Can CBD put a pin in hair loss? We asked a scientist

Finding an effective cure for baldness or hair loss has always been a hot topic of study. Following a growing interest in cannabis-based products for hair loss, we asked Isabel Litwin-Davies, senior researcher at Britannia Life Sciences to investigate.

According to the US National Library of Medicine, more than 50% of men over the age of 50 will be affected by male pattern baldness. 

In women, it is estimated that more than 50% will experience noticeable hair loss. The most significant cause of this happening in women is female-pattern hair loss, which affects about one-third of susceptible women or some 30 million in the US. 

In England, the NHS estimates that around 50% of women over the age of 65 experience female-pattern baldness. 

The most common treatments for baldness and hair loss are Minoxidil (Rogaine), Hairmax laser comb, low light laser and hair transplants, and most still have mixed results. 

Can CBD play a role in preventing hair loss?  

Over the past decade there has been an explosion of cannabis-related products for CBD cosmetic applications, wellness and sleep aids. More recently, there has been a growing interest in cannabis-based products for hair loss. 

One study by Srivastava and colleagues showed that orally taken cannabinoids stimulates hair growth.  A pilot study done by Khidhir and colleagues showed that Bimatoprost – a cannabis-based product used to treat glaucoma – accelerates hair re-growth to a greater degree than a topical steroid treatment. 

These studies, and more, have shown that cannabis-related products may be useful to treat baldness and hair loss. However, given the complexity of hair growth dynamics, additional research is needed – including clinical trials – to determine if phytocannabinoids like CBD can be effective topical interventions to treat hair loss conditions.

CBD for hair loss trial launches 

Britannia Life Sciences is set to launch an initiative to test the effectiveness of utilising CBD as a lone topical active ingredient in the treatment of hair loss. The trial, announced in February 2022, will be comprised of three groups, with the initial group testing a topical cream over a six month period, with weekly feedback from trial participants. There are no costs involved to participate. Interested parties may sign up to the study using this form. 

About Isabel Litwin-Davies
Isabel has over 10 years’ experience working in the scientific and health field. She has led country-wide health system evaluations in cancer for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in The Republic of Georgia and Bosnia and Hersegovina. As well as leading projects in Sub-Saharan Africa to research health interventions, teaching at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), conducting and analysing scientific research studies. Isabel’s strengths include directing qualitative and quantitative research studies, conducting primary field research and managing multi-disciplinary project teams. Isabel joined the Britannia Life Sciences team in April 2021.