Does Smoking Weed Cause Hair Loss? [Marijuana And Hair Loss]

Does Smoking Weed Cause Hair Loss? [Marijuana And Hair Loss]
Can Smoking Weed Cause Hair Loss

A single factor does not cause hair loss. Hormonal changes, cancer, pattern baldness, alopecia, or even your diet can all cause hair loss. This might make you wonder what exactly is causing your hair loss. Let’s take a detailed look at the relationship between marijuana and hair loss and determine if smoking weed causes hair loss.

In this article, we’ll outline everything you need to know about marijuana (or weed) and hair loss, according to various scientific studies.

When most people first notice hair loss, thinning hair, or bald spots, they typically try to figure out what lifestyle factors contribute to their pattern baldness.

In most cases, genetics play a significant role in determining hair loss (think male pattern baldness); however, environmental factors can equally worsen your hair’s health.

If you regularly smoke marijuana, this might be one of the first correlations you make between cannabis and hair loss.

Let’s break down some studies relating to the cannabis plant, cigarette smoke, and hair loss.

Can Smoking Weed Cause Hair Loss?

Did you know that two-thirds of Americans face hair loss by the time they are 35 years old? Genetics plays a significant role in your hair’s health (and hair loss treatment path).

According to American Hair Loss:

approximately 85% of American men are met with significant hair thinning by the age of 50! Hair shedding increases substantially with age.

Isn’t that interesting?

Hair loss continues to grow as a global concern as more people find themselves facing baldness, hair shedding, thinning hair, and more. Most importantly, people who suffer from hair loss find themselves unhappy and depressed. People are desperately searching for a solution to balding.

Although many hair loss cases have been traced to androgenetic alopecia (or the androgen effects), the overwhelming majority of hair loss cases remain a mystery.

However, professionals suspect one of the main culprits is smoking, whether from tobacco smoke or marijuana users. The main question is: what type of smoking is capable of causing hair loss?

Studies have shown that cigarette smoking can cause excessive hair loss just like marijuana; however, do we know these studies are conclusive? Can we depend on them alone to say that hair loss is a product of tobacco and weed smoking, or rather, smoking in general?

Let’s take an in-depth look at each of these theories, analyze the research and determine if smoking pot, tobacco, or other substances are linked to hair loss.

Related Reading

Cannabis and Hair Loss

Let’s answer the central question: does smoking marijuana cause hair loss?

Researchers at the University of Amsterdam have proven that constant smoking of cannabis directly contributes to hair loss.

Weed is the most commonly used illegal drug in the world. Over 2 million people are regular marijuana smokers; however, there are many adverse side effects.

One study discovered that:

Men and women between the age of 18 and 80 who regularly smoke pot are significantly susceptible to hair loss. Young males, who constantly smoked pot, often faced hair loss much sooner than average.

Let’s genuinely think about what that statement means. When we look at previous studies, the connection between hair loss and marijuana seems a lot more evident than initially thought.

Contact use of cannabis harms the body in two different ways: through the effect of marijuana itself and negative lifestyle changes (e.g., poor dietary intake, irregular eating habits, increased stress levels, weaker immune system, etc.).

With many states recently legalizing cannabis, it is safe to say that weed is here to stay. While most people do not see marijuana as a bad thing, there are still some severe health concerns and long-term harmful effects on your body.

On the contrary, cannabis (and notably CBD oil) comes with various health benefits, too. From slowing cancer to treating glaucoma, marijuana consumption has been proven to lessen a variety of illnesses.

Many argue that these therapeutic healing properties are beneficial to your hair’s health, which leads us to the main question, does cannabis indeed cause hair loss?

How Smoking Weed Causes Hair Loss

Can Smoking Weed Cause Hair Loss

If you smoke weed regularly, you are at a much higher risk of losing your hair. Studies have proven that smoking weed does cause hair loss.

You are probably wondering, how exactly can smoking weed cause hair loss? Let’s look at the various ways that this drug (in regular smokers), causing balding.

1. Marijuana leads to hormonal changes

Hormone levels regulate almost everything in your body. A study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) confirmed that “smoking weed could lessen the amount of LH as well as FSH levels of the body.”

As you may already know, KH and FSH levels are hormones that play a significant role in producing testosterone. Testosterone levels are one of the main influences on hair loss.

When you face this hormonal imbalance, your body deals with lower testosterone levels. As a result, your hair may begin to thin or bald.

You might think that lower testosterone levels mean lower levels of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT); although that sounds good theoretically, unfortunately, that is not the case. When your hormone levels lower and produce less testosterone, you are at a greater risk for the following health problems:

  • Reduced sexual libido
  • Difficulty gaining and maintaining an erection
  • A decline in sexual performance
  • Reduction in body hair
  • Infertility
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Increased body fat
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Fatigue

At the same time, however, some case studies argue that prolonged use of marijuana stabilizes your hormone levels and leads to fewer symptoms. This only happens when the body is tolerant of the drug, thanks to the chronic use of marijuana that prevents the symptoms mentioned above.

2. Weed smoking provokes stress

When your body is under stretch (whether physical or mental), you produce a hormone called cortisol. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can increase the cortisol level in the body.

With the increase in cortisol level, your body will respond with a condition referred to as telogen effluvium.

What is telogen effluvium? Your hair typically grows in three stages: anagen, catagen, and telogen. When the hair follicles enter the telogen phase prematurely, you experience telogen effluvium triggered by illness, injury, stress, hormonal changes, or hormonal imbalance.

This condition often results in excessive shedding of hair. Thankfully, this is not a permanent condition, and it can be treated. Once your stress levels are under control, you can regulate your hormones and begin your hair regrowth journey. If your THC levels remain, so does telogen effluvium.

3. It slows down cell production

The production of new cells is critical in regard to the hair growth cycle. Without these cells, your hair follicles will not enter the anagen phase.

The University of Debrecen conducted a research study in 2007, which showed that endo and endocannabinoids hinder hair follicle growth.

These are found in different parts of the body, and some play roles in various physiological processes, including pain sensation, memory, appetite, and mood.

Marijuana And Hair Loss

The body can create its cannabinoids, referred to as endocannabinoids. However, the type of cannabinoid that marijuana produces is known as endocannabinoid.

Just like the endocannabinoid, the endocannabinoid can attach itself to the cannabinoid receptors found in the body. As a result, your body will be imbalanced, resulting in hair loss.

The research also showed that “the prototypic endocannabinoid, AEA (which the human HF can also produce), and the endocannabinoid, THC, both slow down the elongation of the human hair shaft and stimulate apoptosis-driven HF involution (catagen) in vitro.”

In other words, cannabinoids can hinder hair shaft development and growth and trigger hair loss; this is due to the increasing hair percentage in the catagen phase. With increased endocannabinoids, the rate of hair follicles in the catagen phase increases equally.

Tobacco Smoking And Hair Loss

Smoking weed is not the only type of smoke capable of causing hair loss. Did you know that cigarette smoke and tobacco smoke also cause you to lose hair?

The US National Library of Medicine conducted a study, which proved that tobacco smoke not only increases your likelihood of death but also harms your skin negatively?

Other studies have found a correlation between smoking and baldness. Let’s take a look at the ‘how!’

Smoking leads to hair loss due to several factors. Smoke contains genotoxicants, which can damage the DNA of the hair follicle (prohibiting hair regrowth).

Many professionals also believe that smoke can alter the microvasculature of the papilla dermal hair. In other words, when your hair enters the growth phase, smoke can cause an imbalance in the follicular protease/antiprotease systems, which are in charge of remodeling the tissue.

Additionally, smoking has many pro-oxidant effects, which release pro-inflammatory cytokines, causing micro-inflammation of the follicles and fibrosis. As a result, you face baldness or hair loss.

When your immune system is compromised by smoke, you see an increase of oestradiol hydroxylation and a slow down of enzyme aromatases; therefore, leading to a state of hypo-estrogen.

Although an abundance of research pointed towards smoking leading to excessive hair loss, some studies show that a family’s history of baldness determines hair loss in smokers. While genetics play a significant role in hair loss, regular smoking increases your chances of becoming bald significantly.

How to Fight Marijuana-Linked Hair Loss

If your think your hair loss (whether that be pattern baldness, bald spots, or thinning hair) is caused by marijuana smoke, here are a few things you can do to treat the problem and initiate hair growth.

Take More Nutritional-Rich Diets

An increased appetite is a common side effect of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) intake.

Unfortunately, this increase in appetite does not always correlate to an increased intake of healthy, nutritional diets. Instead, most people are more likely to feed on carbs and sugary junks; this can harm your body, leading to hair loss.

If you are smoking marijuana, try to increase your intake of nutrition-rich foods; not only will this improve your hair health, but it can fuel your body will necessary vitamins and minerals. When you take care of your body from the inside out, you can treat acne, scalp disease, hormonal imbalance, and more.

One of the easy ways to increase your nutritional intake is to eat more fruits and vegetables, specifically foods that contain vitamin A, B, C, and D, calcium, niacin, magnesium, iron, and so forth.

Additionally, it’s highly recommended that you consume alkaline-rich foods primarily. Why? When you eat acidic foods, they can negatively affect your body’s pH balance. As a result, your body produces excess DHT, which almost always leads to hair loss.

Reduce Cannabis Usage

While stopping marijuana consumption immediately may seem like a good idea, it may have some harmful effects (especially if you are using weed for medical purposes). In turn, try simply reducing the amount of marijuana you consume.

While THC does have some benefits, the drug comes with several ill effects (e.g., cancer or hair loss). Therefore, it is crucial to minimize your marijuana intake to treat these adverse side effects. You can try cannabis oil as a healthy alternative.

Determine the Real Cause

It is important to note that smoking pot does cause hair loss in some individuals. However, with hair loss, there are typically multiple contributing factors.

From medication to genetic predisposition to blood flow, hair loss causes are tricky to pinpoint. Take note if you have some weed previously with no ill effect. If so, your balding problem might have a more significant medical issue behind it. Once you identify the leading cause of your hair loss, you will have a better idea of treatment.

One of the easiest ways to find the main culprit is by eliminating diet, which means dismissing food triggers.

Ideally, you get rid of the “usual suspects” for about 23 days. This means no alcohol, no soy, no gluten, no dairy, egg, and fast food for 23 days.

After this, you introduce one food at a time for over 96 hours.

For instance, reintroduce gluten into your diet on the 24th day. Eat gluten, and pay attention to the way your body reacts within the next 96 hours. Continue eating the food and take notes. If you don’t have any reactions (such as itching, rashes, hives, digestive upset, etc.), you may reintroduce gluten fully into your diet.

If some foods leave you feeling lazy, tired, or dizzy, you may be suffering from an autoimmune response. These foods could be triggering your hair loss.

Your hair loss could e en be due to hormonal imbalance or an underlying medical condition. If you are feeling lost, try consulting with your physician to identify the cause of your hair loss.

Does Smoking Weed Cause Hair Loss? | Conclusion

If you love to have hairs that keep growing and maintain their sheen, it is advisable to keep off weed smoking as it is capable of slowing down hair shaft growth as well as increasing loss of hair.

Since hair loss can potentially reduce your self-esteem, one good way to maintain your self-esteem is to stop smoking weed and tobacco. They easily produce unpleasant results on your hair.

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Tired of chasing down hair growth solutions without the results you’re after? Make sure you’re using the three hair loss products known to work before experimenting with alternative solutions – you may be surprised with how effective those three alone can be.

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  1. Hi Sarah,

    Good to know about your website as well 🙂 I covered a similar article on whether smoking weed causes acne.

    Great blog here and all the best the future and Cheers for the success 🙂

  2. If you smoke weed regularly and have noticed
    Hair loss and decide to reduce the weed intake, how soon would you notice hair growth? Just trying to figure out the process of elimination as to whether this is the issue.


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