Cannabidiol (CBD) products come in all kinds, from oils and capsules to makeup and lotion. There are even CBD hair products. You might be curious about how CBD could help hair. Does it moisturize hair follicles or spark new hair growth? Experts are not certain because CBD is still being researched and more studies are needed. But they do know the plant-based oil is high in vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is found in the cannabis plant. The chemical compound is in marijuana and can come from hemp or non-hemp plants. CBD does not cause the “high” feeling people get with marijuana.
Your body naturally produces cannabinoids to help it stay healthy. CBD products are thought to help keep it in balance with healthy hair and skin. Your skin and hair have receptors that respond to the CBD when it touches them, and some experts believe this is what can help you grow new strands of hair and keep hair strong. The antioxidants in CBD may help give you a healthy scalp.
CBD is added to many hair products. Companies market the products to people with various hair types, including color-treated hair, because it is a natural ingredient.
Some people say when they take CBD orally, it relieves pain, eases anxiety, and helps with sleep. But any benefits of CBD products that you rub on your skin are harder to prove because not enough testing has been done.
Are There Benefits of Using CBD Hair Products?
When your scalp is inflamed, it can affect hair growth and cause uncomfortable symptoms like itching. Hair products with CBD may help fight inflammation. A recent small study found that a shampoo with CBD in it reduced scalp inflammation, itching, and burning within 2 weeks in patients with seborrheic dermatitis (scaly patches and inflamed skin on the scalp) and scalp psoriasis.
Can CBD Help My Hair Grow?
Hair products with CBD may help thinning hair. Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a common form of hair loss, also known as pattern baldness. Hair loss increases with age. In men, the hairline may recede or fade back. In women, hair can become thinner all over.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a big role in your hair follicle cell growth. One small study found that applying a CBD-rich hemp oil helped with AGA in men and women. The hair count increased on average of 93.5%, after 6 months of using the CBD topical daily. There were no reports of bad effects from the extract other than a little hair shedding in the first month.
There are some reports of CBD dissolved in hemp oil increasing hair growth, but it could be a result of the vitamins in the oil. CBD oil contains a high concentration of vitamin E, which can speed up hair growth and help improve hair loss. One lab study published in 2021 found that CBD may slow down hair loss that some testosterone treatments can cause. It may do this by balancing out a certain protein that helps restore structure in hair follicles that the treatments can decrease.
What Are the Risks of CBD?
Possible side effects of oral CBD are:
- Drowsiness or sleepiness
- Diarrhea or appetite changes
- Liver damage
- Mood changes, crankiness
But topical CBD, like that in hair products, is less likely to cause harm.
According to the CDC, there are many unknowns about CBD’s risks over time, and how CBD affects you based on how you use it, how much you use, and how often. You may also have side effects from the way CBD combines with other medications you may be taking.
How Can I Know What Is in a CBD Hair Product?
If you are thinking about using products with CBD, talk to your doctor. There is a lot we don’t know about CBD oil because it has not been widely researched. While it may not necessarily be harmful to use CBD oil, that does not mean that CBD can fix or cure every problem that products may claim.
Some CBD products are being marketed with unproven medical claims and unknown quality. Although CBD is natural, pay attention to anything that does not feel right. The ingredient on the label may not be the exact ingredients or amounts. The FDA does not regulate the safety of CBD. Also, since there are not many studies on humans, the right dose of CBD for some conditions may not be known yet.
Whether you are using a hair mask, serum, styling product, or conditioner, follow the instructions on how to apply it. You may put on one product gently, while another formula advises you to massage it into the scalp. If the recommended use for an oil is about 6 drops, it will likely be different for a shampoo. Products may have different amounts of CBD. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, try a test area of skin and check for any reaction like redness or itching.
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CDC: “CBD: What You Need to Know,” “Increases in Availability of Cannabis Products Containing Delta-8 THC and Reported Cases of Adverse Events.”
Essays in Biochemistry: “The endocannabinoid system.”
Journal of Pharmacopuncture: “Regulatory Effect of Cannabidiol (CBD) on Decreased β-Catenin Expression in Alopecia Models by Testosterone and PMA Treatment in Dermal Papilla Cells.”
MedlinePlus: “Androgenetic alopecia.”
Cannabis [a Publication of the Research Society on Marijuana]: “Hair Regrowth with Cannabidiol (CBD)-rich Hemp Extract – A Case Series.”
European Journal of Pain: “Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis.”
Skin Appendages Disorders: “Efficacy and Tolerability of a Shampoo Containing Broad-Spectrum Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Scalp Inflammation in Patients with Mild to Moderate Scalp Psoriasis or Seborrheic Dermatitis.”
Harvard Medical School: “Cannabidiol (CBD): What we know and what we don’t,” “CBD products are everywhere. But do they work?”
Northwestern Medicine: “What Research Says About CBD Oil. Promising, But Not Proven Yet.”
FDA: “What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD.”
Aging: “β-catenin-mediated hair growth induction effect of 3,4,5-tri-O-caffeoylquinic acid.”