Cannabis, a super ingredient in cosmetics

Cannabis, a super ingredient in cosmetics

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Some countries already sell cosmetic products such as lipsticks, masks and creams with Cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive compound found in Cannabis plants.

In LATAM the conditions are being met for countries to work on a responsible and convergent regulation that allows their commercialization. It was one of the reflections of the meeting "Use of ingredients derived from cannabis in cosmetics" organized by CASIC.

As science moves towards the development of cannabis products, the Latin American Council of the Cosmetics, Personal Grooming and Home Care Industry (CASIC) held a webinar to discuss the safe use of cannabis and its derivatives as an ingredient in cosmetic products .

Cannabis has been used for thousands of years. There is evidence of its use for the treatment of rheumatism, influenza and malaria in the Chinese medical treatises of 2700 B.C. In ancient Egypt, various papyri describe the administration of cannabis preparations in the treatment of various ailments. It was introduced to Europe in the 13th century and until the 19th century the Cannabis it was one of the preparations commonly used in medicine as an anticonvulsant, analgesic, anxiolytic, and antiemetic.

Different species of cannabis plants are found in nature, Cannabis sativa which has been the object of study in the CASIC webinar. The experts mentioned that there are two varieties of Cannabis sativa, and they differ in the concentration of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), its uses and effects: drug type (marijuana) and fibrous type (also known as hemp or hemp). THC is the main psychoactive compound, and CBD (Cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive compound present in the cannabis plant. Is he to the Cannabidiol is the component in which most medical and cosmetic properties are concentrated.

A study carried out with CBD on the function of the human sebaceous gland concludes that it behaves as a sebostatic agent, which validates the potential of Cannabidiol as a cosmetic ingredient for the care of oily skin. Additionally, antioxidant properties have been reported for cannabidiol, making its use even more attractive in this industry.

Carlos Caro, speaker at the event and Sr. Manager of Regulatory Affairs at Genomma Lab, explains that the discovery of an endogenous receptor system for cannabinoids marked the beginning of a new era of research on their therapeutic potentialities and, therefore, a more open stance of governments. In countries such as the United States and Colombia, among others, masks, creams, lipsticks, and many other cosmetic products using this ingredient are already produced and sold.

Different investigations have indicated that if derivatives of the hemp or hemp variety are used, with a low level of THC (less than 0.3%), their use is considered safe as a cosmetic ingredient. “It is essential to formulate cosmetic products with a safe design approach and rationally setting product specifications to ensure low THC,” says Caro.

Ivonne Alban, coordinator of Regulatory Affairs of the Chamber of the Cosmetics and Cleaning Industry of ANDI, Colombia, highlights that “the ingredients derived from cannabis that are included in international reference lists for cosmetics, as they are natural ingredients, must consider special considerations in the evaluation of the safety of the finished product that contains them, in addition to compliance with the limits established for this ingredient, in the new regulations that are emerging in the world, in order to guarantee the safety and legal conditions necessary for its commercialization ”.

In Colombia, the use of Cannabis as an ingredient in this type of product already has clear guidelines from the Colombian Authority for its commercialization, and to date there are more than 300 sanitary notifications granted by INVIMA for cosmetics with Cannabis, however, Meetings are being held between the Authorities of the Andean Community in order to generate a harmonized understanding on the use of this ingredient in cosmetics.

Paola Becvar, Senior Manager –Global Regulatory Affairs of Edgewell PC and Co-Chair of the Latin American Committee of PCPC (Personal Care Products Council of the United States) mentions that “in the United States, industrial Cannabis (Hemp or Hemp) is legal federal since December 2018 ”. It also adds that 33 states have already published or are in the process of approving regulations that approve the use of cannabis in medicinal products. Finally, it points out that the FDA continues to investigate the use of cannabis-derived ingredients in all the products that are under its scope (with an emphasis on food, food supplements and pharmaceutical products) with the aim of issuing policies and regulatory platforms in this regard.

Cannabis is a super ingredient that the consumer has been able to identify due to its multiple properties, and that the industry has placed in its priorities for the coming years. In Latin America, although the regulation is not yet ready in all cases for an early landing of cosmetics with Cannabis, the regulatory framework applicable to this type of products is preparing to take a step forward. Regulation in Latin America has evolved in substantial ways in recent years, and progress towards a convergent framework for the use of cannabis in this category will undoubtedly be a reality in the very near future.


CASIC - Council of the Cosmetics, Personal Grooming and Home Care Industry of Latin America- is an international non-profit organization that, since its creation in November 1999, has been consolidating and strengthening until today it represents 100% of the Associations of the Cosmetic Industry of Latin America, of which 70% of them also represent the Home Care category, with more than 1000 affiliated companies in the sector employing directly and indirectly more than 1.2 million people, with the objective of turning Latin America into a market convergent to the best international practices that allow us to grow in a sustainable way in the industries we represent.

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