Alopecia comes in many forms: androgenic alopecia, alopecia areata, alopecia totalis. Each variation has its own symptoms and severity, but they all have one thing in common: hair loss. It can be embarrassing and frustrating; it can even impact your quality of life. According to a growing body of research, though, there may be some degree of relief in the form of cannabidiol, or CBD.
CBD is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. When ingested, this compound interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), particularly the cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2). Research is still limited, but we do know that there’s a relationship between hair follicle growth and the endocannabinoid system. CB1, which is present in the brain and nervous system, has been shown in studies to contribute to hair loss. Because CBD is a negative allosteric modulator of CB1, it may be useful for combating CB1’s role in hair loss. Ultimately, this may have greater implications for the treatment of alopecia in all of its many forms.
CBD is used in a number of commercial products, including edibles, vape juices, and even syrups. There are a number of pros and cons to each delivery system, but the following may be some of the most effective ways to consume CBD for alopecia:
Creams offer a number of advantages. For starters, they don’t have to be eaten or vaped. Most CBD creams look identical to typical ointments and lotions, so anyone concerned about using CBD products can rest a bit easier. In addition, creams can be applied directly to the affected area. Whether you have spotty hair loss, male pattern baldness, or another form of alopecia, you can target your treatment directly to the location where you want to stimulate hair growth.
Tinctures are widely recognized as the most potent and effective delivery system for CBD. Highly concentrated, they require just a drop of liquid beneath the tongue in most cases. CBD tinctures can also be added to foods or drinks if preferred. A little goes a long way, so a tincture can give you a lot of bang for your buck.
Like creams, CBD pills are ideal for people most comfortable with conventional treatments. They also offer the benefit of precise dosage, so you always know exactly what — and how much — you’re consuming. If capsules alone don’t offer results, you may try combining them with creams.
Research Is Still in Its Early Stages
It’s important to note that the research into CBD for alopecia is still ongoing. Preliminary studies have shown tremendous promise, and since CBD has no major side effects when used as directed, there is no risk in trying it out as part of a hair loss treatment regimen. The effectiveness of the treatment will likely depend on the type of alopecia, the severity of the hair loss, and the dosage used. Give it a try, and see if it can work for you.