CBD Cosmetics Are Set to Be Big Business in Asia

The K-beauty trend is set to be taken over by the world of cannabis-infused cosmetics.

The non-intoxicating cannabis compound CBD has steadily become one of the most popular wellness products in the US. Some of the biggest names in beauty and wellness are now stocking numerous skincare and makeup products infused with the trendy cannabis derivative. By some estimates, CBD products could account for as much as 15 percent of the US$167 billion global skincare market in the not too distant future.

And now CBD seems destined to meet with the beauty world's other current obsession: Asian cosmetics brands.

China is increasingly likely to become the epicenter of CBD-infused cosmetics. China is simultaneously one of the world's biggest markets for for skincare and the global leader in hemp production. And while cannabis containing THC—the stuff in weed that gets you high—is illegal, the non-intoxicating CBD is legal in the country. CBD has also been legalized to some degree in neighboring Japan, South Korea and Thailand.

As the CBD craze begins to spread from the US to global markets, Asian hemp producers have already started gearing up for the market to explode in their own regions. Glenn Davies, CEO of Singapore-based hemp company CannAcubed, said the majority of the CBD oil they've produced this year was destined for cosmetic products. And as Jamie Gibson—CEO of the Hong Kong-based investment firm Regent Pacific Group—said, most of China's $15 billion CBD market is going the same way.

"There's no breakdown, but I would say that the [beauty and] wellness sector will be the main driver for this growth," said Gibson.


Saying you work in cannabis is sure to raise some eyebrows. Some people might be curious, others might not take you seriously, and still others might ask how they can invest. These cannabis executives dish on the reactions they get when they say they work in the space, and how those reactions have evolved over the past 10 years.

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