Is It Possible for CBD to Cause Hair Loss?
Whether it's added to coffee or conditioners, CBD’s popularity is showing no signs of slowing. There’s no surprise there, since people seek out CBD products to combat inflammation, reduce stress and anxiety, promote restful sleep, recover from intense workouts, and even glow up their beauty game.
For every amazing benefit that is touted around CBD — particularly in regards to hair — one must consider if it’s too good to be true. Read on to find out if CBD can contribute to thinning hair, plus the best products you can use to combat thinning hair.
But First, What Is CBD?
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is found in the stalks, leaves and flowers of the hemp and cannabis plant. These plants have well over one hundred such active chemical compounds, called cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids like CBD, THC, and CBG are gaining more attention from both consumers and researchers for their unique health and wellness benefits, but aside from cannabinoids hemp and marijuana plants contain a plethora of other beneficial phyto-actives, all working together to promote a balanced physiological tone in our bodies.
Phyto-actives work their magic thanks, in large part, to the endocannabinoid system (or ECS). The ECS is made up of a massive network of receptors found throughout the body that pick up cannabinoids like CBD. Depending on where these receptors are located, they will send different messages to the cells they’re attached to in order to produce an effect: like curbing inflammation or calming anxiety levels, for example. The ECS has receptors all over the body, from deep in our gut to our skin, including hair follicles.
CBD, in particular, has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years due to its ability to treat serious medical conditions like epilepsy while also helping with more common everyday concerns like stress, pain and trouble sleeping. Unlike it’s more trippy sibling, THC, cannabidiol doesn’t produce intoxicating effects, and this makes it a lot more approachable since it can easily be part of your day-to-day wellness routine.
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No Evidence That CBD Causes Hair Loss
If you’ve heard that CBD oil can cause hair loss, let’s dispel that myth from the get-go. There is no clinical evidence suggesting that CBD has any ties to hair loss. CBD hair loss is not a thing. In fact, there are many ways in which CBD can help healthy hair growth, and we will be covering each in turn.
Instead, there is probably some confusion around other cannabinoids that might be impacting your hair. Or, there could be any number of other factors contributing to increased hair shedding and loss.
The truth is, hair loss is complicated! That’s because the body is complicated, and there are many variables at play when it comes to hair growth and development. And so, there are many different reasons you might be experiencing hair loss or an increase in hair shedding.
CBD is not likely one of them. So if not CBD, then what?
What Is More Likely Causing Hair Loss?
Your body is an almost infinitely complex network of physiological systems, interactions, processes and structures. If you’ve ever stared up at a star-filled sky and marveled at your place in the cosmos, you can turn that eye inward and marvel at the complexity of the human body. Pretty amazing, right?
The downside is that this makes hair loss all the more complicated. Hair follicles are these amazing little ecosystems all on their own, but they are also part of the bigger ecosystem of your scalp. Even amidst all that complexity, though, we can take a bird eye’s view to look at a few common big picture contributors to hair loss.
Learn: Can CBD Make You Feel High?
While it might seem that current hair loss is associated with your newfound love of CBD, it’s actually more plausible that poor eating habits and/or vitamin and mineral deficiencies are the real culprits. And guess what? Diet and nutritional deficiencies can contribute to or flat out cause hair shedding and loss.
Let’s be real, keeping on top of diet and nutrition can be hard sometimes! We have to keep track of essential fatty acids and amino acids, vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and healthy fats to name just a handful. That is precisely why multivitamins and supplements exist. When you can’t keep precise tabs on your diet, most doctors will advise that you take a multivitamin to ensure your body gets the extra support it needs.
Good news for you: VEGAMOUR has formulated a proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals designed specifically to support healthy hair growth, and we’ve infused our delicious vegan gummies with CBD and CBG to give your ECS a little love, too. (Keep reading to find out just how CBD oil can help support healthy hair growth.)
We’re all about taking a holistic approach to prevent hair loss and promote hair wellness, so we can’t forget about a couple of other pillars for a healthy lifestyle: sleep and exercise!
Regular and adequate sleep is paramount to wellness, with sleep experts recommending at least seven hours per night along with a solid sleep routine. Exercise has a multitude of benefits for your entire body, like reducing cortisol levels in the body which can in turn have positive impacts on stimulating hair growth.
Bottom line? Taking a holistic approach to living a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to stimulate hair growth!
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Testosterone and Hormones
This is where the confusion, and mixed opinions, around THC’s impact on hair growth come into play.
There is some evidence to suggest that THC can impact testosterone levels in the body which could then, in principle, impact hair growth cycles or contribute to hair loss. But the relationship between testosterone and hair loss is complex, and how THC weaves into this relationship is not an area that has been studied directly so it’s hard to say definitively that THC causes hair loss.
We do know, however, that hormones can very much be involved with hair loss.
- Androgenetic alopecia
- Telogen effluvium
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Changes in the body postpartum
Can or do have hormonal elements linked to resulting hair loss.
It is important to note that THC and CBD are very different compounds. Additionally, CBD has been shown to balance the endocannabinoid system and bring the body back to homeostasis (homeostasis can be defined as a state of balance, particularly between physiological processes in the body, including hair follicles and hair growth).
Inflammation is like our body’s version of first responders. It’s a defense mechanism used by many systems in the body, and without it we couldn’t survive since it’s a vital part of our immune system’s response to injury and infection.
Perhaps the biggest problem with inflammation comes when there is too much or our bodies have unnatural levels for extended periods of time. Inflammation has been linked to many different forms of illness and disease, and it will probably come as no surprise to learn that inflammation can also play a role in hair loss.
All have inflammatory elements at play that can cause hair loss. Not only that but inflammation can contribute to everyday annoyances like dry, itchy and flaky scalp.
CBD has potent anti-inflammatory properties that research has shown might be effective in helping everything from serious spinal cord injuries and stroke to inflammation tied to acne by impacting sebaceous glands. Applied topically, CBD might sooth itchy scalp, dry scalp or help to promote balance in the scalp's microbiome.
If you’re a person living in the 21st century chances are you know how prevalent and damaging stress can be (hello post-COVID stress disorder).
The trouble with stress and hair loss is that stress can impact our normal hair growth cycles from a number of different angles. External stress is what we experience during a global pandemic, going through the loss of a loved one or during high-pressure situations at work, for example. But there is also internal stress, and that can come from new medications, big hormonal fluctuations or major illnesses like COVID. Whether it’s external or internal, all these stressors can contribute to hair loss.
CBD has been shown to soothe stress, and it does so via several different pathways in the body. By working with the endocannabinoid system, CBD can help promote a balanced physiological tone in the face of stressors. As we’ve covered, it can also reduce internal stressor related inflammation. In addition, CBD has anti-anxiety properties that can calm the nervous system and help relieve external stress and anxiety.
The takeaway? Stress can be emotional, psychological and physiological: all of which can contribute to hair loss. CBD can offer potential benefits through a variety of pathways in the body.
Aging & Oxidative Stress
Our hair changes with age, that’s just a fact. Roughly 40% of women will experience detectable hair loss by age fifty. On top of that, our hair is susceptible to the impacts of free-radicals and oxidative stress (which are driving factors in the aging of hair and bodies as a whole).
Free radicals are incomplete molecules that can cause damage in the body, and they enter the picture in two main ways. One, they are a natural by-product of everyday bodily function. Two, they can come from outside the body in the form of UV, pollution, the foods we eat, and x-rays, for example.
Oxidative stress is what happens when our bodies become overrun with free-radicals and can’t keep up with neutralizing them.
That’s where antioxidants come into the picture. Antioxidants are special compounds that can neutralize free radicals, which makes them really important to our general health. You’ll find them in healthy foods like berries, dark leafy greens, and carrots. You’ll also find them in beauty products meant to help slow skin aging or offer up skin protection.
CBD is a potent antioxidant, and as such it can be of great benefit to helping your body stay balanced in the fight against free radicals or it can provide those same protective benefits to your skin when applied topically.
Discover: 5 Promising CBD Beauty Benefits
Adding CBD Products To Your Hair Care Routine
Speaking of applying CBD topically, VEGAMOUR has made it easier than ever before to harness the benefits of CBD to grow your healthiest hair yet, from the inside AND out.
We offer a proprietary and carefully formulated line of broad-spectrum CBD oil hair care products in our GRO+ Advanced line. In addition to our vegan GRO+ Advanced Hair Gummies, we can help you reduce visible flakes and balance out scalp health with our GRO+ Scalp Detoxifying Serum and encourage thicker and fuller looking hair with our beloved original hair serum that’s been enhanced with CBD: GRO+ Advanced Hair Serum. Not to mention our CBD shampoo and conditioner, brow and lash serums!
At present, there is no research showing any ties between cannabidiol (CBD) and thinning hair or hair loss. In fact, CBD works in many ways that can promote hair growth and support healthier hair from the inside and out, and CBD oil for hair might be something you consider trying. (That’s why we’ve carefully crafted a full line of CBD-infused products for hair wellness.) Hair loss is a complicated physiological phenomenon, so if you’re experiencing increased hair thinning or loss and think it might be tied to CBD, speak to a doctor who can diagnose a medical hair loss condition and specializes in treating hair loss.
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