As the burgeoning cannabis industry goes more mainstream and increasingly overlaps with the luxury lifestyle space, it has, naturally, taken cues — and borrowed talent — from fashion and beauty. One of the key players in the fashion-adjacent branding of marijuana is Beboe, which has been referred to as both "the Hermès of marijuana" and "the LVMH of cannabis." Founded by tattoo artist Scott Campbell, the aesthetically minded, Los Angeles-based company sells vape pens and pastilles beloved by the fashion crowd — and now, it's turning its attention to beauty products.
On Wednesday, Beboe announced its first foray into skin care with Beboe Therapies, a two-product range featuring a serum and sheet masks spiked with full-spectrum CBD. With plans to sell directly to consumers through BeboeTherapies.com as well as via a new partnership with Barneys' The High End, Beboe's aim is to be "one of the first companies to tackle CBD skin care from a place of deep cannabis education." Ahead of the Beboe Therapies launch on April 1, Campbell took some time to chat with Fashionista about how the products came about, what his background in tattoos taught him about skin and what CBD in sheet mask form can do. Read on for the highlights.
Tell me about how the skin-care products came about. There's so much going on with CBD in beauty right now.
CBD is such a new, highly-Googled thing, and we live and breathe cannabis all day long. We're very involved and have a very intimate relationship with the plant, and we just see the letters 'CBD' on all these press releases everywhere. There's, like, fuckin' CBD shoe laces and things that don't make sense — people have no idea what they're doing. We get a lot of requests to collaborate because all these huge brands want to figure out a way to use CBD, but they don't know anything about it, so they're like, 'Oh, we'll partner with Beboe, that way people will take us seriously.' We realized that they were just trying to figure out how to work CBD into a press release, and not actually work it into a product in a way that's functional.
Some of our investors have their own beauty companies and helped us navigate the landscape of formulators. There are no real authorities in the CBD space because it's so new.
This is obviously a very streamlined edit of products. Why did you want to start with just these two?
Those are the ones my wife [actress Lake Bell] liked. She's very much the muse and inspiration and quality control for Beboe Therapies. She's gone through so many samples and so many prototypes, giving notes on what she likes. We have other things that we'll be launching later this year; for now, those two were her favorites.
Who do you see using these products? Is it existing Beboe customers? Or people who maybe aren't as familiar with the brand or with CDB in general?
The efficacy of CBD is more and more publicized these days, and yeah, I think it's existing Beboe customers for sure, but there's a lot of potential Beboe customers that live in states where they can't get THC products. So it's also a way for us to connect with an audience that is nationwide, and not just in the states where marijuana is legalized. It's for people who are curious about CBD, but mistrustful of people making CBD products that don't grow weed. It's CBD that's been vetted.
What is the purpose of using CBD in topical skin care like this? What can someone expect in terms of benefits and using these products?
It's kind of gray area — even though there are actual studies proving certain things about CBD, we still aren't allowed to say them in press because of the FDA. It's super frustrating and very counterproductive, but we have to be very careful in our communications and just lean on citing research that's third-party, and testimonials, but because the FDA is still very iffy on CBD, I can't actually tell people what studies have shown it to do.
Is there anything you can say about the benefits of using these products? For example, are they moisturizing?
I feel like there's a lot of skepticism toward CBD because there's so many claims around what it does. People are like, 'Oh, it's good for epilepsy. It's good for arthritis. It's good for inflammation.' All those are benefits of it, but it's hard to believe that one thing can do that many things.
I actually sat down with one of the heads of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, who we work with a regular basis, and he explained it to me in a way that was really helpful: Basically, our body has an endo-cannabinoid system, which was discovered when researchers were trying to figure out what receptors respond to THC in our bodies. They were trying to figure out what, actually, cannabis is affecting, and they discovered this system of over 100 different compounds and these cannabinoid receptors in our cells that operate almost like an endocrine system, like a system of hormones.
Basically, CBD itself doesn't intervene in any processes already happening in your body. Studies show that it acts as like a preservative for those communicating chemicals that are in your body already. So basically, your body has a system of maintaining homeostasis, of maintaining normalcy. Recent studies are showing that CBD just acts as a preservative and an amplifier of those systems your body already has in place.
And so how does that come into play in these topical skin-care products?
There definitely is a lot of confusion about how to take CBD, and ingesting it is different than obviously just applying it to your face, but it's known to be effective transdermally. Basically, it just helps your skin maintain normalcy, to be healthy. If there's nothing wrong with your skin, you won't notice a huge difference. If there is inflammation, irritation or puffiness, it's really effective in helping it get back to a normal state.
Did your background as a tattoo artist and all the time you've spent working on skin come into play at all with formulating them?
I mean, yeah, I've been touching skin for 20 years. It's funny, I was trying to figure out the other day how many square feet of human skin I've shaved in my career to put tattoos on, and it's got to be football fields by now. It's definitely given me an appreciation and ability to recognize abnormalities in skin and healthy skin. Not only have I had my hands on skin for 20 years, but I've seen how skin heals; by the act of tattooing, you're injuring the skin, and then watching how fast it recovers. Different things can help it recover faster and slower. So yeah, it's definitely within my wheelhouse.
Would you recommend these products to help with post-tattoo healing?
I wouldn't advise them for tattoos — there's products coming out later this year that would be good for that. Oil-based [products] on actual open wounds like a tattoo, I wouldn't advise. We have some water-based products [coming in the future] could definitely be great for that.
You can really see Beboe's branding and aesthetic in the packaging of these products. How important was it for that to come across?
I'm a very aesthetic-driven person. But more than just my own taste, I think with products that are new to people, ones that contain CBD or THC, the presentation is part of the vetting process. If you don't know about CBD products, then you encounter ours, it's easy to see that whoever made it is very proud of it, because the exterior and the presentation is so considered and thoughtful. It's easier to gain people's confidence that what is inside is equally as considered and thoughtful.
Would you say that's one of the bigger challenges as a brand in the cannabis industry right now?
Yeah, I think trust is our biggest objective. That and educating them as to why our products are better, why they should be pickier and choosier when it comes to THC and CBD products. The more people know, the more discriminating they are in their choices.
To that end, what do you wish more people knew or had a better understanding of when it came to CBD?
I think the big thing is really understanding that it doesn't intervene in anything happening in your body — it just helps your body help itself. It supports the systems that are already working to maintain health in our bodies. It's not something to be afraid of.
This interview has been edited for clarity.