From CBD infused mattresses to lubricants to cannabidiol toothpicks and potato chips, the CBD rush has seen no shortage of companies putting cannabinoid wherever they can stick it. But alongside CBD tinctures and gummies, the most popular and talked about CBD products are cosmetics and hair care supplies.
Some of these companies may make rather lofty claims about turning back the hands of time or reversing hair loss, but among the crowd there are also many that provide lab-tested, carefully-crafted products that can be an effective part of any self care regime. But what about your hair, could CBD-infused shampoo rid you of bad hair days for good?
What constitutes a good CBD shampoo/conditioner?
Some of us just look at the price, or crack open the bottle for a quick whiff in the supermarket aisle and call it a day. But what should you actually look for in a CBD shampoo?
If you have hair with specific attributes, such as especially dry or oily hair, you should look for a shampoo that is designed specifically for hair like yours.
And if you just go for the bargain basement shampoo you can end up with a rich, foamy lather that strips your hair of its natural oils, which can be a real problem if your hair is already a bit dry to begin with.
Try to avoid shampoos that contain drying additives like alcohol or sulfates, which can leave the hair parched and brittle. And while no one expects the average consumer to be able to decode the names on the ingredients list (specially the ones with 20+ consonants), try to avoid shampoos that have an abundance of artificial additives like parabens, sodium chloride, or added colors or fragrances.
If possible, look for nourishing added ingredients like shea butter, avocado oil, hemp seed oil, or coconut oil, all of which can be great for your hair.
$ = 0 – $20
$$ = $20 – $30
$$$ = $30 and up
Here’s a closer look at the best CBD shampoos around.
Quantity (oz/ml): 16 oz (also available in 2 ounce size)
How much CBD: 10mg
Scent: Original (menthol + cedarwood)
For what hair type: All types
The natural aroma of peppermint and cedarwood should wash over you as you lather up with this affordable and nourishing CBD shampoo from CBD Daily.
Sulfate-free, it’s considered good for all hair types including color-treated hair, and can be combined with the company’s CBD Daily Conditioner as well.
In addition to 10mg of CBD, it also contains peppermint oil, hemp seed oil, and argan oil, which has been a trusted traditional remedy for centuries.
Quantity (oz/ml): 10 oz
How much CBD: 50mg
Scent: Seagrass mint
For what hair type: All, but especially dry and color-treated hair
EMERA refers to its shampoo as “the first CBD infused prestige hair care line,” and “the only salon professional shampoo with CBD.” And while CBD shampoo historians may dispute the first claim, it’s clear why EMERA is a favorite with consumers.
In addition to CBD, the shampoo also contains a variety of moisturizing additives such as avocado oil, hemp seed oil, and botanical extracts like green tea and lemongrass. It also has a pleasing seagrass mint aroma that kinda seals the deal.
Suitable for all hair types, EMERA says its shampoo is especially suited for people with dry or color treated hair. Also, the shampoo is totally vegan, cruelty free, and leaping bunny and PETA certified. It can be easily paired with their nourishing CBD conditioner.
Finally, the company also states that it donates 5% of all sales to the nonprofit Get Together Foundation to help the homeless community.
Quantity (oz/ml): 8 oz
How much CBD: 20mg
For what hair type: All hair types. Has no sulfates, parabens, or dyes, should work great for color treated hair
“Generations old hemp farms in the Netherlands” are the source of the CBD that goes into the enticing CBD shampoo made by HempMeds.
Unlike other shampoo you may find at the grocery store, it’s free of sulfates, parabens, and artificial dyes, so it should be a good choice for people with color-treated hair or who just don’t want their hair to get dried out by their shampoo regimen.
The shampoo also provides a host of high quality natural ingredients, including shea butter to nourish and restore the scalp, argan oil for its moisturizing properties, and goji berry, which the company says can nourish and hydrate the skin and scalp.
Price: $ to $$ (depending on size)
Quantity (oz/ml): 2 oz and 10 oz
How much CBD: 20mg in 2 oz container, 100mg in 10 oz
For what hair type: All
CBD for Life’s CBD shampoo packs more CBD per bottle than almost any CBD shampoo on the market – 100mg per 10 ounce bottle.
But beyond the generous allotment of cannabidiol, it is also an affordable option that is free from GMOs, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, formaldehyde, and artificial coloring. It is also not tested on animals.
The shampoo also includes a number of nourishing essential oils, including coconut, jojoba, avocado, rosemary, hemp seed oil, and argania spinosa kernel oil. It can also be easily paired with the company’s CBD for Life conditioner.
Quantity (oz/ml): 8 ounces
How much CBD: 100mg
For what hair type: All
Physicians Grade CBD shampoo packs 100mg of CBD oil in every 8 ounce bottle, making it one of the more cannabidiol-rich shampoos available today.
Physicians Grade says the shampoo can help improve hair density and scalp and follicle vitality. It also includes AnaGain, a trademarked organic pea sprouts extract, which the company says can help fight hair loss.
Physicians Grade tests all its products in 3rd party laboratories and makes the results available on its website. And while it may be pricier than some of the other CBD shampoo options, it doesn’t skimp on the cannabidiol and includes a number of natural ingredients such as collagen, biotin, and vitamin E.
Quantity (oz/ml): 8 ounces
How much CBD: 300mg
For what hair type: All, but the company says it is especially helpful for people with damaged or brittle hair.
As Raincry puts it “believe the hype.” That may not be a great idea with every CBD product on the market, but this shampoo provides 300 mg of CBD oil per 8 ounce bottle, which is more cannabidiol per ounce than any other shampoo on this list. It is also one of the pricier options, but with that price you also get a number of natural extracts such as echinacea angustifolia, sunflower, chamomile, and shikakai. These ingredients are known to relieve redness, itchiness, and even dandruff.
It also makes use of plant stem cell technology, which the company says can help rejuvenate your scalp.
Raincry’s CBD shampoo is also pH balanced and paraben, sulphate, and phthalate free. The manufacturing process is cruelty-free and this color safe shampoo can be used on all hair types.
Quantity (oz/ml): 8 ounces
How much CBD: 25mg
For what hair type: All, safe for color-treated hair
Combining natural peppermint oil, tea tree oil, and biotin, Prana’s CBD botanical peppermint shampoo provides a refreshing haircare treatment that the company says can also nourish and strengthen your hair.
It only packs 25mg of CBD per bottle, but the shampoo is also paraben, sulfate, and alcohol free, so it should leave your hair feeling rich and luxurious and not dried out or brittle, even with daily use.
The shampoo is also never tested on animals and uses all non-GMO ingredients. It can also be paired with the company’s CBD botanical peppermint conditioner, which contains collagen and 25mg of CBD per bottle.
How do you use CBD shampoo?
While using CBD shampoo may result in you talking about using CBD shampoo, the actual process of washing your hair with it shouldn’t be anything new. Simply take a small dollop of shampoo and massage it into wet hair, working up a rich lather before rinsing it away.
The benefits of CBD shampoo – does it improve hair growth or stop hair loss?
If CBD shampoo was proven to stop hair loss and boost hair growth then it’s suffice to say there would be a hemp garden in every backyard and garage in America. As it stands, the science isn’t there to prove that CBD shampoo can turn back the hands of time.
At the same time, research has shown some benefits for CBD when it comes to hair.
A report published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology in July, 2019 suggested that cannabinoids can play a role in human hair growth modulation. In their study, the researchers found that “CBD tended to promote hair shaft elongation,” and that they found data to “invite the hypothesis” that CBD could be useful in helping treat inflammatory hair loss disorders.
Hemp seed oil vs. CBD in hair products
To some extent, people touting the hair growth benefits of CBD and CBD oil may be confusing it with hemp seed oil. Made from hemp seeds, the oil does not contain any CBD but it is rich in Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, both of which contribute to healthy hair growth. 1
This doesn’t mean that hemp seed oil can boost hair growth or give you a thick, luxurious mane, but it may indicate that it can help in the same way that eating a healthy, balanced diet can.
To some extent, this may be the case with many CBD shampoos, which are often loaded with a variety of additives like Omega 3 and 6, as well as Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A. All of these can have beneficial effects for hair health, while the shea butter, coconut oil or olive oil added to CBD shampoos can leave the hair feeling smooth and luxurious. Simply put, CBD shampoo can make your hair feel great, even if it’s not totally due to the CBD.
Is CBD shampoo good for dandruff, eczema, or psoriasis?
Dandruff can be a persistent and embarrassing nuisance for countless people. According to one study published in late 2020, broad-spectrum CBD shampoo “significantly reduces both severity and symptoms of scalp inflammation within two weeks, with excellent tolerability and treatment satisfaction in subjects with mild to moderate scalp psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.”
The study tested a shampoo containing 0.075% broad-spectrum cannabidiol on 50 people with mild to moderate scale psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis, and reported a host of improvements in the subjects symptoms after two weeks. It should be noted though, the peer-reviewed study was funded by a grant from the laboratory that made the shampoo.
Back in 2014, a team of researchers published a study in the American Society for Clinical Investigation that looked at the effects of CBD on human sebaceous gland function “and determined that CBD behaves as a highly effective sebostatic agent.” Sebaceous glands are responsible for producing oil, or sebum, to lubricate the hair and skin. When the glands get clogged, sebum builds up and causes inflammation in the gland. They determined that this meant that CBD “has potential as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne vulgaris.” 2
Furthermore, a 2019 study found that topical CBD treatments significantly improved the symptoms of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. However, the study was performed retroactively on only 20 patients who used a CBD treatment for three months. The evaluations carried out in the study included hydration and transepidermal water loss and elasticity, as well as photographic assessments at the beginning of the study, day 30, 60 and 90, and several questionnaires. 3
What does this mean for dandruff and hair health? We still don’t know precisely how CBD can improve hair health or fight dandruff, but scientists have found compelling evidence of how it can counter inflammatory skin conditions.
Safety concerns of CBD shampoo
The often high price tag of CBD shampoo isn’t the only concern. As mentioned above, when shopping for a CBD shampoo, consider the same things you would when shopping for a normal shampoo. It should be free of additives that can dry out your hair, or that could potentially be harmful like sulfates or parabens. In addition, you should probably be a more conscious consumer, and look for a product that is cruelty-free and organic.
Other than that, unless someone is allergic to CBD or has had an adverse reaction to it in the past, there is little to worry about safety-wise.
Will CBD shampoo make you fail a drug test?
Hair follicle drug tests can be very effective for testing for all types of substances, but could they pick up the presence of cannabis if you’ve used CBD shampoo? At least one study found that they just might post a risk.
The researchers who carried out the study in 2019 tested 10 volunteers who treated their hair daily with hemp oil for a period of six weeks. The rescuers tested for a wide variety of cannabinoids, including THC, CBN, and CBD, and found that “application of hemp oil to hair resulted in the incorporation of one or more cannabis constituents in 89% of volunteers, and 33% of the group tested positive for the three major constituents, THC, CBN and CBD.” 4
The results lead the researchers to conclude that the cosmetic use of hemp oil should be recorded when carrying out hair follicle drug tests, and should be “treated with caution in both criminology and public health.”
If you only stand to face a urine test at your job, then the shampoo you use shouldn’t be a problem. But if you foresee a hair follicle test in the coming weeks, it may be prudent to hold off on the CBD shampoo in the meantime.
- Fotschki, B., Opyd, P., Juśkiewicz, J., Wiczkowski, W., & Jurgoński, A. (2020). Comparative Effects of Dietary Hemp and Poppy Seed Oil on Lipid Metabolism and the Antioxidant Status in Lean and Obese Zucker Rats. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 25(12), 2921. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122921
- Oláh, A., Tóth, B. I., Borbíró, I., Sugawara, K., Szöllõsi, A. G., Czifra, G., Pál, B., Ambrus, L., Kloepper, J., Camera, E., Ludovici, M., Picardo, M., Voets, T., Zouboulis, C. C., Paus, R., & Bíró, T. (2014). Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. The Journal of clinical investigation, 124(9), 3713–3724. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI64628
- Palmieri, B., Laurino, C., & Vadalà, M. (2019). A therapeutic effect of cbd-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars. La Clinica terapeutica, 170(2), e93–e99. https://doi.org/10.7417/CT.2019.2116
- Paul, R., Williams, R., Hodson, V., & Peake, C. (2019). Detection of cannabinoids in hair after cosmetic application of hemp oil. Scientific reports, 9(1), 2582. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-39609-0
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