The luxury industry is rushing to CBD

Far from underground neighborhood stores, the cannabis derivative is changing its face and inviting itself in the posh hotspots, from select boutique hotels to Parisian department stores and the most advanced wellness clinics.

According to Grand View Research, CBD will be worth 2.8 billion euros worldwide by 2021, with a growth forecast of 21.2% per year until 2029. A colossal market whose potential has been sniffed out by the luxury industry. Whether you sip it in herbal tea, smell it in a sauna or spread it during a massage, cannabidiol, more generally known as CBD, is on the rise and is attracting new consumer profiles.

According to a survey by uWeed and the Swiss Cannabis Industry Association, more than 30% of the amateurs are women, 41% have a university degree and 56% are under 40 years old. Gone is the deleterious image of its sulphurous cousin, THC, known for its psychoactive properties. Cannabidiol appears as the new Eldorado of a luxury in search of renewal. From the cheap rasta imagery to the acme of the chic, full headlight on a stunning repositioning. 

Parisian department stores

From an elegant vaping pen from marijuana brand Beboe, designed by a Dolce Gabbana alumnus, to pre-cast firecrackers in a refined case with the iconic orange color to choose from depending on the desired effect - calm, creativity, connectivity - from the Canndescent label, or even boxed sets costing nearly $9,000 that include the smoker's it-accessories signed by Devambez, cannabis lovers made in California have plenty to enjoy.

If, in Europe, the banalization of the recreational joint is not yet of topicality, the CBD, ersatz legal of the THC, acquires its letters of nobility, flirting openly with the universe of the luxury, thanks to new labels inspired by the Californian model. It is the case of the Parisian start-up Huages.  

"In New York and California, CBD is part of a healthy lifestyle routine where we eat a balanced diet, practice yoga and work out to excess."

Hélène Aubier, co-founder of Huages 

We launched a year ago," says Hélène Aubier, co-founder of the brand. I lived in New York for four years and often had the opportunity to visit California. Over there, CBD is part of a healthy lifestyle where we eat a balanced diet, practice yoga and work out to excess. The products positioned luxury are aimed at a population CSP + concerned about his health. It is in this spirit that we have created Huages.

We opted for design packaging, elaborate flavors and above all a premium distribution network, with corners at Le Bon Marché, Merci, Galeries Lafayette and the Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal.

With its 10% oils and matcha tea as best-sellers, the label is booming and reaches a target far from caricatures. "Our customers are mostly women, senior executives, 50% of whom are between 25 and 34 years old and 27% are Parisians," confirms the company director. 

Cannabis in the skin

This craze can be found in the wellness industry, which is always looking for new experiences to offer its clients. The Seven Hotel and the Hoy Hotel in Paris offer CBD treatment rituals, ranging from modelling with infused oil to tasting scented teas. The Chi, at the Shangri-La, a prestigious 5-star hotel in the 16th arrondissement, offers a holistic massage with the miracle ingredient, freeing "stress and anxiety, for a perfect Zen attitude".

"The gamble of launching a CBD spa in the middle of Covid was a bit crazy, but the enthusiasm is beyond our expectations."

Alex Perrin, owner of the Schloss hotel 

More to the point, the Schloss hotel in Zermatt launched in 2020 a brand new spa entirely dedicated to CBD. The success was immediate," says Alex Perrin, the daring owner of the Valais address. Numerous press articles have reported the opening. On the menu of the 630 m2 establishment, a sauna at 60 degrees to smell the vapors of the thousand-year-old medicinal plant, a treatment with Alpine herbs applied in a CBD pouch or a cannabidiol wrap in a floating bed to float as if in weightlessness. "We have tripled our staff to meet the demand. The gamble of launching a CBD spa in the middle of Covid was a bit crazy, but the enthusiasm is beyond our expectations."

The same goes for cosmetics, with a boom in brands surfing the wave, both among established luxury players, such as Chantecaille, recently bought by the Beiersdorf group to expand its prestige division, and among new entrants, such as I.D Swiss botanicals, a neuro-cosmetic label launched by Babylon Sciences, a major player in CBD in Switzerland

Food and drink

Praised for its cosmetic virtues, CBD is also used in every sauce in the gastrosphere, from the chic herbal teas of Divie to the soda signed by the designer Jacquemus through the Cirrus, cake of the pastry chef Philippe Conticini.

A substance to be enjoyed with your eyes closed? Despite its growing popularity, CBD remains a controversial substance. Last February, cantonal chemists screened a hundred foodstuffs containing cannabis extracts or bearing the CBD label. 85% of the products analyzed were found to be non-compliant.

 "In terms of health, the democratization of CBD does not, in my opinion, carry any risk, on the contrary... provided, however, that the standards of quality, purity, production are strict."

Dr. Guénolé Addor, medical director of the Reset cures at the Nescens Clinic

Does this mean we should give up our nightly shoot? Dr. Guénolé Addor, specialist in anesthesiology and medical director of the new Reset cures at the Nescens Clinic in Genolier (VD), tempers concerns. "The science is solid regarding the virtues of CBD. THC and CBD have the same basic molecular structure, with subtle differences in the arrangement of atoms that make all the difference. Massive daily doses can affect liver metabolism and fertility, but it takes a lot of CBD to do that."

In the wellness programs that the expert has set up, cannabidiol can be prescribed to clients in the form of sublingual drops, herbal teas or balm as needed. "The indications are numerous both to improve sleep, reduce anxiety, pain or inflammation." If the use of CBD within a cure orchestrated by doctors is not debated, Dr. Addor is in favor of a broader use. "In terms of health, the democratization of CBD does not involve any risk in my opinion, on the contrary ... provided, however, that the standards of quality, purity, production are strict." Notice to amateurs...