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Home Research Study: CBD shampoo can improve dandruff, scalp irritation
Oct 28, 2020 2 min read

Study: CBD shampoo can improve dandruff, scalp irritation

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by Ben Hartman
A woman has her hair shampooed

Could CBD stop those flakes falling from your scalp? According to a new study, if you’re suffering from dandruff or some other form of scalp inflammation, using a shampoo that contains cannabidiol (CBD) could significantly reduce the severity of the condition.

“Replacing current shampooing practices with a broad-spectrum cannabidiol-containing 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 researchers concluded.

According to the study, participants started to see results after two weeks. (microgen/123rf)

The study, published by Karger in October, evaluated the efficacy of a shampoo containing 0.075% broad-spectrum cannabidiol in 50 test subjects with mild to moderate scale psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis. They found that by day 14 of the study “there were significant reductions in arborizing vessel/twisted capillary inflammation and scaling,” as well as a significant reduction in scores of itching and burning, and severity of erythema. 

After two weeks of treatment, the severity scores for arborizing vessels, twisted capillaries, scales erythema, and scaling all dropped significantly. The scores for itching and burning (from 1-10) also plunged after 14 days of treatment, from mean severity scores of 6.9 and 4.5 to 1.5 and 1.0, respectively.

The researchers said they used a method known as “trichopsy,” a type of dermoscopic imaging used to assess hair and scalp health. The researchers used a video dermoscope to take photographs of the scalps of the subjects, whose inflammation was graded on a six-point scale and on a 10-point scale for erythema and scaling. 

The report says that the researchers used the shampoo Revita CBD from DS Laboratories, which contains 150mg of CBD per bottle, in addition to the antifungal medication ketoconazole and caffeine. The study was funded by a grant from DS Laboratories and one of the researchers is a consultant for the company, although the journal is peer reviewed.  

The only criteria for the subjects was that they be aged 18-65 with mild to moderate scalp psoriasis or SD, and with no history of scarring alopecia, alopecia areata or hair transplants, and to not be breast-feeding during the study. 

The 50 participants were almost evenly split — with 24 males and 26 females, aged 18-61. Twenty-two had scalp psoriasis and 28 had seborrheic dermatitis. 

The researchers stated that “anti-inflammatory pathway and the endocannabinoid system suggests a role for cannabinoids in treating psoriasis.” They surmise that CBD “may inhibit the enzyme 5-α-reductase, subsequently inhibiting excessive skin sebum secretion and improving skin elasticity and hydration.” They also state that because CBD can reach and accumulate in the sebaceous glands, it can have a therapeutic effect hours after application.

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