Changing the Narrative for Their Community
When CBD boomed back in 2018, it was touted as a self-care supplement for all. Its healing, non-psychoactive properties meant that everybody from your parents to your pets could partake in cannabis without experiencing that tabooed cerebral sensation the plant is so intrinsically tied to.
But “all” implies equality, and that is far from what the cannabis industry has been built upon.
Before CBD became synonymous with a CEO’s morning routine, its parent plant was weaponized. (It still is.) When cannabis is criminalized, it results in Black people being almost four times more likely to be arrested for possession than white people—despite usage rates being comparable. And now, as cannabis sits in various states of legalization throughout America, that number pops up again, but inversely: Only four percent of cannabis businesses are owned by Black people, while 81 percent are owned by their white entrepreneurial counterparts.
This means that, for the second time, on an almost laughably opposite course, Black people have been disproportionately disenfranchised by cannabis. Business news organization Quartz notes that these statistics are exacerbated by the fact that many state regulations ban people with drug-related felony convictions from working in the cannabis industry.
So what can we do? We can advocate for cannabis equity. (You can join or donate to the Minority Cannabis Business Association, a non-profit created to progress the industry through diversity.) We can contact federal reps and support organizations like The Last Prisoner Project, a 501(c)(3) working to decriminalize marijuana. And we can offer allyship by supporting Black-owned businesses—with our wallets. Like the ones below.
We’ve gathered seven CBD brands owned by Black women who want to heal their communities in more ways than one. With skin serums and alleviating ingestibles that you can easily incorporate into your life, they’re changing the narrative.
1. Brown Girl Jane
Features | Organic ingredients, made in the USA, gives back, recyclable packaging
Our Pick | Glow Luminous Facial Serum
Price Range | $48–$98
Malaika Jones Kebede discovered CBD after suffering spinal nerve damage during her third pregnancy and seeking out holistic remedies for treatment. Joined by her sister Nia and beauty & wellness expert Tai Beauchamp, they created Brown Girl Jane to specifically support the wellness of women of color. (BTW, a portion of every sale goes to charities that align with that same mission.) Working directly with farmers, chemists, and manufacturers to deliver premium-grade products, Brown Girl Jane crafts serums, body butters, intimacy oils, and more from hemp that is grown and processed in the US. They’re formulated without fillers or dyes, and are delivered in eco-friendly mailers and recyclable bottles.
2. Undefined Beauty
Features | Nontoxic, sustainably sourced, cruelty-free, vegan
Our Pick | Glow Elixir Beauty Oil
Price Range | $18–$48
Dorian Morris spent years managing, marketing, and directing for global beauty conglomerates like Coty and Kendo—which house brands like Fenty Beauty and CoverGirl. But she made her own mark in August 2018 when she debuted her Indigo Rose line at New York’s Indie Beauty Expo and won the Consumer Favorite award. The collection included the Glow Elixir, a multipurpose beauty oil with 16 antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients including rosehip to brighten and moringa to detoxify. (It was also voted Best Face Serum/Oil at the expo.) That elixir is now part of Morris’ larger CBD-infused brand, Undefined Beauty, where all the products—like firming serums, exfoliating gels, and bath soaks—are free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, and artificial dyes.
3. Dehiya Beauty
Features | All natural, organic ingredients, nontoxic, vegan, gives back
Our Pick | Biru Balm
Price | $12–$62
While not a full CBD brand, Dehiya Beauty does make a multifunctional CBD-infused concentrate called Biru Balm. After studying under a fourth-generation Moroccan herbalist, founder Mia Chae Reddy, Ph.D. was inspired to create a skincare line that celebrates time-honored beauty traditions. Dehiya offers plant-based, all natural, and vegan skincare products including masks, mists, and beauty tools—like exfoliators made of organic cotton and gua sha stones made from white jade. Using organic and wild-harvested botanical ingredients, including calendula flower, blue tansy oil, and olive squalane, Biru Balm can be used to calm and hydrate dry or irritated skin, as well as aid in the inflammation of menstrual cramps and sore muscles. The team also donates two percent annually to causes that advocate for racial justice, reproductive freedom, and women's, LGBT, disability, and human rights.
Features | Sustainable practices, locally sourced ingredients, gives back
Our Pick | Soothing Salve
Price Range | $24–$45
Small batch CBD brand Elio comes from the larger Hollingsworth Hemp Company, a family-owned and -operated farm in Washington. Their Aunt Jackie began developing CBD topicals in 2011 to help her quadriplegic husband and then-90-year-old mother, and now you can get salves and moisturizers that still use her recipes. The products combine high-grade, hemp-derived CBD oil with antioxidants and ingredients like vitamin E, grapefruit seed and seaweed extracts, and lavender, mint, and ginger oils to soothe your muscles and moisturize your skin. Hollingsworth prides itself on sustainable practices, solar energy, and locally sourced ingredients. It also partners with the Emergency Feeding Program, a non-profit that provides to families in need of immediate food assistance.
Features | Cruelty-free, paraben-free
Our Pick | Balance Oral Drops
Price | $20–$110
When Carolyn Gray launched NOIREBUD from Brooklyn in 2018, she was driven by the cannabis industry’s failure to pay homage (and likely reparations) to those who were disproportionately punished for its criminalization. She wanted to offer the Black community a luxury brand they could trust. She also wanted to help them through the ebbs and flows of life. So, using hemp-derived CBD oil, NOIREBUD crafts hard candies, teas made with dried vanilla pulp, skin salves made with peppermint oil, and more. They’re vegan and paraben-free, too.
6. Buena Botanicals
Features | Certified organic, hand-harvested hemp
Our Pick | Moisturizing Face & Body Cream
Price Range | $12–$99
Driven by a shared passion for holistic healing and plant medicine, Afro-Latina fraternal twins Coral and Rah launched Buena Botanicals in 2019. But the sisters’ introductions to CBD were a bit different. Coral discovered the ingredient when pregnant with her second child, after juggling school full-time while being a new mother to her first. And Rah, a self-described eco-spiritual empath and frequent international traveler, used it to treat her anxiety. Using organic CBD oil, the sisters make face & body creams, bath bombs, and infused coconut oil. And the hemp it’s derived from is hand-harvested, ethically grown, and USDA Certified organic.
7. BSBE (Blissful Stoner Body Essentials)
Features | Nontoxic, non-GMO, small batch
Our Pick | Moroccan & Bentonite Clay Face Mask
Price Range | $6–$50
BSBE is the first Black woman-owned CBD brand in New Orleans. It was founded in 2018 by a woman named Cat who wanted to bring awareness of its healing properties to communities of color. Now, BSBE offers face masks formulated with clays and charcoal, bath salts blended with dried jasmine and rose, and aromatherapeutic body oils for everything from mood-boosting to headache relief. Handmade in small batches, all of the products use non-GMO sustainable hemp that was cultivated without chemicals.
What are some of your favorite WOC-owned brands? ♀️ Share in the comments below!
Danielle Cheesman was born and raised in New Jersey, where she lived until moving to Philadelphia to study journalism at Temple University. She has spent her years writing and developing editorial visions for music, art, and lifestyle brands. Now residing in Los Angeles, you can usually find her taking pictures, making playlists, or cuddling her pup. Say hi on Instagram!