How Successful is CBD as a DIY Dandruff Treatment?

Jessica McKeil November 23, 2020 0 comments

Can you get rid of  dandruff with CBD? Many are trying this DIY dandruff treatment, and here’s the science on that.

Dive into the depths of CBD subreddits, and the anecdotal reports about this cannabinoid’s beneficial properties are both strange and remarkable. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of cases from Reddit users reporting CBD soothes a wide variety of skin conditions. Anything from eczema to acne to dandruff is getting a thick application of CBD. Convinced by CBD’s potential in other areas of human health, people are smearing CBD creams, balms, and other topicals on all sorts of skin conditions. Many claim fantastic results, and this DIY dandruff treatment is one of them.

Skincare Companies All Over CBD

Skincare companies are also going full throttle into the possible value of CBD for topical conditions. In the last few years, there has come a tsunami of CBD topical patent filings, seeming to confirm its therapeutic value.

But, anecdotal reports and patents can only take us so far. It’s the research that matters most. Does the science demonstrate CBD and cannabinoid therapy works for skin irritations, like dandruff? Thus far, the research is promising, albeit extremely limited in scope. And there are no completed, ongoing, or proposed clinical studies about CBD as a natural dandruff treatment.

Zooming out from dandruff, there have already been several clinical studies exploring CBD for other skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

diy dandruff treatment represented by flakes on white man's shoulders

CBD as a DIY Dandruff Treatment for Skin and Scalp Care

In 2019, researcher, Nikita Jhawar, and his team at the Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, published “The growing trend of cannabidiol in skincare products.” This paper serves as a detailed summary of what we know about CBD for skincare and what we don’t [1]Jhawar, N., Schoenberg, E., Wang, J. V., & Saedi, N. (2019). The growing trend of cannabidiol in skincare products. Clinics in dermatology, 37(3), 279–281. … Continue reading.

In their assessment, the science is still very preliminary. But, these early results are nevertheless promising. First, in 2014, a team of scientists, “Examined the effects of CBD on human sebocytes and skin cultures and found that it suppressed sebocyte proliferation and lipogenesis.” Their investigations laid the groundwork for CBD as an acne treatment.

Other recent studies suggest CBD may reduce itchiness, or pruritus, a common symptom of many skin conditions, including dandruff. Thirty-eight percent of participants in this study experienced complete elimination of pruritus when given three weeks of topical cannabinoid treatment. More than eighty percent experienced a total reduction of dry skin.

The authors of the review conclude the early results into CBD’s therapeutic properties indicate it as a possible option for allergic contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, inflammatory skin conditions, and psoriasis. With these results, it’s easy to see why people have already begun using CBD as a natural dandruff treatment.

What About CBD for Dandruff?

With the promising, if preliminary, work on CBD in topical solutions, it makes sense to include dandruff into the mix as well. Dandruff is an often frustrating and sometimes embarrassing condition that causes the scalp’s skin to flake off. The symptoms of dandruff are quite visible, including flakes appearing in your hair, on your shoulders, and in other places. This condition is itchy, and in some cases, be severe enough to form scabs.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several common causes of dandruff. These include dry skin, fungal infection (called Malassezia), irritation, psoriasis, eczema, and more. The most accessible treatment for mild dandruff outbreaks is a gentle wash with an anti-dandruff shampoo, like Head and Shoulders. But, this may not always reduce symptoms, or eliminate the problem.

Cannabidiol is already under investigation as a therapy for eczema and psoriasis. Plus, there is a strong suggestion it could reduce pruritus and dry skin. It seems entirely plausible that CBD could treat several causes of dandruff, or at the very least, reduce the severity of symptoms.

diy dandruff treatment represented by girl lifting cream out of dish to go in her hair

How to Use CBD as a Natural Dandruff Treatment

Cannabidiol is a safe and well-tolerated compound, whether taken orally as a CBD oil or topically as a DIY dandruff treatment. With that said, it’s always important to patch test new topical products before going all in. Especially for the treatment of skin conditions, any new product may cause further irritation or other allergic reactions. Test a small patch of skin first, to determine personal sensitivity.

After a patch test, what’s the best way to apply CBD as a natural dandruff treatment? Here are a few basic tips:

  1. For small areas, use a CBD oil dropper to add several droppers into the palm of your hand. Use your fingers to work the CBD oil into the area of dandruff gently. Apply every day before bed, to allow the CBD oil to absorb overnight. Wash your hair in the morning, if needed.
  2. You will want to mix the CBD oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil for larger areas. Working one patch at a time, gently massage this mixture into the scalp. You may wish to wrap your hair in a towel and allow this mixture to absorb for several hours before washing it out.
  3. If you experience increased irritation or itchiness following application, cease using CBD oil, and speak with a doctor.

DIY Dandruff Treat with CBD, Not that Far Fetched

The early research into CBD for dry skin, itchiness, psoriasis, and eczema has laid the groundwork for the future of study into CBD as a natural dandruff treatment.

Even if there are no current clinical trials on the power of CBD to reduce the symptoms of dandruff, that hasn’t stopped in the explosion of DIY dandruff treatments popping up. Skincare companies, consumers, and advocates are all getting on board. And if the Reddit comments are true, many have discovered it does help reduce the severity of dander.

References

1Jhawar, N., Schoenberg, E., Wang, J. V., & Saedi, N. (2019). The growing trend of cannabidiol in skincare products. Clinics in dermatology, 37(3), 279–281. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clindermatol.2018.11.002
Author avatar

Jessica McKeil

Jessica McKeil is a freelance writer focused on the medical marijuana industry, from production methods to medicinal applications. She is lucky enough to live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada where the cannabis industry is exploding. When not writing, she spends much of her time exploring in the coastal forests.

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