Nail art called the “weed manicure” is trending right now.
Feature Image Photo Credit: @great_nails_bastrop/Instagram
In 2017, a new nail trend started to get the attention of the beauty world: the weed manicure. Cannabis-inspired nail art began taking over nail-focused social media channels. Gel nails suddenly received a weed-inspired makeover. But recently, the weed manicure trend moved in a slightly different direction — and one with possible skincare benefits.
As per a 2018 piece by Fashionista, weed manicures using cannabis-infused serums, creams, and massage oils may be the next big thing. If the market predictions for cannabis-based skincare are anything to go by, cannabinoid-infused nail care products may also see a rise in popularity.
For those with a pretence for a mani-pedi day at the spa, is the weed manicure a beauty trend with proven results?
What is a Weed Manicure?
According to Allure magazine, “the buzzy trend of weed nails and marijuana manicures involves nail artists crumbling marijuana leaves and placing specks onto the nail using a tweezer for precision.” The viral sensation, which is the weed manicure, must be seen to be believed. On Instagram, under the hashtag #Weedmanicure or #weednails, flashy photos of long nails tipped in green fill the screen.
There are thousands of google images of well-manicured hands sprinkled with trim, leaves, and matching green-crystals. In a world filled with kooky nail art trends, cannabis dipped tips have got to be one of the wildest.
Weed manicures have been popping up recently. The trend is mostly due to consumers in legal states loudly and proudly advertising their passion for the plant. Nail techs, accustomed to placing flower petals, crystals, and other decorations on fingernails, are now getting asked to place crushed herb. Using the plant as inspiration, nail artists are creating weed nail vibes with gold leaf, green polish, and even Bob Marley colors.
Yet, a weed manicure may begin to mean much more than just a fancy gel nail decoration. Cannabis is an aesthetic moving into nail care and manicure services all across the country. From polish brands like DopeNailz to CBD infused creams and massage oils, weed is infiltrating nail salons everywhere.
A weed manicure now no longer refers to a specific gel-nail aesthetic; it now refers to the manicure service. As Lina Abascal detailed for her piece in Fashionista, upscale nail salons like Bellacures nail spa are offering nail services complete with cannabis-infused products. Beauty journalists for Bustle and Forbes have headed into nail spas to experience the CBD manicure treatment for themselves.
Interestingly, all report soothing, moisturizing results from a cannabis-based manicure service.
The Newest Trend in Beauty: Cannabis
Although weed manicures may sound outlandish to the uninitiated, cannabis has been working its way into cosmetics and skincare for several years now. Market expectations for cannabis in cosmetics are positive, with some analysts predicting more than $900 million in global sales by 2024.
One of the biggest drivers behind cannabis’ rise in the cosmetics industry is cannabidiol (CBD). This is the primary non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis. Legal barriers to the production and sale of CBD are falling due to rapidly changing legislation around hemp farming. This benign cannabinoid ingredient is now popping up in health and wellness in a big way.
In early 2019, Shane MacGuill explained in a piece for Euromonitor International, “CBD is the current functional ingredient of choice,” and it’s become the new “superhero ingredient” in beauty and personal care products.
If historic beauty trends are anything to go by, CBD will make its way into every possible formulation. Just like how coconut oil and other popular ingredients flooded the market before it. CBD is now in skincare, makeup, haircare, and more. It’s no wonder cannabis is in nail care products in 2020.
Does a Weed Manicure Make the Difference in Nail Health?
Are the benefits of a weed manicure all hype? Or can a CBD-infused hand massage truly hydrate cuticles and improve overall nail health? At the time of writing, there was little to no research supporting cannabis-based products for better nail health.
Of course, hemp seed oil, derived from hemp seeds, is a longstanding ingredient in many topical products. Hemp seed oil has been much less controversial than cannabis over the years. So, there is a significant amount of preliminary research available on the anti-aging and hydrating qualities of the ingredient. Furthermore, incorporating hemp seed oil into skincare products and including those used within a complete weed-manicure service may deliver certain topical benefits.
While hemp and THC-rich cannabis are legally very different, they are at least the same species. But what about the benefits of cannabis and cannabinoids? Cannabis does have dozens of possible medicinal applications, and many of these applications suggest positive benefits for skincare.
Is the Promise of CBD Skincare Going to be Reality?
In “Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment, “ published in Molecules (2018), Bruni, N., Della Pepa, C., Oliaro-Bosso, S., Pessione, E., Gastaldi, D., & Dosio, F. (2018). Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), … Continue reading the authors present evidence for the anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic benefits when used topically or transdermally. Another benefit they found in the current body of research was the use of CBD for patients with epidermolysis bullosa. Topical applications reduced blisters and improved wound healing.
A weed manicure, meaning the flamboyant leaf-tipped nail art, is an art form, with no real benefits to skincare. But, if future clinical trials prove cannabinoids like CBD are beneficial for soothing skin irritations and arthritic pain, there would be direct applications for topicals in the health and wellness industry. Until then, a cannabis-infused manicure service is a trend somewhat based on hype and the booming demand for CBD.