According to Statistic Brain, an estimated 56 million people in the United States are experiencing hair loss. While it is usually associated with men, 37.5% of sufferers are women! As you can imagine, hair loss becomes more extreme with age; 70% of men and 80% of women have noticeable hair loss by the age of 80. Hair growth products are part of a multi-billion dollar industry but did you know that marijuana is linked to the prevention of hair loss?
What is Hair Loss?
Also known as alopecia, hair loss involves permanently losing the hair that grows on your head. There are multiple different forms of hair loss including:
Male & Female Pattern Baldness
Almost half of all men experience male pattern baldness by the age of 50. In both genders, this form of hair loss starts with a receding hairline following by a thinning of the hair on the temples and crown which may result in a ‘horseshoe’ shape around the back and sides of the head. Unfortunately, pattern baldness in men is hereditary; it is not known whether the female equivalent is the same.
This condition leads to patches of baldness around the size of large coins. They tend to affect young adults more than most, and while the patches tend to occur on the head, they can also appear all over the body. While people with Alopecia Areata may experience regrowth, they could also end up with more severe conditions such as Alopecia Totalis (no hair on the scalp) or Alopecia Universalis (no hair on the scalp or body).
If you have this condition, it means your hair follicle is totally destroyed, and the hair won’t hurt growth back. It can be caused by a variety of medical conditions.
Other forms of hair loss include Anagen Effluvium and Telogen Effluvium.
Symptoms of Hair Loss
Although it ultimately involves the loss of your hair, hair loss appears in a variety of ways and can be temporary or permanent. Typical signs and symptoms include:
- Gradual Hair Thinning: This is the most common form of hair loss in both genders. In men, it results in the hair receding from the forehead in a line like the letter ‘M’. In women, the hair is retained on the forehead, but the part in their hair becomes broader.
- Patchy or Circular Bald Spots: You can experience these bald patches on the scalp, beard or eyebrow. Occasionally, the skin becomes itchy and flaky before the hair falls out.
- Your Hair Suddenly Becomes Looser: If you experience a physical or emotional shock, your hair could loosen, and handfuls of it can come out when trying to wash or comb it.
Living with Hair Loss
One of the biggest issues surrounding hair loss is a complete loss of confidence. For many people, the hair on their head is a large part of their identity, so they feel as if they are losing part of themselves. Occasionally, hair loss can lead to depression as your self-esteem erodes. According to the Belgravia Centre in the UK, 60% of hair loss sufferers would rather have more hair than friends or money!
Traditional Hair Loss Remedies
Treatment for male or female pattern baldness is considered cosmetic as the hair loss doesn’t pose an immediate threat to your health. Commonly used medications include minoxidil and finasteride.
If you have a more serious condition such as Alopecia Areata, you may receive steroid injections although there are creams, gels, and ointments available. There is also a treatment known as immunotherapy on the table. It stimulates hair growth by causing an allergic reaction on affected areas of the skin on purpose. Finally, you can try an over-the-counter hair regrowth formula, hair implant surgery or wear a wig.
Research on Marijuana and Hair Loss
Up until now, research has focused on the fact that marijuana causes hair loss. Even studies that looked at things from the other angle have been ignored. One such example is the 1980 study from Purohit et al. which suggests that the THC in marijuana prevents DHT from binding to hormone receptors.
Why is this important? Because hair loss treatments such as finasteride work by reducing your overall DHT levels. While this is the only clinical study to make such a finding, it is interesting that no one has bothered to follow up.
When it comes to a more severe form of alopecia, marijuana could work to treat the underlying causes or at least slow the progression of the condition. As it activates the CB1 receptors in the nervous system, marijuana could reduce the stress that causes hair loss. In direct contradiction to the 1980 study, studies on how marijuana can help people with autoimmune conditions suggest that strains high in CBD are your best bet.
5 Best Marijuana Strains For Hair Loss
1 – Critical Mass (The Marijuana Strain That Brings You From Euphoria to Sleep)
This indica dominant hybrid (80%) is a cross between the well-known Skunk #1 and Afghan strains. While its CBD level can be as low as 5%, it can also be as high as 22%. Add in a THC content of up to 22%, and you have a strain that gets you up before slowly bringing you to sleep.
The initial high makes you feel creative and euphoric, but ultimately, you’ll start to feel sleepy, and the sofa will look very appealing. Critical Mass is the perfect lazy afternoon strain.
2 – Ringo’s Gift (The Marijuana Strain That Provides Cerebral Relaxation)
This sativa dominant hybrid (60%) has just 1% THC with up to 20% CBD so you can use it for hair loss without worrying about the psychoactive high. It is an especially popular strain for shatter or CBD oils and Ringo’s Gift rewards you with an earthy flavor and minty exhale.
It begins with an intense cerebral high followed by a rush of happiness which makes you feel sociable. You are soon taken by the body high which doesn’t lock you to the couch.
3 – Corazon (The Marijuana Strain with the Highest CBD Content)
This is one of the newest marijuana strains around and is a cross between AC/DC and Charlotte’s Web. At 22.5% CBD and 2.71% THC, it has the highest recorded CBD content in history and has only been available for the last few months.
The name is Spanish for ‘heart’ and its creators, Yerba Buena; say it is an easy strain to fall in love with. While it is still a new strain, Corazon is likely to be used quite a lot for hair loss if high CBD marijuana is truly capable of preventing hair loss.
4 – Valentine X (The Marijuana Strain Named After the Patron Saint of Epilepsy)
Various versions of Valentine X have a CBD content of up to 18% and this 50:50 hybrid contains a tiny amount of THC. It is one of the most powerful pain relievers around and is known for its fast-acting effects. After a couple of hits, you can already feel this strain working its magic.
However, the euphoric feeling you get is not overwhelming, and you should feel a sense of tranquility. Soon, the pain you feel in body and mind will become a distant memory as Valentine X soothes pain and inflammation.
5 – Cannatonic (The Classic Marijuana Strain)
This is one of the most famous marijuana strains around, and while it has an interesting name, it isn’t designed to get you high. Instead, its CBD content of over 12% is utilized to create pain relieving medicine.
Users of Cannatonic will experience a steady and uplifting high as it provides a sense of relaxation while still keeping the mind sharp. It is a blend of G-13 Haze and MK Ultra and is one of the easiest strains to find.
Final Thoughts About Marijuana and Hair Loss
While certain forms of hair loss are cosmetic, it can still be a distressing experience. Whether you’re seeking something to calm your nerves and reduce your downbeat feeling or want a medical solution to your issue, discover if marijuana is the right answer.