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cbd and hair topical scholarly article

Because CBD products aren’t regulated by the FDA in the way that drugs are, there is huge variation in quality and, quite possibly, safety. In 2017–2018, counterfeit CBD oil was found that contained synthetic cannabinoids and led to a poisoning outbreak in Utah.

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil and other products containing CBD are being touted as a natural, organic remedy for a wide range of women’s health concerns. Sellers of these products make many claims: CBD has calming effects on sleep, mood, and anxiety; eases hot flashes and improves bone density by balancing hormonal changes of menopause; and has anti-inflammatory properties that clear skin, cure acne, and calm rosacea. It’s promoted for PMS symptoms like bloating and mood swings. And CBD-infused lubricants claim to boost arousal and enjoyment of sex. So, how much of this is true?

Are CBD products safe?

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Cannabis Sativa and Hemp are two different plants. Marijuana is not a plant, it’s a slang term used by rhetoric spewing racists seeking to profit from a new prohibition. How can you publish this when you clearly don’t know the basics?

CBD is a major ingredient in cannabis plants (like hemp and marijuana). It comes in different strengths and forms, often as CBD oil, but also in pills and powders. It can be absorbed through the skin, ingested, or inhaled. (Vaping it, however, may not be safe, as this blog post and web page from the CDC explain.)

The ECS is an evolutionarily conserved network of molecular signaling that plays a role in bodily homeostasis. 1–3 The ECS is made up of multiple components: (a) signaling molecules called endocannabinoids, (b) specific receptors, and (c) enzymes that synthesize and breakdown endocannabinoids and transporters of endocannabinoids. The most well-researched functions of the ECS are related to modulation of the central nervous system (CNS) and immune function in the body. Recent research has indicated the critical role of the ECS in maintaining skin homeostasis and barrier function, and its dysregulation has been implicated in various skin disorders like atopic dermatitis, itch, acne, hair growth/loss, and hyper/hypopigmentation. 4–7

Furthermore, to assess the potentiating and synergistic effect against MRSA, growth curve and time kill assay results showed the combined activity of CBD and BAC reduced bacterial viability by 6-log10 cfu/mL as compared to CBD or BAC alone. Interestingly, CBD was able to potentiate the effects of BAC against MRSA (S. aureus USA300) and other Gram-positive bacteria. The spectrum of use of CBD and BAC on growth of Gram-negative bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhimurium, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Escherichia coli, was also measured. The results obtained from the combined effect of CBD and BAC against these Gram-negative bacteria concluded that the combined activity of CBD and BAC was considered ineffective against Gram-negative bacteria. Due to potent antibacterial properties against Gram-positive bacteria, cannabinoids can be used as an effective helper compound when combined with known antimicrobial actives to fight antibiotic resistant Gram-positive bacteria which cause skin disorders and other infections. 134


The human hair follicle is an immune-privileged miniaturized organ consisting of epithelial and mesenchymal tissue. As part of the pilosebaceous complex, the hair follicle is extensively regulated, the extent of which is still not completely understood. Human scalp hair growth is a complex and dynamic process including a period of keratinocyte proliferation and hair fiber growth (anagen), followed by a stage of apoptotic follicle regression (catagen) and a semi-quiescent stage (telogen). 105 Hair growth abnormalities include lack of hair growth (alopecia), and excessive hair growth (hirsutism and hypertrichosis). Given the success of topically applied compounds to treat hair loss 106 coupled with the detection of major cannabinoid compounds in hair fibers, including CBD, following cannabis consumption 107 and topical application of hemp oil 108 further understanding of how cannabinoid compounds can potentially benefit hair-related issues is needed. 109–111

The authors conclude that while the therapeutic potential of CBD for acne, seborrhea, eczema/dermatitis, and skin barrier function is promising, more robust studies are needed to fully validate its efficacy. The therapeutic potential of CBD should also be balanced with largely unknown/contrasting early studies in modulating pigmentation and hair growth. Thus, there is an underlying need for intense fundamental scientific research as any speculative science could lead to unwanted effects like hair growth/loss or hyper/hypopigmentation issues. Looking beyond the horizon of the buzzword CBD, the therapeutic benefits of hemp phytocannabinoids and other botanicals with phytocannabinoid-like activity ( Table 1 ), will most likely be the focus of future research.

Chemical structures of the most common phytocannabinoids found in the hemp plant.