Pharma Hemp positive about CBD beauty potential in APAC despite regulatory hurdles

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Pharma Hemp is maintaining a positive outlook on opportunities for CBD in APAC beauty market. [Mikka Skincare]
Pharma Hemp is maintaining a positive outlook on opportunities for CBD in APAC beauty market. [Mikka Skincare]

Related tags CBD beauty Hemp cannabidiol Skin care

Pharma Hemp is maintaining a positive outlook on opportunities for cannabidiol (CBD) in Asia Pacific’s beauty market despite the regulatory fluctuations and variations in the region.

CBD is a compound that is predominantly found in cannabis plants. It is a non-psychoactive compound with multiple beneficial effects on the human body, making it a sought-after material in the health and wellness sector.

As a cosmetic product, CBD has gained significant attention for its anti-inflammatory properties which help target acne-prone skin, sensitive skin, as well as ageing skin.

Additionally, the use of CBD has been explored in other beauty categories, including hair care and oral care.

Since the hype kicked off, it has been found in beauty products from brands such as Kiehl’s, Colgate, The Body Shop, E.L.F, and Milk Makeup.

In Asia Pacific, markets such as Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand were touted as major areas for growth for CBD beauty.

However, it hit a major hurdle when China introduced legislation to prohibit CBD use in cosmetics in 2021.

The regulatory uncertainties in the region have caused CBD beauty companies such as Balanced Health Botanicals, which owned skin care brand BOTA to shut down plans to expand​ in APAC completely, shifting focus to Europe and the US.

Despite this, Slovenian producer and supplier Pharma Hemp was still positive about the potential of CBD in APAC.

“We saw a boom with CBD in general, the hype was really big. Now, it’s started to normalise but there’s still potential. It’s really good for anxiety and sleep issue, people use it for pain as well. In cosmetics, it is very good for acne and trouble skin. We believe in its potential because the benefits of CBD are just numerous.

“Our main market is Europe, but we also have a company established in Japan. We are a global company. In Japan, CBD is still very popular. Australia as well, but slightly less. We are still constantly trying to get new customers from there,”​ said Marjeta Česen, chief regulatory officer, PharmaHemp.

She cited emerging trends in the market such as emotional beauty, which focuses on the mind-skin connection as a potential area for CBD beauty to tap into.

In addition to extracting and supplying CBD, the company also develops its own CBD beauty brand Mikka which is available in Japan.

Fight against adulteration

Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ at ingredients trade show in-cosmetics Global in April, Česen said that CBD’s biggest threat were adulterated products on the market.

“This is a big problem and something we are really trying to fight against. During the boom we saw a lot of companies – we call them garage businesses – that did not do their due diligence. We see big problems in the world of CBD adulteration.”

According to Česen, Pharma Hemp has its own in-house accredited analytical lab and also works with third-party laboratories to ensure the efficacy and safety of its products.

“We encourage everyone, not just our customers, to send us the samples so we can test it for them. We want to convince everyone that a certificate of analysis and cannabinoid profiling is really important.”

She added that the company also has the relevant certifications including Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for food and cosmetics.

“This is very important because having all these certificates is a rare thing in our business.”

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