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Research: CBD May Be a Key Player in Hair Growth

Posted by Camille Chacra on

CBD-rich extract may prove to be one of the most effective treatments for alopecia.

Over the last year, there have been some exciting advancements in the realm of scalp health! Most notably, this case study revealed that CBD has the potential to promote hair regrowth in women and men with androgenetic alopecia (AGA), the most common cause of hair loss. We can’t say we’re surprised! Is there anything CBD can’t do?

Today, we’re running through the most salient information: the testing process, how CBD interacted with participants’ cannabinoid receptors, and the final results.

How the study worked

Hair Regrowth with Cannabidiol (CBD)-rich Hemp Extract – A Case Series Cannabis 2021, Volume 4 by Gregory L. Smith and John Satino was conducted at a hair and scalp center in Clearwater, Florida. 

35 adult subjects—28 men ages 28-72, and 7 women ages 46-76—who weren’t already using hair growth treatments participated in this 6-month trial. All were Caucasian and diagnosed with AGA. Every month, they were given a 2oz CBD topical, and were advised to apply a thin layer on bald areas each morning. Throughout this process, they were still allowed to use blow dryers, conditioners and other hair preparations. 

The 2oz topical was replenished as needed throughout the trial, and a microscope camera with fifty times magnification was used to perform hair counts. 

How CBD and cannabinoid receptors impact hair growth 

It always goes back to the wonderful endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for maintaining balance across the body’s main functions, like sleep, appetite, and mood. This particular study breaks down what happens when a CBD topical comes into play! 

Essentially, there are many cannabinoid receptors in the hair follicle cells, which interact with the ECS, and ultimately trigger hair growth. When applied onto bald areas of the scalp, CBD penetrates through those hair follicles and can result in hair shaft elongation! Plus, the study also found that CBD increased the signaling pathways that lead to the hair growth phase, during which the follicle forms a new hair shaft. 

The final results

ALL subjects had an increase in hair count after applying a CBD topical daily for six months! The men tended to have slightly better results than the women, but on average, there was a 93.5% increase in non-vellus hair (i.e. hair strands that are thicker than vellus hair, commonly referred to as “peach fuzz”). 

Another interesting tidbit: one third of the patients reported slight hair shedding during the first month of treatment, but this subsided by their two-month check-in. Otherwise, there weren’t any reported adverse effects from using CBD. 

Check out this table for the complete results!

So, does this mean CBD is a viable hair regrowth treatment? 

It may very well be! However, according to this study, there’s still some work to do. The exact process that leads to the therapeutic effects of CBD for hair regrowth isn’t entirely clear yet—but, they’re planning on advancing their research, since the results of this trial were very promising. One element they’ll be testing further is dosing. Preclinical research suggests that higher doses of CBD may inhibit hair growth; so for the next round, they’ll be using a more potent hemp CBD topical, with equally high concentrations of two other cannabinoids, THCV and CBDV, to hopefully end up with conclusive answers. 

Keep an eye out—the future of CBD for hair regrowth is bright, and may even be synergistic with other treatments. If you’re interested in reading the full study, click here. You should also check out our post on how CBD topicals work! The more you know… 

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