The first thing most people do when they notice hair loss or thinning hair is trying and identify lifestyle factors that might be causing it. Of course, genetic factors play a significant role in most types of hair loss, but environmental factors can certainly intensify or reduce it. And if you smoke weed regularly, you might be wondering if there’s a connection between cannabis and hair loss. So let’s take a look at the evidence.
Cannabis and hair loss.
There are serious health concerns about the harmful effects of marijuana.
On the other hand, many health benefits from cannabis use have been identified. From glaucoma to cancer, the range of maladies this ancient herb can reduce numerously and grow.
So, could these medicinal properties actually be good for hair? Or does cannabis cause hair loss?
Cannabis and cortisol
And while it’s not quite as simple as stress = hair loss, there is some truth to this theory.
Numerous different types of hair loss can be brought on by stress. Perhaps the most common of these stress-related hair loss conditions is telogen effluvium – where more hair follicles than normal enter the resting phase. Hair grows in cycles. At any one point, around 85% of your hair is in the anagen (growth) stage. The other 15% is in the telogen (resting) phase. Significant stress can skew this 85/15 balance and force more hair to enter the resting phase.
Cannabis actually increases levels of cortisol – the stress hormone.
But telogen effluvium is pretty uncommon as hair loss conditions go. It’s is normally a response to severe stress – the kind brought on by serious illness or loss, not from smoking a few joints.
Compared to androgenetic alopecia (male and female pattern hair loss), telogen effluvium is pretty rare. Pattern baldness is certainly not improved by increased cortisol, but its primary cause is a completely different hormone: dihydrotestosterone (DHT).