CBD demonstrated promising results in a recent case study on 35 people in the ‘Hair and Scalp’ center in Clearwater, Florida. After six months, the hair in the temporal area increased by 74.1% in men, and 55.2% in women. For the vertex, the findings show an increase of hair growth of 120.1% for men and 64.9% for women.
Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a condition characterized by follicular miniaturization in a patterned hair loss occurring due to systemic androgen and genetic factors. It starts immediately after puberty, but the age of onset is usually 30s and 40s. According to research, 50% of Caucasian men and 19% of Caucasian women are confronted with hair loss, while its severity is lower in Asian and black people. Men and women have different patterns of hair loss – in men, it results in baldness at the top of the head, and in women, it usually occurs as diffuse thinning, while the frontal hair is preserved. Considering that the human population is heading towards eight billion, there is quite a number of bald heads in the world.
CBD could be a promising novel treatment for AGA, but a previous study has shown that the effects of CBD on human hair are strictly dose-dependent. Missing the exact dose, as always, could lead to the opposite effect – hair loss.
Research published in Cannabis, a publication of the Research Society on Marijuana gives some new clues about this important dosage. A study on 35 subjects (28 males, seven females) with androgenetic alopecia (AGA) using topical hemp extract with 3-4 mg of CBD once daily has shown a 93.5% increase in hair after six months. The topical extract in question has been made of high CBD Cannabis Sativa flower ultra-pulverized into a fine powder that contained 10.78% CBD, and 0.21% THC. The results revealed that men did slightly better than women, and the vertex area did better than the temporal areas.
How does it work in the body?
As the new study conducted by Gregory L. Smith and John Satino explains, CBD works through the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and shows some novel effects on hair follicle elongation and hair matrix keratinocytes activated through ECS receptors. Stimulating CB1 receptors, which are well expressed in the hair follicle cells, leads to decreased hair loss. Rodent studies have shown that the receptors targeted for hair loss are TRPV1. The phytocannabinoids such as THC and CBD message TRPV1 receptors. It is postulated that CBD has therapeutic effects through TRPV1 receptors, and THC has been shown to dose-dependently inhibit hair shaft elongation, decrease proliferation of hair matrix keratinocytes and induce intraepithelial apoptosis and premature hair follicle regression. The research shows that THC and other CB1 agonists can be used to manage unwanted hair growth, and CB1 antagonists, such as CBD and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) or cannabidivarin (CBDV) can be used to promote hair growth.
CBD for hair loss: The lucky 35
The study is a case series of adults presenting to a ‘Hair and Scalp’ center in Clearwater Florida. Adult subjects, not currently using minoxidil or finasteride were offered the opportunity to receive the hemp oil extract free of charge through Facebook advertising. The first thirty-five subjects who responded were selected. The females were ages 46-76 (average age 61) and the males 28-72 (average age 43).
The subjects were given a topical extract in a 2 oz (around 60 ml) jar once a month and advised to apply a thin layer once each morning to the areas of baldness. The subjects were advised that they could use blow dryers, conditioners, and other hair preparations. The 2 oz topical was replaced as needed at monthly visits throughout the six-month trial. The amount used varied significantly based on the area of the scalp to be treated. None of the subjects used more than 2 oz in any one-month period. The chalk-like green powder produced from the hemp flowers was infused into a lanolin base paste and natural Emu oil carrier. Each 2 oz jar contained 1000 mg of the powder or 108 mg of CBD.
The hair counts in the temporal area increased an average of 74.1% in men, and 55.2% in women. In the vertex area, the hair counts increased an average of 120.1% for men, and 64.9% for women. One-third of the patients reported some slightly increased hair discharge during the first month of treatment, this was no longer was noted at the two-month visit. Otherwise, there were no reported adverse effects.
Although the mechanism of therapeutic effects is not entirely clear, this case study supports significant hair regrowth benefits in both men and women with AGA, the scientists conclude. Definitive research is planned.