Earlier this year, a survey of America’s top chefs predicted that CBD-infused beverages would be one of the top food trends of 2019. So far, it looks like they were right: New varieties of CBD sodas, coffees, and sports drinks seem to be coming out every week. But few could have anticipated the rise of another type of infused beverage — the CBD hyaluronic beauty drink.
The popularity of hyaluronic acid predates the rise of CBD in the beauty world. A gooey substance found naturally in the body, especially in our skin, connective tissues, and eyes, hyaluronic acid has long been used in a wide variety of beauty products, where it’s prized for its anti-aging properties. Today, it’s commonly found in serums, lotions, and creams.
However, it’s much less common to see hyaluronic acid in drinkable form — which opened up an opportunity for the German wellness company Oliveda to release the world’s first CBD-infused hyaluronic beauty drinks.
The brand’s drinks, which go by the curious name “The CBD Beauty Therapy”, were developed as part of a partnership with the Los Angeles-based beauty brand LA Dope, which Oliveda recently acquired. Each 17.5 ml bottle will contain 200 mg of hyaluronic acid, 1,000 mg of CBD (the brand doesn’t specify which kind), along with 6.3 mg of the antioxidant hydroxyturosol for oxidative stress protection. The products, which will launch in October 2019, do not yet have a price, and it’s not clear if they’ll be sold in other locations apart from Oliveda’s website.
You’d be forgiven if you’ve never heard the name Oliveda before, but if you have, you might already be intensely skeptical of these products. The brand also makes “CBD energy frequencies,” which are digital files that you can download onto your phone for a quick dose of non-physical CBD whenever you need it — a concept so farcical that it might be the clearest evidence yet that CBD has jumped the shark. But CBD hyaluronic beauty drinks are a real, tangible product at least, and there’s a good deal of evidence that its main ingredients do have a lot to offer beauty lovers.
Hyaluronic acid has been shown to help the skin retain moisture, accelerate the healing of wounds, and protect the skin against threats like UV rays, tobacco smoke, and pollution. It can even be effective when administered orally — a 2014 paper in Nutrition Journal found that “ingestion of HA moisturizes the skin and is expected to improve the quality of life for people who suffer from dry skin.”
CBD, meanwhile, is known to help calm skin inflammation and reduce redness, particularly for people who are prone to acne. The non-intoxicating compound also has antioxidant properties, which suggests it could help with reducing wrinkles and reversing the signs of aging. CBD is also gentle and soothing, making it a good choice for those with sensitive skin, rosacea, or rashes.
In terms of safety, both hyaluronic acid and CBD have positive profiles. According to drug database RxList, “Hyaluronic acid is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth,” while an investigation by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that CBD has no potential for significant side effects, though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has urged consumers to be cautious when using CBD products due to the prevalence of mislabeled or contaminated products.
However, CBD hyaluronic beauty drinks face the same issue that has stumped the makers of many CBD beverages: How to make a fat-soluble compound dissolve in water. Companies around the world are struggling to solve this problem, and Oliveda’s proposed solution doesn’t inspire much confidence. According to a recent press release, “CBD Beauty Therapy is not based on water, but on the highly-antioxidant beauty elixirs of cannabis plants.” Needless to say, this bowl of word salad tells us nothing about the techniques or technologies used to overcome the problems of making a water-soluble CBD molecule.
While the combination of CBD and hyaluronic acid do have much to offer skin care aficionados, you’re better off seeking these benefits in a cream or lotion rather than a bizarrely-marketed beverage from a gimmicky brand.