What Is CBD Shampoo and What Are Its Benefits?

CBD (cannabidiol) shampoo is proposed as an alternative for people with various scalp problems: psoriasis, dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis. Is it effective?
What Is CBD Shampoo and What Are Its Benefits?
Franciele Rohor de Souza

Reviewed and approved by the pharmacist Franciele Rohor de Souza.

Last update: 15 November, 2022

CBD shampoo (cannabidiol shampoo) is promoted as an alternative for the treatment of different scalp conditions, including dandruff and psoriasis flaking. In addition to narcotic use, Cannabis sativa derivatives have various applications in the medical and aesthetic fields.

In this vein, CBD shampoo is claimed to provide a number of benefits. But how effective is it? Who is it recommended for? Does it have any side effects?

What is CBD and what is it used for?

Cannabis sativa, also called hemp or marijuana, is an herbaceous plant. It is of Asian origin, although it is widely distributed in various parts of the world, despite its illegal status in some countries.

Several types of cannabinoids are extracted from this plant. Among the best known are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).

While the former (THC) has psychoactive effects, the latter is the substance most responsible for the therapeutic benefits. These include the following:

Medicinal use of cannabis.
More and more research is being carried out into the benefits of CBD in medicine.

How to use CBD shampoo

The uses of cannabidiol have been extended to the cosmetic industry. It’s considered to be rich in omega-type fatty acids and protein.

For the same reason, cannabis oil is included in a variety of topical products, as it’s considered to have moisturizing properties. For example, helping to nourish hair and skin naturally.

In particular, CBD shampoo is recommended for various scalp problems, including mild to moderate psoriasis, dandruff, eczema and seborrheic dermatitis.

As for how to use it, it’s no different from an ordinary shampoo. However, it should only be used 2 or 3 times a week and left to act for 5 to 10 minutes before washing with water.

Benefits attributed to CBD shampoo

Among its main attributes, it’s stated that CBD shampoo is a natural product, free of sulfates and dyes, without parabens, silicones or other potentially harmful substances. The anti-inflammatory activity of cannabidiol could be effective in relieving symptoms of some health problems, such as eczema and psoriasis, reducing irritation.

Also, its use would contribute to increased blood circulation, thus helping with the flow of oxygen to the scalp. This would result in better nourished hair.

Finally, in terms of benefits, one study concluded that CBD shampoo can reduce itching, burning and erythema, and even inhibiting excessive sebum secretion.

Possible side effects

Among the potential side effects of using CBD shampoo are allergic reactions. In fact, some studies have reported cases of people being allergic to marijuana.

On the other hand, while CBD shampoos are considered safe for adults, their effect on children has not yet been studied, nor in the cases of pregnant or breastfeeding women.

In the research regarding the benefits of CBD shampoo, it was recommended that people with any of the following conditions or situations should not take it:

  • Scarring alopecia
  • Alopecia areata
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Those who have had a hair transplant
  • People with allergy or sensitivity to any of the substances used
Alopecia areata.
People with alopecia areata should refrain from using this shampoo, as it has not yet been certified safe for them or if it would have real benefits.

Does CBD shampoo really work?

Some cosmetic brands offer hair care products, specifically CBD shampoo, claiming that they won’t only improve moisture, but also reduce symptoms such as dryness or flaking. However, most of the attributed benefits are anecdotal.

No other research has yet been published to support such claims, apart from the aforementioned study. The study even worked with a sample of 50 people and the observations were made in a short period of time.

The product used for the experiment contained caffeine and ketoconazole (a well-known antifungal). And, finally, it was funded by laboratories that also produce CBD shampoo. This could indicate a conflict of interest.

The only thing we can be sure of is that CBD shampoo is more expensive (between 50 and 300%) compared to a regular product. Time will tell.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Crippa J et al. Effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on regional cerebral blood flow. Neuropsychopharmacology. 29(2): 417-426.
  • Derakhshan N, Kazemi M. Cannabis for refractory psoriasis-high hopes for a novel treatment and a literature review. Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2016; 11(2): 146–147.
  • Huerta L, Ortega M, Vargas C, et al. Cannabinoids: from science to controversy. Alerg Asma Inmunol Pediatr. 2017; 26(1):16-20.
  • Nicols J, Kaplan B. Immune responses regulated by cannabidiol. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2002; 5(1):12–31.
  • Oláh A, Tóth B, Borbíró I, Sugawara K, et al. Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes. J Clin Invest. 2014; 124(9): 3713–3724.
  • Shannon S, et al. Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: a large case series. The Permanente journal. 2019; 23: doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041
  • Szabó I, Lisztes E, Béke G, Tóth K, et al. The phytocannabbinoid (-)-cannabidiol operates as a complex, differential modulator of human hair growth: anti-inflammatory submicromolar versus hair growth inhibitory micromolar effects. J Invest Dermatol. 2020; 140(2): 484–488.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.