Clinical studies are still in the preliminary stages when it comes to cannabis dermatology research. Yet there are pioneers paving the way for awareness and safe consumerism so that we, the consumer, can have access to these products while the federal government sits on their hands. I had the privilege of meeting two of these trailblazers on the same night in Hollywood, California.
Beth Stavola, COO and director of MPX Bioceutical, was awarded Best Product Line at The Hollywood Beauty Awards for another company she founded, CBD For Life.CBD For Lifeproduces natural, luxurious and effective cannabidiol-infused pain management and beauty products, using 99 percent pure hemp-derived CBD extract. Frustrated with a lack of cannabis-infused products available to consumers at her stores, and, alternatively, cannabis products that hadn’t been tested at FDA-approved facilities, she created CBD For Lifeout of necessity—a product line with the appeal of Chanel that’s affordable for the masses. It caught the eye of one woman looking to make a difference: Michele Elyzabeth, founder of The Hollywood Beauty Awardsand president of LATF Magazine.
Elyzabeth has been a cannabis proponent her entire career. In her early years as a publicist in France, she found herself mixing it up with Cheech and Chong while they were promoting Up In Smoke at the Cannes Film Festival. “It was ’78 or something,” she remembers. “We were together, and we had smoked some pot. They told me that they wanted to crash every party in Cannes. So we did. We crashed every single party we could.”
Elyzabeth doesn’t consume cannabis just for fun anymore, however. Cannabis has been part of her health journey since using it for arthritis, insomnia and pain, which is why she decided to award CBD For Life at the fourth annual Hollywood Beauty Awards, an award show that recognizes the architects of beauty in hair, makeup and photography, and styling in film, music and television.
Elyzabeth says that, at least initially, many companies weren’t prepared for cannabis to be introduced into mainstream Hollywood culture at an award show featuring celebrities like Britney Spears, Samuel L. Jackson and Elizabeth Banks. But with a full-on green carpet andtables adorned with complimentary bottles of Moët & Chandon, the stage couldn’t have been more perfectly set for the HBA’s first-ever Best Cannabis Product Award, which was presented to Stavola and CBD For Lifeby none other than Cheech Marin.
When we spoke after the award ceremony that night, I was surprised by how modest Elyzabeth was. She told me something that resonated with me, and even humbled me a bit: “Nights like this are always overshadowed by what you can do better. The lighting, the sound, the video production—something can always be improved upon for the next year so that we can continue to make ourselves better. This goes for the cannabis community, too. We can always improve it. For our next award show, I plan to have more cannabis products featured. People must be made aware of the good CBD and cannabis can do for people’s skin and health. And what better way than through Hollywood!”
Stavola and Elyzabeth are just two people making a massive difference in the fight for cannabis normalization. With awareness percolating through mainstream pop culture and affordable, high-quality product lines from CBD For Life, we’ll only continue to see improved education and progression toward cannabis normalcy.