Cannabis: formally frowned upon as a demon drug; wacky ‘baccie, The Devil’s lettuce, Beelzebub’s broccoli, once comparable to crack cocaine and amphetamines, is now one of the bestselling items in your local cosmetic store.

We’re not talking about over-the-counter mind-bending psychotics that are going to evoke two hours of frightful forgetfulness, or cravings for chocolate and cheese-based-naughtiness, but more so nourishing CBD infused cosmetics, along with a whole array of cannabis-based edibles.

But all that is set to change…

While CBD (Cannabidiol) is the most prominent and certainly the most widely discussed element of cannabinoid-based products, used as a remedy for anxiety, pain-relief, with anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties, THC, (the psychoactive compound in Cannabis that results in those red eyes and giggle fits) is also beginning to slowly make an appearance.


Most CBD products actually contain a tiny percentage of THC, as it’s thought to activate the body’s endocannabinoid system  (yes, our bodies have a “weed” system) and enhance the calming, therapeutic effects of CBD. Don’t worry though, these products definitely won’t get you high, it’s just a smidge to activate the good stuff.


Science, hey?!

Cannabinoids – are set to dominate every major industry, and legalisation of cannabis means CBD is only the start.

How cannabinoids will disrupt beauty and personal care:

Cannabis in beauty is nothing new but the CBD revolution has meant that references to hemp have been replaced by ‘superhero ingredient CBD’ with its supposed oil-balancing, anti-oxidising and anti-inflammatory properties.  These days there are more CBD skin-care products than you can shake a bong at, and the potential for beauty and personal care brands will only grow with legalisation.

Euromonitor expects skin-care to be the main driver of Cannabinoid beauty growth as brands operating in the therapeutic and dermocosmetic space will pull together current holistic and health-based beauty trends. Meanwhile  THC beauty products will align trends in neurocosmetics. In layman’s terms, chemicals that are believed to affect the brain in a positive way, such as soluble, digestible, CBD oil will only grow in prominence. Irina Barbalova, Global Lead of Beauty & Personal Care at Euromonitor International suggests that cannabis may well become as ubiquitous as any other mainstream beauty ingredient in the not so distant future. As products continue to develop, the use of CBD will surely be hard to resist by larger companies. Health is becoming intrinsic in every brand’s strategy, cannabis’ remedial and therapeutic properties present an immediate investment opportunity and will become as recognisable as any other active ingredient in these products, in the very near future – good news for every edgy design agency in London!

How cannabinoids will disrupt packaged food:

The standards and expectations of packaged food are in a constant state of evolutionary development, racing to keep up with ever changing societal standards. Hemp first showed its face years ago as a braggadocious, protein affluent superfood in the form of hemp seeds, protein bars, hemp milk and oil. Although deriving from the same raw ingredient, cannabis, the difference here is the missing element of CBD.

Euromonitor International expects global sales of CBD packaged foods to double over the next two years, as consumer awareness grows of the ingredient’s benefits.

Now, food products will not only be marketed on a nutritional level, but also in a way where food will also be sold for specific conditions that CBD can assist in. Here, we will see the market becoming dominated by outcome-based products, where food will also be seen as medicinal, blurring the line between food and consumer health.  Presently, CBD food products are purely sold in the form of confectionary, but as the normalisation of cannabinoids in mainstream food ubiquitously become an active ingredient, cannabis will become prevalent in a whole range of food categories, such as bakery products, pasta, soups and any other savoury goodies you can think of.

Just as vegetarian and vegan brands were barely even conceptual a decade or so ago, plant-based foods have now disrupted the entire packaged food industry – look towards Linda McCartney, VioLife, and all those other delicious, animal-free brands we see on supermarket shelves on a daily basis. Equally, cannabis will play its role in bringing a brand new, medicinally beneficial edge to mindful consumption. Consumers will not only look for food that will boost their body, but also their minds – Who would have thought?

How cannabinoids will disrupt drinks:

Alcoholic drinks will need to take a ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ approach if they’re to weather the weed-revolution. But while three major alcoholic drinks producers have successfully jumped on the CBD bandwagon, there has been little research into the effects of mixing THC in alcohol so for now, consumers and brands will have to pick their poison.

As the drinks market moves towards no alcohol or low alcohol, THC provides a good alternative for buzz-seekers, whilst simultaneously retaining the social aspect of “going out for a drink”.

The soft drinks market is also cashing in on cannabinoids – with CBD drinks (literally everywhere, do they work? Who even knows) replacing sugar for a potentially healthier buzz.

With soft and alcoholic drinks fusing into an alternative CBD or THC infused drinks category, an opportunity is created for a ‘good for you’ beverage that capitalises on social drinking, but remains aligned with the wellness, healthy living trend.

In summary…

If we thought the face of cannabis infused FMCG brands has changed, we’ve not seen anything yet. The report outlines how by 2030, the cannabis market will move from quirky artisan brands to big players, from household brand names.

It’s only a matter of time legalisation of cannabis will create a cash-cow opportunity for emerging brands and household names as THC will be come routine ingredient in our daily lives.

The ‘sensorial’ social lubricating properties of cannabinoids will change how we socialise, falling out of a club with a KFC drumstick in one hand and a shot of Jager in the other (what? we’ve never done that) is so 2012, slow-living will only get slower with this chill-inducing ingredient in, well, pretty much everything from coffee, to toiletries, to your evening tipple.