Cannabis for hair growth: 5 products containing CBD to try for a healthier scalp and longer locs

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Lerato Sengadi, speaking at the launch of Jabu Stone's cannabis-based haircare range, says she's a huge fan of CBD products.
Lerato Sengadi, speaking at the launch of Jabu Stone's cannabis-based haircare range, says she's a huge fan of CBD products.

Since the relaxation of regulations around cannabidiol (CBD) use and manufacturing, there’s been a spike in all sorts of CBD-infused products – from tampons and teas to tinctures and even pet treats.

We look at the trend of cannabis-based haircare products as these enter the mainstream.

Does cannabis make hair longer?

“Since CBD is rich in amino acids (the building blocks of proteins that strengthen hair and hair follicles), fatty acids, and antioxidants, it can promote healthy hair and hair protection,” celebrity hairstylist Frederic Fekkai tells the Daily Mail. 

“These fatty acids lock in moisture and seal the cuticle for more luscious locks.”

Jabu Stone who is the founder of the haircare brand named after him recently echoed this sentiment, saying Sativa, a type of cannabis found in warmer climes, contributes to good scalp health.

Understanding the ABCs of CBD and THC

Cannabis contains hundreds of compounds, of which cannabinoids are the best known, Dr Gerbus Muller, a clinical pharmacologist and toxicologist, and a former lecturer at Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, told Drum in a previous interview. 

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the cannabis compound that will get you “high” and CBD is the compound that’s found in many products on store shelves these days that’s unlikely to get you high or addicted, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)

While the cannabinoid that’s of most medicinal value – delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC) – happens to be the one that has the most potential to make people high, it has been proven to help ease pain and alleviate nausea. 

But delta-9-THC has a host of side effects too, such as balance disturbance, depression, confusion, sleepiness or sleeplessness, disorientation, anxiety, amnesia, reduced intellectual function, hallucination, paranoia, light-headedness and delayed reaction. These side-effects are all related to the central nervous system.

Read more | I tried 3 CBD self-care products, here's what I learnt. Plus, what experts want you to know

THC side effects not related to the central nervous system include nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, racing heart, low blood pressure and diarrhoea. Dagga can also double the risk of schizophrenia in children going through puberty and aggravate epilepsy, according to Dr Müller.

CBD is a cannabinoid that's also considered to have medicinal value such as easing nausea and inflammation. “While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of marijuana, or manufactured in a laboratory,” says Dr Peter Grinspoon, an internist and medical cannabis specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital. 

“One of  thehundreds of components in marijuana, CBD does not cause a ‘high’ by itself,” says the Harvard Medical School instructor.

CBD for beauty

It is this cannabinoid that is used in skin and hair care. Applied topically, it can soothe scalp itchiness, alleviate its dryness and encourage hair growth.

Speaking at the launch of Jabu Stone's new range of hemp and sativa-infused hair products, Tumi Mathebula, Jabu Stone brand manager, said the benefit of cannabis to scalp and haircare is that “CBD has a lot of healing properties but specifically for hair, it soothes the scalp and prevents dryness. 

“It helps with inflammation and flakiness. And, ultimately, when that happens your blood circulation within your scalp increases. And when that increases, it helps with things like hair loss and hair loss due to stress or hormonal changes in your body.”

Read more | These are the benefits of CBD oil for your skin 

Unpacking the terminology
  • Hemp contains lots of CBD, but no THC. This is because while “marijuana” refers to the female cannabis plant that can get you “high”, hemp comes from the male cannabis sativa plant and is not considered a drug as it does not have the psychoactive properties associated with THC. 
  • CBD is a cannabinoid (a cannabis chemical compound) that comes from the hemp plant.
  • Sativa is a warm-weather species of cannabis.
  • THC is a cannabinoid (a cannabis chemical compound).

Speaking at the Jabu Stone launch, media personality Lerato Sengadi said of cannabis and other natural remedies, “I'm so grateful for having been sick, because had I not been sick, I wouldn't have opened this Pandora's Box that has completely changed my life. 

“I ran into a rough patch in my life and my anxiety went through the roof. And I heard that weed helps, so I started with smoking it. And I was definitely like, ‘There is no way! This is just heightening my anxiety. Surely this can't be the thing that everyone recommends.’”

Further research led her to discovering CBD products.

Read more | Lerato Sengadi celebrates HHP’s birthday with a song - ‘I dreamt the song. He visited me in a dream’ 

If you've been thinking about testing the effectiveness of hair products that contain CBD for yourself, here are five that you can try. 

  • Sof n' Free

  • Jabu Stone

  • Hemporium 

  • Eco Styler

  • Back 2 Nature

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