Hair thinning is something both men and women struggle with. Hair loss is also a cause of worry because of its profound psychological effects. The hair loss treatment industry is estimated to have made $3.3 B in revenue in 2021.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis plants, and it has been used for a variety of wellness applications from relaxation, sleep aid, immune support, and so much more. Some people have seen good results from using CBD oil topically on the scalp or skin because of its potential anti-inflammatory properties, which could also aid in promoting healthier hair follicles.
If you're considering trying out some topical CBD products for your beauty routine, we'll look at what the current research says about the potential of CBD hair oil and scalp care.
- Common causes of hair loss for both men and women are genetics, medical condition, medication side effects, stress, and hormonal changes
- Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally-derived compound from the cannabis plant that's been studied for its potential anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidant properties which some people believe may help with stimulating hair growth or rescue damaged hair
- CBD products can be taken internally (CBD oil, gummies, smokables) and externally (infused hair products, lotions, massage oil), but there's not enough medical research on CBD's effects on scalp and hair
- Some people supplement CBD oil in their wellness regimen to support healthy stress levels, which could be the reason behind damaged or thinning hair
- CBD infused hair products may help to lock in moisture to alleviate dry scalp and dandruff, help strengthen hair strands, and nourish dry hair
- While CBD may have some potential to support cell regeneration (in animal studies), it's not shown to stimulate hair growth in balding areas
What Are The Common Causes of Hair Loss?
Technically, everyone experiences hair loss every day. Typically, we can lose up to 100 hairs each day. However, this goes unnoticed because new strands are also growing simultaneously. Hairloss becomes a problem when there's no new growth to replace the fallen hair and thinning becomes much more noticeable.
Let's get into the common causes for hair thinning and premature balding in men and women.
To start, family history is perhaps the most common cause of hair loss.
Hereditary hair fall usually occurs with aging, a condition known as "androgenic alopecia." In this condition, baldness occurs gradually but in predictable patterns. For men, the patterns include a receding hairline and bald spots, while women may notice thinning hair along with the crown of the scalp.
2. Medical Conditions
Individuals may also experience medical conditions that induce hair loss. Most common among these is alopecia areata, a condition of the immune system that causes people to lose hair in patches or get scalp infections. Alopecia areata can also lead to trichotillomania, a hair-pulling disorder.
3. Medication Side Effects
People experiencing conditions like cancer, depression, or arthritis can also experience hair loss as a side effect of prescription drugs they consume to alleviate symptoms. Radiation therapy can also cause long-term hair loss.
Physical or emotional trauma can also cause a general thinning of hair. It can continue for several months following a stressful event. If you're experiencing hair loss due to high-stress levels, there's a good chance your hair will grow back once you get your stress under control.
5. Other Causes
Hormonal changes can also cause permanent or temporary hair loss, especially during pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.
Many hairstyles can also cause hair loss. For instance, creating pigtails or pulling your hair tight can cause traction alopecia. Likewise, using hot-oil hair treatments can also cause hair loss. If the scalp is scarred or damaged due to hot oil treatments, hair loss can be permanent.
What is CBD?
Before we talk about CBD hair oil as a possible hair loss solution, let's first go over what cannabidiol essentially is.
CBD is a natural plant chemical known as a cannabinoid found in the flower of cannabis plants. Cannabinoids primarily interact with the endocannabinoid system—a cell-signaling system that facilitates communication to support the body's ability to maintain homeostasis (balance). Hemp extracts are incredibly versatile and can be found in smokable, edible, and topical products because we have endocannabinoid receptors found throughout the central and peripheral nervous system.
What Are The Benefits of CBD?
In many cultures, the use of cannabis plants for the spiritual and medicinal practice goes back thousands of years.
CBD has such broad-acting effects due to its interactions with the endocannabinoid system, a system designed to support the body's ability to regulate vital systems including immune function, memory, mood, pain perception, and energy metabolism .
While many people use CBD oil to support their well-being, there is only one FDA-approved CBD-based drug on the market, Epilodex, used to treat drug-resistant seizures. No matter what type of marketing campaign you might come across online, there are no CBD oils that are proven clinically effective at promoting hair growth or slowing down hair loss.
Can You Use CBD Oil For Hair Support Healthy Hair?
There are two ways in which we can see CBD oil effective for supporting lush hair—for use internally as a supplement for the endocannabinoid system manage stress levels and topically as CBD products to nourish and protect the scalp.
CBD Oil May Support Healthy Stress Levels
While stress is a biological response that's meant to motivate and self-preserve, prolonged stress can lead to a host of health issues. When you're stressed, your body releases cortisol (the primary stress hormone). One of its side-effects, in chronic stress cases, is temporary hair loss and acne breakouts.
CBD oil can help some people manage healthy stress levels. In preclinical trials, CBD was observed to improve GABA activity in the brain, which counteracts the fight-or-flight response, supporting muscle relaxation and reducing feelings of nervousness .
CBD Oil May Have Anti-Inflammatory Benefits That Supports Healthy Scalp
Scalp inflammation is a common symptom of many scalp and skin conditions and can be caused by external factors like shampooing too frequently or using the wrong products or from mental or physical stress, allergies, or even an unhealthy diet.
The scalp has a lot of blood vessels and nerves which makes it susceptible to inflammation as well. CBD oil may help by reducing inflammation on the scalp which can ultimately lead to healthier hair.
CBD Oil and Hemp Seed Oil Are Not The Same
CBD oil and hemp seed oil are two types of oils that come from the same plant, Cannabis sativa.
Hemp seed oil is pressed from the seeds, while CBD (cannabidiol) comes from the resin on the leaves and flowers.
The differences between these two oils extend far beyond their names; they also differ in how they can be used therapeutically nutritionally, and industrially. For one, hemp seeds do not contain cannabinoids or terpenes, which means they don't offer any benefits towards supporting the endocannabinoid system. However, hemp seed oil is high in essential fatty acids and gamma-linolenic acid, which does help to condition and deeply nourish the skin, which can help to promote a healthier scalp.
CBD extract is often combined with hemp seed oil for ease of use. Raw CBD or hemp extract is sticky and extremely difficult to work with, so it must be combined with a carrier oil to dilute the potency and make it easier to apply topically and internally.
How Are People Using CBD Hair Oil To Support Healthy Hair?
CBD hair oil is different from your typical CBD oil—one is designed as a hair product, while the other is for internal supplemental use. While we're sure you could put any CBD oil in your hair, you'd probably end up with an overly greasy scalp if you use too much. Alternatively, some people also add a few drops of high potency CBD oil to their shampoo to enrich it with cannabinoids, but we find that purchasing a CBD shampoo to be much more convenient.
Look for soothing skin scalp oil that contains a high percentage of CBD (at least 10 mg/mL)—otherwise, you likely won't experience any of the potential benefits of the compound
Will CBD Hair Products Get You High?
CBD is a non-psychotropic compound—it will not get most people high, even if they were to ingest it in large quantities. Moreover, cannabinoids applied to the skin don't enter the bloodstream. Instead, it interacts with endocannabinoid receptors in skin tissues to support ECS function, so you don't have to worry about potentially getting high from your CBD shampoo or hair oil.
FAQS About CBD Hair Products
Is CBD Oil Effective For Growing Hair?
Unfortunately, there are not enough studies that look at the effectiveness of CBD hair products at growing hair, but in theory, many CBD hair care products contain a lot of great nutrients such as vitamin A, C, and E that can help promote a healthy scalp for hair growth.
Can I Put CBD Oil Directly On My Scalp?
We recommend using your CBD oil as directed on the bottle. Most CBD oils are intended for internal use as a daily supplement. And while you can apply it to your skin and scalp, it might leave your hair feeling greasy and weighed down.
Instead, look for a CBD hair product that's formulated to be a shampoo or leave-in treatment for nourishing hair.
Are CBD Hair Products Safe?
CBD is considered a safe and well-tolerated compound when ingested. In hair care, you should always patch test the formula on your skin to ensure you're not allergic to CBD or any other active ingredients in the product.
Takeaway: Are CBD Hair Products Worthwhile?
CBD products are everywhere these days and it is easy to get lost in the sea of CBD oil, balms, edibles, and other CBD products.
While there are some interesting studies underway about the potential health benefits of CBD to support immune function and stress levels, there's not enough evidence to support its use as a hair growth compound.
Are CBD hair oils and shampoos a must in everyone's beauty routine? No, but there's no harm in trying it for yourself too as long as you know what to look for—just don't expect miracle results as there are no FDA-approved hair loss CBD products out there, so don't fall prey to marketing scams.
Not all CBD hair care products are made equal. Look carefully at the ingredient list to make sure it's free from harmful irritants and chemicals that can worsen the condition of your scalp. You also want to reference the third-party lab tests to ensure that the CBD content is labeled on the bottle matches the certificate of analysis.
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- Grinspoon, Peter (September 24, 2021) Cannabidiol (CBD)-what we know and what we don't. Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-c...
- Bakas, T., Van Nieuwenhuijzen, P. S., Devenish, S. O., McGregor, I. S., Arnold, J. C., & Chebib, M. (2017). The direct actions of cannabidiol and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol at GABAA receptors. Pharmacological research, 119, 358-370.
- World Health Organization (November 2017) CANNABIDIOL (CBD) https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-s...