Our sister publication, Nutritional Outlook, recently published an article about how hair health could turn into another promising market for CBD.
Losing hair is a daunting experience that affects up to 50% of men and women. A new study in the International Journal of Trichology reports that hemp oil—high in cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD)—may foster hair regrowth.1 In fact, researchers found the topical hemp formulation in the study may be superior to traditional hair-loss remedies like oral finasteride and minoxidil.
But there’s a problem. The legal cannabinoid industry rarely tests for purity and potency,2 some report, with some products containing harmful contaminants like heavy metals.3 Therefore, if CBD is to become the next hair-health supplement, then consumers need production standards and protections for these products as soon as possible.
The Holy Grail of Hair
Hair loss is no laughing matter. Hair is an integral part of one’s self-identity and body image. Therefore, losing hair can significantly impact one’s thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. It’s much more than just a physical ailment. Androgenetic alopecia can have really emotional and psychological repercussions. For example, hair loss at an early age can result in a person feeling physically and socially less attractive, less virile, and less likable, according to the National Library of Medicine.4
Some of the mild to severe symptoms of psychological problems associated with hair loss include anxiety, anger, depression, embarrassment, reduction in work and sexual performance, and social withdrawal. Finding help for this condition—especially solutions with minimal side effects—can therefore potentially improve the emotional and physical well-being of millions of people.
What the Science Says
The good news is that treatments for hair loss already exist. Over-the-counter medications like finasteride and minoxidil are popular methods to encourage hair growth. However, like with all medications, these could come with side effects. For example, in rare cases, finasteride can decrease sexual desire and cause depression. The silver lining is that science is always improving and uncovering new potential solutions.
Case in point: this latest study on hair loss and CBD. Researchers achieved significant results in a group of 31 participants (15 men, 16 women) by applying a hemp extract formulation topically for six months.1 The participants saw hair regrowth ranging from 30% to an astonishing 2000%.
Crucially, no adverse effects were reported, and participants rated their satisfaction with the experience as “happy” to “very happy.” The study highlighted that the hemp extract’s novel mechanism stands apart from traditional hair-loss treatments like finasteride and minoxidil, raising prospects of synergistic effects when combined.
Further research, of course, is needed to explore this potential. Overall, the study underscores the promising role of CBD in addressing hair health through innovative pathways. It’s up to the CBD industry to capitalize on the findings and to back production standards.
What Must Happen Now
Let’s hope the industry can recognize this opportunity and improve its output before it’s too late. As I’ve written previously for Nutritional Outlook,5 CBD currently exists in regulatory and enforcement limbo, which gives rise to producers with free rein over the purity and potency of their products. As a result, many products are untested for these parameters, carry incorrect label information, and exceed contaminant limits.
In a study, for example, nearly half of the products tested delivered the wrong amount of CBD as advertised on the label.6 This is not good enough for application in hair loss. Consumers need confidence that the product does what it says it will.
Let’s see what happens in the coming months. In the U.S., the 2023 Farm Bill is likely to shake up the status quo for hemp. Meanwhile, with new CBD regulatory pathways possibly to come, production standards could appear on the horizon. In the meantime, producers must regulate one another and do their best to get up to code. This is possible by pressuring other players to publish their third-party lab results and calling out whoever isn’t meeting the bare minimum.
At the end of the day, hair health is a serious market and could be a serious opportunity for CBD. Users want results—and safe products. It’s now up to the CBD industry to deliver.
About the Author
Scott Mazza is the cofounder and COO of Vitality CBD (Buffalo, NY). Hailing from a background in finance, Scott is well versed in the benefits of hemp and is passionate about providing people with a natural alternative to the pharmaceuticals.
To read the full article, visit Nutritional Outlook: https://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/view/could-cbd-help-fight-hair-loss.