as Malaysia and the Philippines, have the same viewpoint.