Can Cannabis Slow or Prevent Hair Loss?
Hair loss is something that can affect anyone, and there's nothing wrong with that. After all, bald is a look, just like any other style — one that plenty will either embrace or choose. And it is indeed a beautiful look! But not everyone is keen on losing their hair. If you've noticed some areas on top that appear to be thinning, you might be on the lookout for the best way to keep what you have or even restore what you've lost. And if you're a cannabis consumer, you've probably wondered if your favorite plant could help, which is why you're here. So without further ado, let's get right into it: Can cannabis slow or prevent hair loss?
The Benefits of CBD
When we look at cannabis for therapeutic purposes, we often turn our attention to CBD. We already know that it is frequently used in products that offer relief from pain, inflammation, insomnia, and many other ailments, so it would make sense that CBD could slow hair loss and promote healthy growth. We also know that people can experience heavy hair loss when they are hormonally imbalanced. Cannabinoids interacting with receptors in the endocannabinoid system can help correct those imbalances, which may encourage thicker, healthier hair.
Another important piece to follicle health is your overall diet and nutrition. Cannabis can offer important nutrients like omega fatty acids, which promote strong hair and may stop hair loss. And while we're discussing nutrients, let's not forget that CBD is packing protein — an essential component in growing thick, full hair.
Sometimes patients can experience hair loss as a result of their treatment. Certain medications may contribute to thinning hair, and of course the radiation from chemotherapy can lead to permanent hair loss. Cannabis could help combat these side effects while providing relief from stress — another contributing factor to hair falling out.
It seems as though our favorite plant has a lot to offer for those who are showing extra scalp, but perhaps cannabis has a more direct way of restoring hair.
What Does Science Have to Say About It?
As it turns out, science does appear to support the possibility that CBD could be effective in regrowing hair. For instance, in 1980, a study was conducted in which researchers observed that certain cannabinoids could prevent dihydrotestosterone from interacting with the receptors of male reproductive hormones known as androgen receptors. It's the binding of these chemicals with said receptors that frequently leads to baldness. Unfortunately, a future study would add conflicting results to the mix.
In 2007, a group of researchers reported that THC (one of the cannabinoids that was believed to be beneficial for restoring hair in the 1980 study) could actually have a negative impact on hair growth when interacting with CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. But that wasn't the end of it.
A study was conducted back in 2021 that had participants incorporate CBD oil into their haircare routines for half a year, and subjects reported some hair restoration at the end of the trial. Those who participated used roughly 3 to 4 mg of the cannabinoid, resulting in around 94% improvement in hair growth. These effects appeared to be more successful in male participants than female participants. So do the results of this study mean that CBD oil is the solution you're looking for?
As is the case with a lot of cannabis research, there's not enough data to say for certain. Remember the scientific principle "correlation does not imply causation." Factors such as stress have already been linked to hair loss, and because CBD is believed to calm anxiety and improve sleep, this could explain why those participants noticed a difference in their hair growth. With this in mind, it may be wise to avoid high-THC strains that, in large amounts, could exacerbate stress and anxiety in some consumers — potentially causing more hair to fall out.
It seems as though CBD oil could be a helpful addition to your hair-restoration regimen, but it isn't currently viewed as the most effective treatment method. When it comes to other forms of this cannabinoid, like gummies or vape cartridges, the same cannot be said, as researchers from the 2021 study only explored it as an oil.
Trying It Out
Want to experiment with CBD for hair loss? If so, we recommend using it directly on your scalp. While you could add it to your shampoo or other hair care products, there's currently no research to back the effectiveness of that method. You should also purchase either a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum oil. And if a company is making unverified claims that its products carry certain health benefits, you may not want to buy from that brand.
When it comes to CBD products, they're usually safe, however, one thing we always stress is to purchase quality goods. Unregulated oils are out there, and when you buy something that isn't FDA-approved, you don't know what's in that product. It is important to note, though, that some supplements and medications don't mix well with CBD. With that said, it's always smart to chat with your physician before you give this cannabinoid a shot. Also, if you suffer from allergies or are sensitive to certain ingredients, it's wise to take a look at what's in the product before you put anything on your skin.
If you're in search of alternative treatments for hair loss, cannabis could be an option, though it may be wise to talk to a budtender for product recommendations. Ultimately, we can't say for sure how effective the plant will be in preventing hair loss and/or kick-starting new growth, but perhaps as more research is conducted, we'll have a clearer picture as to whether or not cannabis is the solution you're looking for.