The Future of Personal Care: What Are Cannabinoids?

Written by: Scott Sondles

People want to look good and feel good and that’s what has so many consumers interested in cannabinoid-infused personal care products. Cannabinoid formulations are going to become the future of the luxury personal care market.

The cannabidiol (CBD) or cannabinoid market has seen an explosion of growth over the last few years. Still, while perceptions have progressed toward CBD, the cannabinoid market isn’t close to reaching its potential. The wide-scale acceptance of cannabinoids in personal care formulations will allow the cannabinoid industry to flourish in the coming years. Cannabinoids or ‘endocannabinoid enhancing’ natural ingredients will become the new focus for high-quality personal care product formulation and the personal care market is rapidly growing as more global citizens enter the middle class. Cannabinoids are poised to have their biggest impact on the luxury personal care space or ‘masstige’ market.

Personal care products are the products we use to enhance hygiene or appearance and the super antioxidants called cannabinoids have become major personal care disruptors over the last few years. The future of personal care will include cannabinoid-infused cleansing pads, cotton pads, deodorant, facial tissue, lip balm, lotion, makeup, soap, facial cleanser, body wash, pomade, shaving cream, toothpaste, wet wipes, and shampoo. Many of these products have already come to market and many more are in the product pipelines. Hemp and marijuana are both members of the ‘cannabis sativa’ plant species but have several key differences. Consumers should no longer be fearful of hemp-based CBD simply because it’s associated with marijuana.

What are Cannabinoids?

Before you can understand the importance of cannabinoids in personal care products, it’s beneficial better to understand the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids are plant compounds or super-antioxidants that are found in the cannabis family of plants. Cannabinoids extracts derived from hemp plants are legal in all 50 states. These cannabinoids have beneficial therapeutic effects associated with chronic pain relief, anxiety and stress support, neurological protection, and other anti-inflammatory properties.

Over one hundred cannabinoids have been identified and they are 100% safe, outside of THC they have no psychoactive properties, and after nearly 10,000 years of use, there is no risk of overdose. CBD is the most popular non-psychoactive cannabinoid and CBD is most known for dealing with mild pain, anxiety, and stress.

CBD is on the verge of being a $20 billion dollar market by 2024 (the entire cannabinoid market is expected to be $45 billion by 2024) and CBD is currently being sold in stores such as CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Ulta Beauty, Sephora, and e-commerce stores are carrying CBD products in the thousands. Over the next five years, it is expected that the majority of CBD product sales will come from consumer packaged goods at retail stores. Seniors and younger generations alike are all keen on trying cannabinoid-based personal care products.

Endocannabinoid System

Cannabinoids provide antioxidant benefits, but they also provide wellness benefits by interacting with our endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is our body’s most intricate communication system and was discovered in the late 1980s, while researchers studied how cannabinoids interact on the cellular level. Modern science has confirmed that our endocannabinoid system is directly involved with our immune system response and hormone regulation. Cannabinoids’ ability to interact with our endocannabinoid system is unique to the cannabis family of plants. This is one reason for the recent surge in interest in cannabinoids. Besides naturally occurring cannabinoids, essential oils rich in aromatic terpenes may also be used to optimize the endocannabinoid system.

Medical Applications for Cannabinoids

CBD has already received FDA approval for medications. Product development teams at startup companies and international conglomerates pay attention to the benefits cannabinoids add to personal care products. The industry’s future will largely depend on future regulations and how these regulations affect market innovation. Regulatory reassurances and clarity will be necessary for the cannabinoid market to reach its potential. Still, industry experts have already reported that cannabinoids could become a significant part of alternative and preventive medicine.

Anti-aging Properties of Cannabinoids

The rise in demand for cannabinoid personal care products is driven by an increase in awareness of the medical benefits of cannabinoids and the ever-growing demand for anti-aging ingredients. Cannabinoids are one of the hottest anti-aging ingredients to hit the beauty and personal care market in the last 25 years, and they’re going to be around for the long-haul.

Cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory, pain relief, and antioxidant properties that encourage healthy cell regeneration. Cannabinoid personal care will change the way people view their overall wellness routine and propel the industry to new highs.

There is also a lot of confusion around hemp oil vs CBD oil. For a brief refresher, hemp oil comprises essential fatty acids and created from crushed hemp seeds. CBD oil is made up of bioactive compounds called cannabinoids and is extracted from female hemp flowers.

Balanced Health

The top personal care products of the future will have formulas that specifically target our endocannabinoid receptors. These products will have active ingredients and endocannabinoid precursors such as cannabinoids, essential fatty acids, and essential oils. Functional personal care products will minimize chronic body inflammation and optimize our underlying ‘endocannabinoid system tone’.

A healthy and functional endocannabinoid system is a sign of excellent health and immunity. CBD is the ultimate personal care ingredient and is a remarkable antioxidant to reach optimal wellness. Brands and manufacturers are just now beginning to diversify the product portfolios with CBD based formulas, and industry experts are predicting CBD products to become leaders in alternative pain management solutions. Personal care pain management products is a market that is expected to reach nearly $106 billion by 2024.


Sustainable natural brands are experiencing the fastest growth in the personal care industry, and all brands must consider the environmental effects of personal care packaging and toxic chemicals. The bioaccumulation of toxic personal care chemicals and ocean plastic accumulation is already proving detrimental to many aquatic ecosystems and coral reefs.  Hemp has a great reputation for being an environmentally friendly resource that sequesters carbon, and brands that begin to associate themselves with hemp will improve their environmental image.

The more farmland that we can commit to hemp cultivation, the bigger the environmental benefit. In the future, farmers will grow hemp for fiber, seed, and cannabinoids. All three of these raw materials can be used to manufacture personal care formulas and packaging.

Personal care brands and manufacturers have the responsibility to formulate healthy products for consumers and the environment. The environmental benefits of hemp and cannabinoids and will play a defining role in enhancing personal care products’ sustainability and quality.

Personal Care & Pharmaceutical

Biotechnology breakthroughs and leaps forward in scientific advancements have been the driving forces behind personal care improvements and the blurring of health and wellness markets. Personal care products of the 21st century are expected to have the very best ingredients. Adding non-psychoactive cannabinoids such as CBD to your products is a great way to associate your brand with the latest in scientific advancements in endocannabinoid research. Cannabinoid skincare treatments will be used to reduce the signs of aging, fight acne, and nearly all early research is suggesting that the endocannabinoid systems play a defining role in many skincare diseases. Other personal care products will utilize cannabinoids to formulate odor eating deodorants and even antimicrobial over-the-counter products for dealing with minor cuts, scaps, and wounds.

Future Research

As more companies get involved with the cannabinoid personal care market, we will see more studies and product-specific clinical studies. As this market grows, everything must be validated by science and perfected by smart product engineering.

There is no doubt about it, cannabinoids will become a significant ingredient in the most effective personal care products, and products infused with cannabinoids will become the new standard in quality. Over the next ten years, we will see cannabinoids become a staple ingredient in nearly every personal care product. At clēēn:tech, we are passionate about education and awareness for CBD and medical cannabis.