Category Archives: CBD

A CBD Oil and Hair Growth Testimonial

It is extremely rare for me to devote an entire post to reader correspondence. Nevertheless, I make exceptions when the feedback seems sincere, detailed, unique and comes from someone who has been in touch for a while.

CBD Oil and Hair Growth

In 2021, I wrote a post on CBD oil, hemp extract and hair growth. At the time, this subject was widely discussed in the hairverse due to:

  1. A new 40-person clinical trial on the use of cannabidiol rich topical hemp oil as an androgenetic alopecia treatment.
  2. A new research article on hair regrowth with cannabidiol (CBD)-rich hemp extract in a case series of 35 patients.

Both of the above are from the same Florida-based Medical Life Care Planners, LLC. It is led by Dr. John Satino and Dr. Gregory Smith, the former of whom I covered on this blog in the past. Dr. Satino is an unusual character to say the least. He claimed to me in the past that he ran the original: Minoxidil Study in 1984 for Upjohn; the Finasteride study in 1989 for Merck; and the Lexington (HairMax LaserComb) study in 2000 for Low Level Laser FDA clearance.

You can see a recent image of him at his clinic in 2021. He really loves cars and has consulted for NASA in his capacity as a biomedical engineer.

However, it should be noted that even prior to Dr. Satino’s work, there were a few other studies that discussed the potential benefits of CBD towards scalp hair growth. I discussed some of them in that 2021 post. A newer 2022 review of existing studies on cannabinoid products to treat hair loss made the following conclusions:

  • While cannabidiol (CBD), a phytocannabinoid, may cause hair growth, several other phytocannabinoids may lead to hair loss.
  • The effect of CBD on hair growth may be concentration-dependent. CBD may cause hair loss at high concentrations (≥10 μM).
  • An ideal topical cannabinoid preparation should contain CBD at the right concentration and lack other phytocannabinoid adulterants.

In my opinion, the 2021 hype surrounding the effects of CBD on scalp hair growth seems to be similar to the 2023 hype surrounding caffeine and hair growth. i.e., some reasonable evidence, but likely overblown expectations based on excessive media and online coverage. Also of interest, the Martha Stewart site covered CDB oil and hair growth favorably in 2022 based on the opinions of two dermatologists.

A Reader sees Hair Regrowth from using CBD Oil

A long-time reader of this blog named “Pete” started taking CBD oil in 2021 after the earlier mentioned study came out. He sent me the below email (slightly reworded) and 1-year before and after photos. Last week, he sent me a second e-mail with 2-year before and after photos:

Jul 2, 2022 Communication


I thought I’d share my CBD results privately with you because I’m not ready to share publicly yet.

Hair Before CBD
Overall scalp hair loss photo before starting CBD oil in June 2021.

I am a 46-year-old male with a shaved head for the past 17 years. I started going bald in my late twenties. It has never bothered me a great deal, but I’d choose to have hair if I could. So, I had nothing to gain or lose from experimenting.

I never take oral medication, so topical sounded okay. Never tried anything else before. Reverse-engineered the formula from that study and made a couple of modifications for my needs. 2ml oil daily.

I’ve just reached the 12-month mark. I’ve attached progress images below. Right click and open the below image in a new tab for further enlargement and clearer view.

CBD Oil Hair Growth Before After
CBD oil hair regrowth before and after 1 year.

There are caveats to those pictures:

1. It was hard for me to stand in the exact same position, with the phone at the exact same angle every time. So there are variations in angle and light. You’ll see my fingers line move back and forth between images.

2. After 4-5 months I saw progress, so I started allowing my hair to grow a little. That’s why there’s such a dramatic jump there.

3. In the last two images, I accidentally added a filter which makes them look slightly darker than the others. Evidenced by the same shirt I wore (a night shirt, one of several that are the same).

Month-to-month shows little progress, but comparing a few months apart shows results.

I’m still not 100% convinced there’s new growth. It could just be thickening what was left – very thin hair. Bald patch at back has little to no progress. Not sure why. In fact, it could be worse.

I was going to quit now, but I’m undecided. I’ve read so many theories about hair life cycles, anything from a few months to seven years. So I have no idea if continuing will gain anything.

When I am done, I’ll redo all the images and normalize them.

Anyway, doesn’t look like a cure, but it could help people from losing hair. Downside: oil is a major pain to have on your head for 6+ hours a day.

I’m going to keep going for a while longer. It takes a lot of dedication to have a load of oil that runs when you’re hot, on your head for 6+ hours a day. But I’m lucky enough to work from home.

The 12 month hair growth results that this reader sent me seem very positive from the pictures below. Note: Per Pete’s feedback, the 12-month and 24-month after photos are flipped in the below two images. i.e., the left photo in the first “frontal view” image below, and right photo in the second “top view” image below are the 12-month results. The 24-month results are right and left respectively. Sorry for the confusion!

In any case, the main thing that impresses are the gains from month 0 (the topmost bald scalp image in this post) to month 12. The change from 1 year to 2 years shows maintenance, but likely no further growth.

CBD Frontal Hair Growth
Approximately one year and two years after starting CBD oil. Frontal view. The growth seems to have subsided after one year.
CBD Hair Growth Top
Approximately one year and two years after starting CBD oil. Top view. The growth seems to have subsided after one year.

June 17, 2023 Communication


Right, it’s now been another year.

Today is two years since I started this experiment with a CBD oil mix.

To recap, I’m 47 yrs, self-employed, and work from home. Therefore, I’m able to apply the oil and leave it in for anything up to 12 hours a day. Usually, at least 8 hours. I’ve not noticed any side effects.

I’ve been going bald since my late twenties, and I’ve dyed my hair since then too.

You can go back and look at the progress pictures I showed you before, but I started with this in June 2021 (Admin: That is the first image I have in this post). The changes from 12 months onwards were minor, so I only took pictures every few months from then on. This is eleven months apart. Left was July last year, right is now (Admin: See the prior two images).

Same with this – eleven months apart. This picture is taken with a very bright light from overhead, which really shows the thinning hair to its maximum. I parted down the middle to expose everything. This time, left is today, right was 11 months ago.

Bottom line:

It is no miracle cure. There are still marginal gains though. The first year was the most striking in the differences from month-to-month, but I think that’s because I started with so little hair remaining. A tiny bit extra looked more impressive in contrast back then. And as soon as I noticed gains, I started to allow it to grow at about 6 months.

I think you’ll agree that there’s been some improvement over the last 11 months, although minor. I should have lost more hair, not gained, so I think I can safely conclude it’s working to a degree. I’ve never tried anything else, but gather it’s probably a similar outcome to Rogaine etc. I would only ever try something topical.

It would probably be a good regime for people who start losing their hair. I’d lost 90% of mine, and therefore it’s a long slog to gain it back. I only have the oil on for a max 50% of the day. Not sure what would happen if you could somehow apply 24/7. I’ve thought of upping the CBD content too, but never have for fear of losing all the gains.

It’s an oil that stains EVERYTHING. I’ve had to repaint parts of a wall my head touched. It washes out of clothes. Ruined my office chair. Need an antimacassar.

With the recent finding of “stiff hair stem cells“, I wonder if the oil is helping to soften them?

I shall continue for now, because why not?

Regarding the Formula he is using:

Topical CBD Hair Loss
Topical CBD for hair loss.

All the details are in the first email. I studied the original science paper, and used the correct amounts of full spectrum CBD oil, mixed with Emu oil, and peppermint oil.

Any brand full spectrum would work. I have two of these mini glass jam jars (see image on right). I use a small syringe (sans the needle, of course) to measure out 2ml of the CBD oil at a time. I then rub it into my scalp, comb and leave it in.

I don’t think it’s wise to give out the exact formula because then people can blame/sue if it goes wrong. However, it’s easy for them to work out the CBD concentration from the science paper. I started using 300mcg CBD, but they no longer make it, so I currently use 500mcg strength oil, and just lowered the amount of drops per batch. I make 60ml at a time, which is 2ml per day for 30 days. They used lanolin etc, but I don’t.

Another reason to not give out the exact formula is that I don’t know if the original publishers could sue, because they now have a product. I have no idea what protections they’re able to put in place. I guess they could only trademark the brand name, but I’m not risking it. Hope you can appreciate that, but as I say: all the details are in their science paper.

CBD Oil, Hemp Extract and Hair Growth

Hemp Seed Oil (without CBD) for Hair Growth.
Hemp seed oil for hair growth. CBD oil is not sold on Amazon.

Update: See my new 2023 post on a CBD oil and hair growth testimonial. Also, I contacted Dr. John Satino and he sent me the before and after photos that I have posted below. The patients are taking cannabidiol rich hemp extract in an emu oil carrier. I have asked Dr. Satino if the second patient is dyeing his hair in the after photo or whether the CBD caused the darkening. Dr. Satino also sent me the following interesting update:

“This is a US Government Registered Study, found on ClinicalTrials.Gov (NCT04842383). I ran the original Minoxidil Study in 1984 for Upjohn, the Finasteride study for Merck in 1989 and the Lexington study for Low Level Laser FDA clearance in 2000. This study follows the required protocol, with scalp tattoo, hair counts , and microscopic hair analysis. The results so far are better than anticipated.

It is a 3 month, 6 month and 1 year study. Our previous study of post menopausal women in 2019 & 2020 showed much promise for the thirty plus participants. This study has enrolled 45 men & women, and we now have fifty percent of our group reaching the 3 to 4 month mark. Just a couple of before and after’s in that group. I will let you know as we get further along.”

CBD Oil Hair Growth.
CBD oil before and after hair growth.
Hemp extract (with cannabidiol) hair growth.
Hemp extract (with cannabidiol) hair growth before and after.

CBD Oil, Hemp Oil and Hair Growth

These past few days, the biggest news in the hair loss world has been in regards to cannabidiol (CBD) rich hemp extract. All due to a new study titled “Hair Regrowth with Cannabidiol-rich Hemp Extract.”

On Reddit, this subject is getting daily coverage. e.g.,

The above mentioned study was authored by Dr. Gregory Smith and Dr. John Satino (who I covered in a past PRP and hair darkening post). The study was done on 35 subjects (28 males, 7 females) with androgenetic alopecia (AGA). Each patient used once a day topical hemp extract that contained about 3-4 mg of CBD. Note: CBD oil is often called hemp oil, which is different from hemp seed oil.

The conclusion of this study was insane:

“On average there was statistically significant 93.5% increase in hair after 6 months. All subjects had some regrowth. There were no reported adverse effects.”

“Since the CBD works through novel mechanisms different from finasteride and minoxidil it can be used in conjunction with these current drugs and would be expected to have synergistic effects.”

Men got slightly more growth than women with pattern hair loss. The vertex areas of scalps saw greater hair growth than the temporal areas.

The subjects were given a topical extract (in a 2-oz jar) to apply to the balding areas of their scalp once each morning. The jar was replaced at monthly visits throughout the six-month trial. Each 2-oz jar contained 108 mg of CBD. The subjects therefore used an average daily dose of 3-4 mg topical CBD.

The topical extract was made of high CBD cannabis sativa flower that had been ultra-pulverized into a fine powder. Per lab analysis, it contained 10.78% CBD, and 0.21% THC. There was no detectable THCV or CBDV. This powder was infused into a lanolin base paste and natural emu oil carrier.

Although the study was not funded by private company, it has two major deficiencies:

  1. No before and after photos. (Edit: No longer true. See update to the post at the top).
  2. No control group.

Considering the stupendous results of an almost doubling in hair count (i.e., 100 percent increase), I am very skeptical.

CBD and Hair Stimulation

However, while doing research on this subject, I noticed that there are a number of other supportive studies and articles on the internet. A lot of these suggests that CBD has some benefit when it comes to hair regrowth or at least cessation in hair loss. I remain very suspicious, but am surprised at the amount of information out there in relation to this subject.

Apparently, CBD could benefit hair growth through the endocannabinoid system (ECS); via its impact on the Wnt/β-Catenin pathway; and via influencing the cannabinoid receptor. According to the latest Satino study:

Existing research suggests that THC and other cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) agonists can be used to manage unwanted hair growth. At the same time, CB1 antagonists, such as CBD and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabidivarin (CBDV) can be used to promote hair growth.”

Anecdotal reports suggest that CBD oil reduces anxiety, modulates cortisol levels and improves blood flow to the scalp. The last mentioned could just be an imagined effect. When I have four beers, my hair always feels amazing. I get a sensation that my whole body is calm, warm and experiencing much better blood flow. But the latter is definitely scientifically inaccurate.

CBD vs Hemp vs Cannabis vs THC

People often confuse Cannabidiol (CBD), Hemp, Cannabis (Marijuana) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

  • CBD and THC are both one of 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants. Both are increasingly used for pain relief, anxiety reduction, and symptom reduction from various medical problems. There are some debates about the benefits and long-term effectiveness of cannabinoids, but their popularity keeps growing globally.
  • Cannabis is a plant from which one can make the Cannabis drug (also known as Marijuana).
  • Hemp seed oil and CBD oil both derive from the cannabis plant. However, cannabidiol oil is made using the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant. In contrast, hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. The seeds do not contain CBD. Nevertheless, hemp seed oil does contain omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids; gamma-linolenic acid; B vitamins; vitamin D; and various antioxidants.

A Note on Natural and Alternative Treatments

I have covered related subjects in the past such as caffeine and hair growth as well as natural hair loss products. Most such hair loss treatments will never grow back hair on totally bald areas of the scalp.

However, some stimulatory effect on hair growth is quite possible from various herbal remedies and natural products. It should also be noted that even certain smells can grow or thicken existing hair due to the olfactory receptor.