Feeling a bit thin on top? Not to worry, CBD may be able to help!
That’s according to a recent study that found using CBD once daily for six months caused hair regrowth in all 35 subjects with alopecia, with an average increase of 93.5%.
It’s thought that CBD works to promote hair growth in a different way to traditional hair growth treatments like minoxidil and, therefore, may work even better when used together.
Research out of Canada looked at 35 subjects (28 males, seven females) with androgenetic alopecia (AGA) who used a topical CBD product once daily for six months. The daily dose was around 3-4mg of CBD each day.
Androgenetic alopecia is one of the most common causes of hair loss. For men, it is known as male-pattern baldness. It is considered a genetic condition, with hair loss above the temples often the first sign for men, while overall hair thinning is most common in women.
The results were very promising, with hair above the temples increasing by 74.1% in men and 55.2% in women, and hair on the crown (vertex hair) increasing by 120.1% in men and 64.9% in women. The average increase in hair growth was 93.5%.
According to the study, the topical CBD product was made of a CBD-rich cannabis flower ultra-pulverized into a fine powder. It contained 10.78% CBD and 0.21% THC.
How CBD promotes hair growth
Although CBD is fat-soluble and poorly absorbed past the skin, topical application of CBD does easily reach hair follicles. It is here where CBD acts as a CB1 antagonist, meaning it blocks or dampens the receptor rather than activating it. It also activates the vanilloid receptor-1 (TRPV1) and vanilloid receptor-4 (TRPV4).
All these receptors are a part of the the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and play a role in how hair follicles function. By blocking the CB1 receptor on the hair follicle, CBD promotes hair growth. In addition, the hair follicle cycle (anagen, catagen, and telogen phases) is controlled by the TRPV1 receptor.
While CBD seems to be effective at promoting hair growth via these pathways, the study states that the effects of CBD on hair growth are dose dependent and higher doses may result in premature entry into the catagen phase via a different receptor known as TRPV4.
CBD has also been shown to increase Wnt signaling, which causes dermal progenitor cells to differentiate into new hair follicles and maintains anagen phase of the hair cycle.
How to use CBD for hair growth
The study used 3-4mg of topical CBD once a day for six months. As there is not so much research in this area, this appears to be a good template if you wish to experiment with CBD for hair growth yourself.
Many topical CBD products are available online and in health shops, and you could even use a regular CBD oil.
Topical CBD appears to have comparable results to commonly used hair loss treatments finasteride and minoxidil. And since the CBD works through different mechanisms different from these treatments, it makes sense that using them together could have synergistic effects. However, safety of this combination would need to be evaluated.