Marijuana and Hair Loss

Medical Marijuana For Alopecia Areata

Premature hair loss is not an uncommon occurrence, in fact, millions of people all around the world suffer hair loss leading to premature balding. In this article, we are going to look at the different causes that lead to hair loss and premature balding. Further, the article will explore if the use of marijuana in any way is directly connected to hair fall. And if it is, then what are the measures to be taken to prevent the further loss of hair.

Major causes of hair loss

The cause of hair loss leading to premature balding can be many, of which the 5 major ones include –

  • Alopecia Areata 

Hair loss that leads to partial baldness is often referred to as Alopecia. For a person suffering from partial baldness, the cause behind it can be many, from psychological and hormonal imbalance to genetics. The psychological factor for developing alopecia can be linked to stress, anxiety, and depression.

  • Hereditary

The second major factor for premature hair loss is hereditary. If you have a family history of premature hair loss or thinning hair at a young age, it is most likely that it will happen to you as well. 

  • The functioning of the thyroid gland

The thyroid gland is one of the most important hormonal glands, which helps in metabolism, regulates many bodily functions, and the overall growth and development of the human body. However, if the thyroid gland is not functioning in the way it should, one of the consequences may be hair fall.

  • Hormonal Imbalance 

There are two ways to look at this factor of hormonal imbalance and hair fall. Hormonal imbalance certainly leads to hair fall, and hair fall or premature thinning of the hair may be seen as a sign of hormonal imbalance.

The fifth major reason that may lead to hair loss is the use of drugs and medication. The common medications that have been linked to hair loss include – Antibiotics, steroids, weight-loss drugs, thyroid medications, and medication for gout to name a few. 

Picking up from these drugs and medication-induced hair loss, this article will dive deep and see if marijuana taken as medication or a recreational drug leads to premature hair loss  

Marijuana, the recreational and medicinal drug

The popularity of marijuana or cannabis as a form of medicinal and recreational drug has been growing over the years. This growing popularity of the plant has led to many countries slowly legalizing its use as a recreational drug and for medical purposes. Some of the countries that have legalized the use of marijuana include – Canada, Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Jamaica, Spain, Costa Rica, Colombia, Belize, the Czech Republic, Uruguay, and some states in the United States.

With the gradual legalization of marijuana, doctors and health professionals in these countries have been prescribing marijuana in the form of medical treatment. According to the various studies and research that have been carried out on the plant, it has been found out that the use of marijuana can provide relief to a variety of conditions. Among them are – glaucoma, muscle spasms due to paraplegia and multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, seizures, and neuropathic or nerve pain.

Marijuana and hair loss

When it comes to hair loss, as highlighted earlier there may be a variable of different causes that may lead to premature loss of hair. As for smoking or using marijuana directly leading to premature balding or hair loss, a conclusive study to prove this fact 100 per cent is yet to surface.

The study was done way back in the year 2007 the suggested marijuana could potentially result in loss of hair loss or premature balding. According to the research and the study that was carried out, it suggested that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the active ingredient in marijuana responsible for giving you the intoxication effect, was the main cause for hair loss. As per the study, whenever one uses marijuana, the THC gets deposited onto hair troughs — which can stop the hair from growing longer and moreover brings down the distribution of hair follicle proteins. This chain of events while smoking marijuana could affect the health of the hair resulting in hair loss.

Combustion induced while smoking and its physiological effects

The majority of the people who use marijuana, use it in the form of smoking. This process requires the lighting of the joint holding the marijuana and as a consequence there is combustion. This process of burning or combustion releases innumerable substances that are harmful in so many ways. And once inhaled into your lungs, the smoke travels to your brain and then reaches our hair follicles causing damage to them. This was highlighted in a research paper titled, “Association between smoking and hair loss…” published by the National Library of Medicine, based on the study done in the year 2003. 

However, this study was solely based on the link between smoking and hair loss. And smoking here implies smoking of cigarettes and not marijuana. If you happen to mix cigarette tobacco with marjuana before smoking then that calls for a definitive concern for hair loss, otherwise this study is also inconclusive in smoking marijuana to direct loss of hair.

Mitigating and preventing hair loss.

Though as highlighted in the article that there has not been a conclusive study to prove that use of marijuana results in hair loss and premature balding, you can take the following steps to prevent the further loss of your hair.

  • Decrease or stop using Marijuana

If you’re stressed out that marijuana is the reason behind your hair loss then stop using marijuana altogether. In case you use marijuana as medication then lower your usage. A thing to remember here would be that stress is one of the causes that may result in premature hair fall and balding.

  • Consume marijuana in a different manner

Smoking tobacco leads to the damage of hair follicles, which eventually may lead to loss of hair as has been pointed out earlier in the article. So, if you have been mixing tobacco with marijuana been, you might want to leave the tobacco out the next time you roll a joint.

In case, if you are worried about combustions and the release of harmful chemicals (carcinogens) then adopting an alternative method of consuming tobacco might be a good option. For instance vaporising or vaping.

The other and maybe the best option would be edibles or cannabis oils. The cannabis oils come in capsules and can be consumed  with the capsule. Consuming marijuana in the form of edibles and oils completely, you will not have to worry about the harm posed by combustion, however, using a capsule, you have to keep track of your dosage.

  • Increase nutritional intake and make better food choices

One of the side effects of using marijuana is that it leads to poor nutritional choices. Following the use of marijuana junk food, snacks with high sugar content, oily and high carb foods are the natural choice of nutrition. And bad food leads to bad health, which may cause hormonal imbalances all of which may result in premature loss of hair.

So stay away from junk foods, instead choose healthy nutritional foods that are high on vitamins A, B, C, D and E and also food with iron, zinc, and protein all of which are best for hair growth. 

  • Find out the root cause of your premature loss of hair

As we have seen, no studies have conclusively proved that using or smoking of marijuana directly leads to the loss of hair, or premature balding. However, one must take into consideration the fact that use of marijuana may lead to conditions, which further if not checked may lead to the loss of hair.

There are numerous other causes that are common when it comes to loss of hair, so visit a doctor and find out what is the root cause for your hair loss. Getting anxious about it or taking undue stress, will not help but on the contrary further augment your loss of hair. So keep calm and visit a specialist.


The link between using marijuana and the loss of hair is still inconclusive. So, it basically comes down to your line of thought of whether your use of marijuana is the main cause behind your hair loss or some other factor, which might be more serious, is involved. And based on it you will have to make your decision.

If you feel that giving up using marijuana will prove to be beneficial not just for your hair, but your life overall, including your relationships, your lifestyle and so on then of course giving it up altogether would be the best thing to do. It is more of an individual choice, as most things are, that requires action. And when you come to think about it, a much better option than waiting for a study to prove if marijuana is directly related to loss of hair, premature balding, thinning of hairline or not.

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