‘Can CBD Oil Treat Thinning Hair and Hair Loss?’
Question: Can CBD oil treat hair loss? I have thinning hair and heard this is good for regrowth.
Answer: Hi, Jools. You haven’t mentioned the cause of your hair loss but, regardless, there is no clinical evidence that suggests CBD oil can treat thinning hair.
Cannabiniol oil – also known as cannabis oil and CBD oil – comes in a range of strengths and strains, depending on the type of hemp leaves it is produced from.
There are around 113 active chemicals in the cannabis sativa plant, known as cannabinoids. The two key components are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Whilst THC is the banned psychoactive known for getting people high, CBD is considered an anti-psychotic and makes up approximately 40 per cent of cannabis extracts.
Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis sativa plants, but differ in that hemp plants tend to be farmed for their non-psychoactive CBD benefits, whilst marijuana plants have often been modified to ensure high levels of THC.
Studies are still underway but CBD has already been found to be beneficial to a range of health problems including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety and inflammation. Furthermore, it has a low side-effect profile, being largely well-tolerated with the main complaint in users being tiredness. In August 2016 it was reported in The Independent that the NHS is developing a CBD vape pen, known as the MediPen vaporiser, to help people deal with a range of health issues. Despite this, it is not presently MHRA licensed, nor FDA approved for the treatment of any condition.
Cannabiniol use for medical purposes is legal in many countries, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Greece, Italy and Germany, whilst in America the law varies by state to state. Though cannabis use is illegal in the UK, carrying potential penalties for possession of up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both, the use of CBD is legal.
In some cases the NHS is actually able to prescribe CBD, commonly referred to as medical marijuana, though this is generally for pain management when other options have been exhausted, and not for issues considered to be ‘cosmetic’ and where its effects are unproven, such as hairloss.
One reason CBD oil appears to have been widely touted on the internet as a potential hair loss solution, is due to its nutritional properties. It is rich in the fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6 – something researchers at the University of Seville found to be present in the ‘1/4 ratio’ considered optimal for health. It is also understood to contain good levels of linoleic and gamma linoleic acid (GLA) – essential fatty acids which promote the maintenance of normal hair growth – as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. Additionally, cannabiniol oil is said to be high in vitamin E.
As such, it may help to improve the condition of the hair in the same way following a balanced, healthy diet would. However, CBD oil is highly unlikely to treat a medical hair loss condition, especially if this is a genetic complaint – namely Male Pattern Baldness or Female Pattern Hair Loss, both of which cause thinning hair anywhere in the vertex area from the crown to the hairline, in those affected.
Despite it usually being taken orally, we are aware of CBD oil being used as a topical treatment for scalp conditions such as eczema and seborrhoeic dermatitis, though the evidence to support this type of therapy is currently solely anecdotal.
Discovering an effective, natural treatment or cure for hair loss would be fantastic but, to date, there are none that have been proven to work in regrowing hair or preventing baldness. There are, however, clinically-proven pharmaceutical hair loss treatments available, which – at Belgravia – are offered alongside additional supporting products and therapies tailored towards maximising hair growth and condition.
These include FDA-cleared low-level laser therapy (LLLT) devices, such as the LaserBand products, and premium Hair Vitalics food supplements, in highly-targeted Men’s and Women’s formulations, comprising a range of beneficial vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts including selenium, zinc and biotin to promote normal, healthy hair growth.
The first step we would recommend you take, however, is to establish the precise reason your hair is thinning. There are a number of reasons that this can happen and a professional diagnosis is usually the best way to ensure you know exactly what is happening, why and how to address it.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.
Can CBD Help With Hair Loss? We Investigate
Bianca is a contributing writer for Byrdie specializing in natural hair and skincare. You can find her work in xoNecole, The Everygirl, POPSUGAR, Travel Noire, and more.
CBD is the darling of the beauty industry at the moment. If you’re like us you’re intrigued by the hemp plant-derived cannabidiol. We know that CBD can benefit those with anxiety. There are also claims that CBD can smooth wrinkles, hydrate, and even get rid of acne. The scientific jury is still out on substantiating those claims, but what we do know is that CBD has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. So how can those properties benefit hair? To get more information on how CBD might be able to benefit our hair and help with hair loss, we talked with Michelle Henry, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, Harvard-trained Mohs surgeon, and Cantu Partner.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of using CBD for hair loss. We want to share the differences between CBD and hemp seed oil. These are two variations of Cannabis sativa that are both hitting the skin and hair care market. They each have anti-inflammatory properties, but they are created differently. On the one hand, CBD oil is derived from the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant which means there are higher concentrations of CBD in its makeup. On the other hand, hemp seed oil is made from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant.
Now that we’ve given you that tidbit of information, it’s time to talk CBD for hair loss.
Meet the Expert
is a board-certified dermatologist, Harvard-trained Mohs surgeon, and Cantu Partner.
Type of ingredient: Hydrator and anti-inflammatory
Main benefits: Soothes the scalp, regulates oil production, and anti-inflammatory
Who should use it: In general, anyone can benefit from using CBD in their haircare routine. However, if you are dealing with excessive hair loss or scalp issues, you will want to check in with a healthcare practitioner before use.
How often can you use it: It’s safe to use as needed.
Works well with: Most hair care products and can even be dropped into masks and treatments for added benefits.
Benefits of CBD for Hair
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CBD is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse, so much so that it is proven to help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. But, how does that benefit translate to our scalp? For starters, CBD naturally boasts a high concentration of antioxidants like vitamins A, C, making it an antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory option. “The actual active (cannabinoid) is anti-inflammatory and can help psoriasis and eczema,” Henry tells us. “For scalp and hair issues that are triggered by inflammation such as psoriasis, dermatitis especially in women who have hair loss in women. If women patients don’t want to use traditional medicine. CBD oil can help with those issues.”
Hemp seed oil has also entered the haircare chat, but because hemp seed oil is derived from seeds it doesn’t carry as many anti-inflammatory benefits as CBD oil. However, for those that are looking to moisturize a flaky or irritates scalp, Henry tells us hemp seed oil does just that. “Hempseed oil is going to help lock in moisture in the hair and scalp. What people forget is that the scalp is an extension of the face. What’s become more popular is the skifinification of the scalp and extension of skincare, so we should use similar ingredients. Do all the things we would do on the face (moisturize, nourish) on the scalp to help with hair loss and stimulate hair growth.”
Because hair loss and irritation can be attributed to many other factors, talking with your healthcare provider about your unique concerns is the best option.
Hair Type Considerations
CBD can benefit a range of hair types. However, Henry notes that research on CBD’s ability to promote hair growth is limited. “I have not seen any studies about [CBD oil] directly stimulating hair growth. However, reducing inflammation is encouraging hair growth and protecting the hair.” We can thank Phytocompounds —antioxidant effects and antimicrobial properties— for that. When applied to our skin, the hemp plant can molecularly connect to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our bodies and reduce inflammation—this includes our scalps. Before you run out and purchase a CBD product for your hair, there are a few things to keep in mind. As we noted at the start of the story, CBD and hemp seed oil are different. Hemp seed oil does offer up fatty acids, which are excellent hydrators of the hair and scalp. However, CBD has a higher level of anti-inflammatory benefits. So when looking at the label of products, you’ll want to be mindful of your needs and the ingredients in your product of choice. The labeling can be a bit confusing, but we hope our breakdown helps.
How to Use CBD for Hair
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When using CBD oil on your hair and scalp, you’ll want to follow the same practices you would with any other hair care ingredient if you’re using a CBD-infused shampoo, conditioner, or styling product used as recommended or as often as your hair type calls for. When it comes to applying CBD oil to the scalp, six to eight drops are typically more than enough for any oil you plan to use on the scalp, and we’d apply that same cadence here.
The Best Products with CBD and Hemp Seed Oil
Made with a blend of 100 mg CBD oil-enriched, arnica flower, hemp, and tamanu seed oils, this oil calms and moisturizes the skin and scalp.
Formulated with cannabis Sativa seed oil, ginseng root, and horsetail extract, this formula moisturizes and softens each strand to encourage thicker, healthier-looking hair.
Made with a 3:1 broad-spectrum cannabinoid complex with a blend of baobab and castor oils, rosemary, cedarwood, and other herbal extracts, this rich multitasking formula can be used as a scalp treatment, leave-in, or as an addition to any hair mask.
With a blend of three natural, raw ingredients: 100% pure and certified organic hemp seed oil, pure shea butter, and coconut oil, this hydrating formula can be used on the hair, scalp, and body.
CBD oil is an anti-inflammatory hydrator that soothes the scalp and regulates oil production.
CBD can benefit a range of hair types. However, Henry notes that research on CBD’s ability to promote hair growth is limited. “I have not seen any studies about [CBD oil] directly stimulating hair growth. However, reducing inflammation is encouraging hair growth and protecting the hair.”
When it comes to applying CBD oil to the scalp, six to eight drops are typically more than enough for any oil you plan to use on the scalp, and we’d apply that same cadence here.