CBD for hair growth

In this post we tell you about the scientific studies that show the promising properties of CBD or cannabidiol for hair growth.

This component of hemp exerts effects on the hair follicle through the endocannabinoid system of the skin, and has benefits for the care of the scalp and facial hair (eyebrows, mustache, beard, sideburns). Cannabidiol also has anti-inflammatory and antipruritic properties to relieve itching and inflammation after shaving or waxing.

That is why CBD or cannabidiol will most likely be one of the next trends in cosmetics and hair treatments: from products for hair growth, baldness, beard care, after shave products and hair removal.

Cannabinoids and their relationship with hair

Knowing the structure of hair: the hair follicle

The part of the skin where hair grows is called the hair follicle. It is a structure that functions as a miniature organ, composed of epithelial and mesenchymal tissue.

Together with the sebaceous glands, the hair follicle is part of the pilosebaceous complex, which is extensively regulated, with complex communication systems that are not yet fully understood.

Endocannabinoid system in the scalp

The endocannabinoid system is a key player in hair growth. For those who do not know it yet, the endocannabinoid system is a biochemical connection network of the body’s systems, which contributes to the well-being and care of its different structures. It is one of the most primitive cellular communication mechanisms of the organism, and its importance for health is vital, although its discovery was late and there are still many unknowns about it.

How can cannabis affect hair?

For scientists, a clear proof of the importance of the endocannabinoid system for hair is the presence of endocannabinoids in the hair follicle, such as AEA (anandamide) and 2-AG (2-araquidonylglycerol).

The presence of cannabinoids from hemp has also been determined in the hair of regular cannabis and cannabis cosmetics users (source, source).

It is quickly suspected that cannabis compounds can have an effect on hair, and this is confirmed by the first scientific research.

There is a high level of scientific evidence showing that cannabinoid receptors are present in hair follicle cells and that cannabinoids have effects on hair growth and hair loss.

How is hair growth regulated with cannabinoids?

It appears that the types of cannabinoids that bind to CB1 cannabinoid receptors control hair growth, while those that block this receptor prevent hair loss. In addition, capillary growth is regulated by vanilloid receptors 1 and 4, which are sensitive to CBD(source).

The endocannabinoid system also regulates inflammatory processes affecting the skin and hair nutrition, as well as the production of sebum, which are the protective oils and fats of the hair.

Although it seems novel, the truth is that cannabinoids are already being used for hair growth problems. This is the case of bimatoprost, derived from the endocannabinoid anandamide, which is a topical treatment for hypotrichosis of the eyebrows(source).

This same cannabinoid is also being investigated as a treatment for baldness, with good results in early clinical studies(source).

Cycle of hair growth in the hair follicle
Cycle of hair growth in the hair follicle

CBD for hair growth

Hair growth cycle

To understand the effects of cannabinoids on hair growth, it is useful to briefly review the biology, popularly known as the hair growth cycle.

Hair growth is a complex and dynamic process that, in simplified form, develops in the following successive phases:

  1. Hair growth or anagen phase: lasts from 1 to 6 years, depending on the individual. At this stage, the hair grows regularly, approximately 1 cm. per month. The hair root is thickened and deeply inserted into the dermis, completely filling the hair follicle.
  2. Stabilization of capillary growth or catagen phase: lasts from 2 to 4 weeks, and is a stage of apoptotic regression of the hair follicle. In other words, the hair stops growing because the hair cells (keratinocytes) degenerate. The root loses volume and rises to the surface of the scalp, separating from the dermal papilla and losing blood supply, which will eventually lead to its death.
  3. Hair loss or telogen phase: lasts from 3 to 4 months, period in which the hair falls out naturally (by the pressure of a new hair in formation) or by the effect of brushing or pressure (tight pigtails, rubbing with the cushion, caps, hats…).
  4. Finally, there may be a period of latency periodduring which the follicle remains inactive, without hair, before a new anagen phase and the beginning of a new hair cycle. This occurs if there is no new hair formed after hair loss.

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Hair growth or loss problems

Hair growth is affected by various factors, resulting in alopecia (lack of new hair growth), hirsutism or hypertrichosis (excessive hair growth).

The factors that can cause these imbalances are mainly the following:

  • Stressis the most common cause of excessive hair loss. Researchers claim that the hair follicle is extremely sensitive to emotional changesalways linked to hormonal changes. In these cases, it is advisable to first relax and review the lifestyle, before looking for any magic solution.
  • Genetic factorsBaldness has a strong genetic component that, honestly, is very difficult to remedy.
  • Iron deficiency anemiawhich causes hair loss.
  • Hormonal changesThe latter is also affected by the stress factor and postpartum physiological anemia). Certain diseases related to hormonal alterations, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can cause hirsutism or other hair alterations.

In any case, when sudden changes in hair growth or hair loss appear, the first approach should be to consult a professional. If you are losing a lot of hair, see your doctor to evaluate the hair loss and diagnose the possible cause.

Effects of CBD on hair growth

How does CBD help hair growth?

Topical application of CBD reaches the hair follicle, where it affects the cannabinoid receptors CB1, CB2, TRPV1 and TRPV4:

  • Decreases the activity of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor of the hair follicle, promoting hair growth.

  • Binds to the vanilloid receptors TRPV1 and TRPV4 modifying the hair cycle, stimulating hair growth.

  • In small doses, it stimulates capillary growth through the activation of TRPV4 receptors.

Properties of cannabidiol or CBD for hair growth (infographic)
Properties of cannabidiol or CBD for hair growth (infographic)

Could CBD increase hair loss?

It appears that the effects of CBD on hair growth are closely related to the dose. High concentrations of CBD could cause premature entry into the catagen phase and slow hair growth, also via the TRPV4 receptor mechanism(source).

Scientific studies on CBD for baldness

Baldness or androgenic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss. It is caused by increased androgens or “male hormones” – although women also have these hormones naturally, men have them at higher levels – and mainly affects the crown and frontal areas.

There are many drugs approved against alopecia, but their effectiveness is limited due to the strong hormonal component, which is difficult to counteract. This is why the term“miracle hair growth” has always been popularized, as it is almost a miracle to get a remedy for hereditary or genetic baldness.

However, there are effective medical treatments for baldness, and within that professional context, CBD can be useful as shown by the first clinical studies on the subject.

Clinical study on cannabidiol for baldness

A clinical study in 35 people with baldness applied hemp oil with CBD once a day for six months. The results showed a significant increase in hair, especially in men (for women it was also effective, but in a lower percentage of hair count).

In the details of the study, the dose applied was 3-4 mg of CBD daily, along with other cannabinoids naturally present in full-spectrum cannabis oil – not pure CBD, but a complete extract of the cannabis plant (Full Spectrum) was used.

The researchers in this study concluded that since CBD works through novel and different mechanisms than finasteride and minoxidil (crepe-drugs), it can be used in conjunction with these current medications, as it is expected to have synergistic effects (source).

Because CBD stimulates hair growth through novel and different mechanisms than current crepe drugs, combining the two products can have synergistic effects.

In reality, the regulation of capillary growth is much more complex, and its relationship through the endocannabinoid system still generates many unknowns.

Current scientific evidence points to a promising future for CBD and phytocannabinoids in the field of hair treatments and hair cosmetics.

Hemp oil for hair care

The hemp seed oil also has hair care properties.

For those unfamiliar with the subject, hemp oil is the oil extracted from hemp seeds, by pressing, similar to how oil is extracted from other seeds, such as sunflower. Hemp oil differs from CBD in that CBD is extracted from the flowers (the buds) of the plant by distillation.

Hemp oil stands out for its richness in omega 3 and 6 nutritional principles, with a percentage of polyunsaturated fats of 70%.

The cosmetic properties of hemp oil are well known. . Its application on the skin and scalp will help to maintain a better hydrated, nourished and healthier skin.

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Use of CBD for hair

At Cannactiva we offer you CBD oil, which combines organic hemp seed oil with full spectrum CBD extract, with all the properties of hemp cannabinoids.

We recommend you to try this product for facial and body hair care: moustache, beard, eyebrows… In case of following a hair treatment for baldness, we advise you to consult your doctor or dermatologist about the optimal dosage of CBD oil for your treatment, as well as its convenience.

CBD for hair (FAQ)

Does CBD help hair growth?

CBD has effects on the hair follicle and may help with hair growth and hair loss, as well as treat itchy scalp and related conditions.

How does CBD work for hair?

CBD seems to stimulate hair growth and could be a good hair treatment. It is worth mentioning the importance of the dosage, as high concentrations of CBD could have the opposite effect.

Can CBD act as a creepy-crawly?

CBD by itself is not a good creepy-crawly remedy, just as many drugs are not. However, it acts by different routes than the current creepers and could be a good combination. This is a topic that is currently under investigation.

Laura Salas
R&D Cannactiva | Cannabis Cosmetologist. Expert in cannabis and natural cosmetics with CBD

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