Is Weed Good for Your Hair?

Is Weed Good for Your Hair?
By Andrew Ward Updated June 11th

Fact-checked by Alexandra Arnett, MS

Medically reviewed by Dr. Brian Kessler, MD

Hair loss is a concern that affects millions of people across the globe. While hair loss is often associated with males, women and non-binary people also experience hair loss throughout their lives. Research assembled by the Hair Society found that approximately 35 million men and 21 million women suffer from hair loss. Men begin to see significant hair loss rates at age 35, with 40% of their hair lost around this period. With women, considerable hair loss tends to occur around 40. 

With so many people experiencing hair loss, the search for solutions rages on. While some advancements have been made,  researchers are still looking for comprehensive solutions, with some considering cannabis a cure-all or, at least, a wide-ranging treatment for many symptoms. So it's not uncommon to wonder: Is weed good for your hair?

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What Causes Hair Loss?

Researchers are still understanding what causes hair loss. However, there are some ideas of what could be the cause. Some of the main factors associated with hair loss include:

  • Genetics
  • Hormonal imbalances or changes
  • Mental health 
  • Stress 
  • Strain on the body due to prolonged illness, major surgery, or serious infection
  • Medical illness
  • Scalp fungus
  • Topical applications
  • Surgical procedures
  • Drug side effects
  • Medical conditions, like alopecia 

Some types of hair loss can be treated, while others remain largely out of our control. Those experiencing hair loss due to physical trauma or chemical exposure may be able to treat their adverse results by limiting their stress triggers or exposure to substances. 

Those dealing with hygiene-related hair loss can find treatment by addressing their scalp and follicle health more often with regular cleanings, sometimes requiring specialty shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and other means. Similarly, fungal infections are treated with specific topical applications, most notably medications and shampoos prescribed by a medical professional.

Individuals suffering from medical conditions or aging-related hair loss may not be as fortunate. While conditions  such as alopecia can be treated to some extent with treatments like corticosteroids, minoxidil, and other scalp therapies, many treatments fail to return hair to ideal levels. In these cases where treatments have come up short, some have sought scalp reduction surgeries and other alternative hair options, ranging from hairpieces and wigs to transplants.

Does Weed Make Your Hair Grow?

Does weed make your hair grow?

We can't say for sure if weed helps with hair growth. However, research into the body's endocannabinoid system suggests that cannabis, or at least some cannabinoids, may play a part in hair growth. 

In a case series from 2021, researchers noted several prior studies on cannabinoids' effect on hair loss. In one study, researchers noted that CBD is a negative allosteric modulator of the CB1 receptor, one of the two receptors most commonly associated with cannabis interaction in the body. This effect led researchers to conclude that one side effect of CBD on CB1 receptors includes hair shafting elongation. Still, researchers noted that dosage could influence the results generated. 

Another study of alopecia sufferers found that topical hemp oil with CBD produced significant hair regrowth potential for both male and female subjects, with all subjects analyzed experiencing some level of regrowth. The results found that males benefited more than women.1 

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Can Weed Cause Hair Loss?

Current research suggests that there is little to no evidence suggesting weed can cause hair loss. Select studies have indicated that THC suppressed hair follicle growth and that higher doses of CBD can decrease the production of keratinocytes, the epidermal cells that produce the main structural protein in hair, keratin.1

Other than those results, there is not much evidence suggesting that cannabis harms hair growth. Some studies and anecdotal feedback have indicated that hair growth can benefit from cannabis, primarily due to the plant's ability to decrease stress and anxiety levels. However, most study participants have noted that cannabis had little to no impact on their hair loss.2

CBD and Hair Health

CBD and Hair Health

CBD plays a critical part in the results produced in the body once cannabis is consumed. This is particularly true regarding the ECS and CB1 receptors, which may explain the hair shaft elongation results recorded in certain studies. Studies have also noted that other cannabinoids, notably THCV and CBDV, may provide an equally or more significant impact on hair health. In one study, researchers noted that their results suggested that a topical hemp solution made with high doses of THCV, CBDV, CBD, menthol, and peppermint resulted in "significant hair growth in men and women."3

How to Use Cannabis for Hair Health

Using Cannabis for Hair Health

Using cannabis for hair health isn't as straightforward as some may hope. The proper application, dosage, and cannabinoid combination can depend on each person's unique situation. In this case, a person's medical history, biological makeup, and existing conditions all play a part. Other factors, including mental health, also play a significant role. Depending on the condition you or the hair loss sufferer has will determine the best course of action, if there is one.

Many will use a shampoo, medication, or other type of hair or fungus cleaner by applying it directly to the scalp and hair, cleaning as the instructions provide. Others may need to seek medication or mental health services to address anything related to specific medical conditions or symptoms. With the subject's complexity and uncertainty, consumers are urged to speak with a trusted medical professional before deciding if CBD shampoo or another cannabis product suits their hair health treatment plan.


  1. Smith GL, Satino J. Hair Regrowth with Cannabidiol (CBD)-rich Hemp Extract - A Case Series. Cannabis. 2021;4(1):53-59. Published 2021 Apr 22. doi:10.26828/cannabis/2021.01.003 ↩︎
  2. Han JJ, Faletsky A, Mostaghimi A, Huang KP. Cannabis Use among Patients with Alopecia Areata: A Cross-Sectional Survey Study. Int J Trichology. 2022;14(1):21-24. doi:10.4103/ijt.ijt_96_21 ↩︎
  3. Smith GL. Hair Regrowth with Novel Hemp Extract: A Case Series. Int J Trichology. 2023;15(1):18-24. doi:10.4103/ijt.ijt_34_22 ↩︎

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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