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Cannabis beauty 101: All you need to know about adding CBD to your beauty regime

Meet your next skincare Holy Grail product, ladies! CBD aka cannabidiol seems to be the latest super-ingredient of the beauty world and here's what you need to know about it.

Arpita Kala
Eyebrows are sure to raise w hen you mention CBD beauty or cosmetics with cannabis-derived ingredient. However, the plant has more benefits than just being infamous as a recreational drug. As the CBD skincare craze grows in the West, closer home, you can expect legal CBD-infused products to hit Indian shores soon. So, we spoke to the crew at Bombay Hemp Company aka Boheco for their Ministry of AYUSH-approved products for all your aches and anti-ageing concerns.
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    “We have seen on the cosmetics side of the things that a lot of the larger organisations are picking up on CBD’s extremely beneficial effects of anti-ageing, skin tightening and clearer skin. These are the three advantages of CBD as compared to other cannabinoids”, says Avnish Pandya, co-founder and director of research & development, Boheco.

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    Is it legal?
    Much of the hype around CBD is courtesy it’s association with cannabis rather than the skincare aspect.
    However, sorry to burst your bubble, CBD has negligent THC – the psychoactive element of the plant.
    As Pandya puts it - Scientifically, the hemp plant is any cannabis plant with less than .3% of THC – the psychoactive element that causes euphoria. Meanwhile, cannabis is the botanical name of the plant – so everything under that will be called that whether it is industrial hemp or recreational, medical version.

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    And, unlike the common perception, there is not a blanket ban on all things cannabis. It is just that CBD is not exactly defined in the government rulebook and hence, in their eyes, it is no different than the psychoactive THC version.

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    “CBD is not classified as per regulation but it comes under the NDPS Act (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985) as an extract of the cannabis. This puts it in a position where CBD’s efficacy, safety and non-toxicity need to be proven to the government. So in that sense, to put it bluntly, there is no definition of CBD in any ministry today. This makes it really black and white in terms of legality. We are working with the ministry to begin defining it as a new category,” says Jahan Peston Jamas, the brand’s co-founder and director of strategy & collaborations.

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    How to get your CBD-fix?
    A quick Google search will show you an abundance of so-called Cannabidiol-infused skincare products, but not all of them are legal or even regulated. So, you won’t really know what you are putting on your skin…
    "Most of the CBD products are not legally registered in India. Almost 99.9% of the brands are taking advantage of the grey area in regulations and bringing in different batches of such product under different system codes to put it through customs. But then, they sell it online for a completely different use, “ says Pandya.

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    3 things to remember before buying your CBD product: 
    So, even if you plan to risk it, Jamas suggests the following checklist:
    Know the manufacturer: “First of all you need to see where the product is manufactured and whether it is in a state or country that has legitimate cannabis or hemp cultivation,” he says.
    Check for health regulator approval: “Whether manufactured in India or abroad, there should be notations of health or food department on the product especially if you are putting something on your skin or consuming it,” advises Jahan Peston Jamas.

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    • Lastly, and most importantly, is to make sure you buy the product from a brand you believe in.
    Even though the duo believes that India lags behind on the CBD craze but it may soon catch up. As Boheco gears up to add Ministry of AYUSH-approved, ayurvedic-CBD skincare products to their list of eco-friendly hemp textiles and medicines – they are aware they also have the past on their side. Cannabis has been mentioned in at least 7-8 authoritative ancient Indian literature as a relief for diseases ranging from dysmenorrhea, PCOD, different types of neuropathic or chronic pain, sexual health as well as using it for malnourishment.

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