The duo is also committed to fighting for criminal-justice reform, donating 5 percent of the sales proceeds to a nonprofit organization that provides social equity for Black and brown communities affected by mass incarceration.
Soon after, Jones Alugbin and Beauchamp signed on to create the CBD brand to provide a community or sisterhood for women of color. “Here we were, three women who fell in love with this plant [with] very different experiences…but found this community and a sense of purpose on our journey to wholeness,” says Beauchamp.
The Afro-Latina founders are dedicated to product quality and brand mission alike, with the latter focused on “social responsibility, eco-responsibility, and self-determination.” “Even though CBD is really popular now, a lot of people—especially Black and brown people—still don’t understand or know what it is,” Rah says. “A lot of our job, as a brand and as people, is to educate our consumers.” Buena Botanicals provides healing information and educational resources through virtual meetups and social media content. “We try to be transparent with our familia, which is what we call our followers, and just spread the knowledge,” says Coral.
3. Total Peace & Wellness
Beauty-industry vet Dorian Morris launched Undefined Beauty in 2018, entering the market with the debut collection Indigo Glow, which included CBD products like beauty oil Glow Elixir, gel serum Glow Gelée, and tinted lip treatment Glow Balm. The sustainable brand doesn’t use parabens, sulfates, silicones, artificial dyes, or synthetic fragrances. The products are backed by a social purpose, too: Morris, who’s seen the impact of the criminalization of cannabis, worked with formerly incarcerated women for her first collection.
In addition to donating certain sales proceeds to organizations like Dream Defenders, the duo is developing a membership club to provide additional resources to Buena Botanicals’ customer base.
The burgeoning collective of Black and brown entrepreneurs, organizers, and change agents in the CBD industry are ensuring there’s equitable stake in the market and that their communities are included the quest for healing.
“Even though CBD is really popular now, a lot of people—especially Black and brown people—still don’t understand or know what it is. A lot of our job is to educate our consumers.” —Rah Hines, Buena Botanicals co-founder
For the most impressive and comprehensive list of every Black and Brown-owned cannabis company, follow the work of cannabis Evangelist, industry veteran diversity expert Mary Pryor. The company that Pryor founded called CannaClusive lists every single BIPOC-owned cannabis company in the space on its InclusiveBase.
From "seed to body," as Ayaora puts it, this CBD company is also a diverse, multi-generational team dedicated to the "conscious cultivation" of hemp for all of its products. This New Mexico-based company sells products that range from a CBD-infused chocolate bar to tincture and massage oils. Their cultivators (who are equal parts spiritual warriors) speak to growing hemp as a "craft of artisanal alchemy and embodiment of creative sovereignty." The same spiritual meticulous work can be found in their CBD products. Ayaora said on Instagram: "Natural law will naturally bring things back into alignment. Time can feel eternal when waiting for change—that’s why we mobilize, activate, we live the way! Step by step each day. Committed. Simultaneous to the collapse of this oppressive reality has to be the birth of the one we deserve."
Soul and Wellness
Ebony Clay is the founder of this botanical, inclusive skincare line Kayaire. Clay wanted to find a plant-based solution to her own skin problems, psoriasis, that didn't involve harsh pharmaceutical chemicals that didn't work for her, like steroids. So through her own health journey, Clay took the entrepreneurial route to develop Kayaire, a CBD skincare lineup of gels and moisturizers. Clay happens to be a working mother of four children and a U.S. military veteran. Kayaire is the American dream, realized.
Using olive oil and coconut oil, among organic carrier oils, Hemptation uses hemp that is extracted with the co2 method alongside aromatic cannabis terpenes, which are steam-distilled. Hemptation carries seven strain-specific offerings, a unique way to experience the natural terpenes that exist in hemp.
Brown Girl Jane founders, from left to right: Malaika Jones Kebede, Tai Beauchamp, and Nia Jones.
Invest in Black women business owners while stocking up on self-care and wellness goodies.
So, while we indulge in a range of CBD goodies to drink, eat, or slather all over our bodies, we should also be striving to invest in Black communities at the same time. To do so, and to celebrate National CBD Month, we rounded up 10 Black women-owned CBD shops to support right now. From skincare products that promise glowy skin to infused honey that promote mindfulness, you can find CBD in any form you need below.
Brown Girl Jane
Despite roughly the same rates of cannabis usage, the ACLU reports that Black Americans are 3.73 times more likely than white Americans to be arrested for marijuana. Even though CBD is largely legalized, there's still a large disparity as far as who gets to be the stakeholders in the cannabis industry. According to Marijuana Business Daily in 2017, approximately 81% of cannabis business owners or founders are white, while only 4% are Black. On top of this, mainstream representations of wellness and self-care—which CBD is often associated with—primarily centers white women, pushing Black women who are both seeking and creating forms of wellness to the margins.
The plant-based, clean beauty brand, Brown Girl Jane, is founded by sisters, Malaika and Nia Jones, along with beauty and wellness expert Tai Beauchamp. In addition to offering renowned beauty products, like the GLOW Luminous Facial Serum and BALANCE Wellness Drops, the brand also gives back by donating a portion of sales to a non-profit that aligns with its mission, which, per the website, is, "bettering the lives and wellness of women of color." Brown Girl Jane is currently supporting the Black Women's Health Imperative, a nonprofit organization created by Black women to help protect and advance the health and wellness of Black women and girls.
CBD is often regarded as the friendly, harmless side of cannabis. Unlike THC-containing marijuana, which is still classified as a schedule 1 drug and fully illegal in several states, hemp-derived CBD is federally legal and it's everywhere. It's in baked goods, kombucha skincare products, and endless self-care and wellness-geared items on the market. Despite all the popularity, though, there's a problematic side to the industry that we can't ignore.