Depending on your location, you can find CBD-infused products like CBD pain relief cream, CBD-infused coffees or cakes, or even natural cosmetics featuring the cannabis-derived component.

It’s safe to say that we have definitely reached the height of the CBD craze, and federal agencies like the FDA are starting to feel the heat. Consumers and business owners are expressing their growing interest in CBD products and are asking the FDA to legalize and regulate CBD in its various forms.

One of the newest discussions regarding CBD infusion is natural cosmetics and whether these products are legal to sell within the United States.

How does the FDA define cosmetic products?

The FDA defines cosmetics as products “intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled or sprayed on … or otherwise applied to the human body … for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering appearance.” Soap is the only exception which is classified separately.


What is the FDA process when it comes to cosmetics?

All products for consumption, like food and drugs, must be approved before their emergence on the market. Cosmetics, in general, on the other hand, are not required to be approved. Only color additives are required to go through pre-market testing.

Instead, the FDA relies on consumer reports and complaints to discover which products are potentially dangerous and should be removed from the shelves.

Over the past few years, Congress has been discussing giving the FDA a broader and more intensive jurisdiction over cosmetics, but nothing has happened of yet.

What are the FDA guidelines regarding CBD topicals and cosmetics?

FDA developments regarding CBD topicals and cosmetics are even more important following announcements from CVS and Walgreens that they will be introducing CBD topicals, including CBD pain relief creams, to their line up in some states.

These announcements caused some concerns on the FDA’s side, as former commissioner Scott Gottlieb released his own statement on Twitter. He expressed that all national chains like CVS will be contacted regarding FDA obligations and guidelines.

The FDA has long maintained that CBD derived from hemp cannot be added to food, drinks, or dietary supplements. However, the area is a little unclear when it comes to cosmetics. Certain ingredients, like chloroform, are strictly regulated by the FDA in the cosmetics industry. However, pure cannabis, as well as cannabis-derived ingredients or additives, do not fall into this category.

The only regulation the FDA has released in direct connection with cannabis is that it cannot be used in any cosmetic product if it lowers the quality of the cosmetic or can cause bodily harm. However, due to the standing FDA process when it comes to cosmetics, the FDA likely won’t be aware of any negative effects until the CBD products have already been on the shelves for some time and consumers start to report issues.

Why are companies choosing to feature CBD in their cosmetic products?

Why are companies choosing to feature CBD in their cosmetic products?

Material replacement for vegan brands

Milk Makeup, a popular brand among 20-somethings, recently released their own mascara featuring CBD oil. This choice resulted from the brand’s switch to being 100% vegan and on the search for a beeswax alternative. The brand also claims that this CBD oil conditions your lashes.

Anti-inflammatory and moisturizing benefits

Vertly lip balms contain varying levels of CBD and THC, so it can only be sold in states where marijuana is legal. The company claims that adding CBD offers anti-inflammatory and moisturizing benefits that can’t be achieved with any other additive.

Is it safe to buy CBD-infused cosmetics?

Unfortunately, there is no clear answer. Products on the medical side of things, like CBD oil for pain management or CBD pain relief rubs, are generally safe to buy.

Cosmetic products that are applied close to, or on orifices like mascara or lipstick, become a bit more questionable. Since the cosmetics industry is not yet regulated by the FDA when it comes to cosmetics and their potential benefits or drawbacks, consumers cannot be sure of the quality and strength of the CBD.

Before jumping on the CBD cosmetics bandwagon, it is important to do your research. The bottom line is to trust your gut feeling. If a brand is promoting a product with benefits that seem too good to be true, they probably are.