Experts talk to CHICA about the benefits of increasingly popular CBD and hemp seed oil products, which are set to take over the beauty and food health-focused industries.

Cannabidiol oil, aka CBD oil, and hemp seed oil have been growing in popularity. And since hemp was designated legal in the U.S. in December 2018, CBD-related products have been called the next gold rush with financial estimates in the billions for the industry. But the business is not about catching a buzz. Although both oils come from the cannabis plant, using items infused with these substances won't get you “high,” assures Dr. Christian González, chief medical officer of Spine and Wellness Centers of America: “This does not create a high elevated mood behavior.” In other words, you won't get the same effects as smoking a marijuana joint! CBD and hemp seed oils are are being widely used in food and beauty products. You can find them in soaps, face creams and hair care products and as additives to coffee, smoothies and even alcoholic beverages.

“I started utilizing CBD products in 2006,” González says. “From a medical pain management standpoint, I've seen very good results. In the world of pain management, we have opiates and there is an opiate crisis. Why not try something natural?” he adds.

Dr. González

González says over the years he has witnessed the medical benefits of CBD oil. “CBD is an anti-inflammatory, our bodies have receptors for it, so it's something we produce naturally. It also has anti-seizure properties. It has antioxidant properties so if you're a smoker, someone working in a mine or in construction, around dirt and pollutants. All of this creates free radical cells in our body that can create cancer. We don't ever say that CBD is anti-cancer, but it's certainly antioxidant and it helps the body get rid of free radicals that form cancer cells. Lastly, it helps with anxiety. People who are very anxious should highly consider using CBD oil,” he recommends.

González, who is Puerto Rican, says it's unfortunate that there are so many stigmas attached to the use of marijuana for medical reasons and the use of CBD oil products, especially in the Hispanic community. “They consider marijuana users losers, they have that stigma that marijuana is associated with beach bums, lazy people who don't want to deal with life. Because of that, unfortunately, the European and American patients are way more open and liberal about using CBD products than Latin Americans.”


However, CBD oil is still not FDA approved. Why? Brandon Beatty, CEO of Bluebird Botanicals, told CHICA: “The FDA is still conducting research on CBD as an approved dietary supplement.” Shortly after the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the FDA released a statement clarifying their stance on CBD. Beatty adds, “They acknowledged its growing popularity and potential as a health supplement.” The FDA statement says the group will hold a public meeting in the near future to address the future of CBD regulations.

Also, although CBD-infused products have been more popular as additives to coffee drinks and alcoholic beverages, New York City has ordered coffee shops and bars to stop serving these. Will this affect the market? Not in Beatty's opinion. “CBD is already widely accepted and sold,” he says, noting that the 2018 Farm Bill has made hemp fully federally legal. “CBD-infused products have been popping up in restaurants and coffee shops all over the country.” Beatty explains that there are many other ways to get your daily CBD fix, including vape juice, snack foods and candies. Expect to start ”seeing CBD in major supermarkets and retail stores,” he adds.


Why is CBD trending now? “The quest toward better health is becoming increasingly important to many Americans,” says Beatty. “Humans have known about the power of hemp for decades. Now, the social and political climate is finally shifting to allow everyone to experience its power. Hemp has been removed from the Controlled Substances Act and is permanently legal for the first time in over 40 years.“

Dr. Maribel Pedrozo, who owns Biobell Oriental MedSpa in Miami and has celebrity clients like singer Karol G and actress and TV host Adamari López, joined the debate about the use of hemp seed oil in beauty and skin-care products. “Hemp seed oil or Cannabis oil — after being filtered and naturally purified — is used as the main ingredient in products like soaps, serums, moisturizers, and hair products,” the Colombian aesthetician, known as “The Beauty Alchemist,” tells CHICA.

In order to fully experience its natural beautifying qualities, Pedrozo says CBD oil must be in its purest form and not contain other chemicals, conservatives or additives. “When you apply it to your face or neck, you'll notice your skin will be softer, smoother, clean, radiant and youthful,” she adds. “Like many other oils extracted from nature, it has anti-aging, antioxidant, hydrating and regenerating effects. It doesn't clog your pores, it's hypoallergenic and good for sensitive skin types.”

Maribel Pedrozo, Alessandra Villegas
Dr. Pedrozo, the Beauty Alchemist

According to Pedrozo, the healing properties of hemp seed oil could also help patients suffering from psoriasis, eczema and acne, since it's a natural anti-inflammatory substance with a high level of Vitamin D and Omegas 3, 6 and 9. However, there is still more to be learned about its effects. “It's an oil that is barely starting to be used in beauty and medicine, so we'll have to wait for further clinical studies on its long-term benefits as well as its contraindications,“ Pedrozo warns. “So far, it looks like it will be a great ally of beauty.”

Dr. González also emphasizes that not all products claiming to have CBD in their labels have the correct dosage or healing components. “There is a bunch of crooks and companies that claim that they have CBD products and use certain dosages. Unfortunately, they have found that the majority of these products including big name brands are not the adequate ones. You have to go to a professional with expertise in the use of medical marijuana and CBD. Always look for “organic full-spectrum” CBD oil or pills,” he advises. Products with the correct dosage, he says, range in price from $70 to $150. “If you get products for $10 or $15, the dosage was probably inadequate,” he adds.