Hair Loss

Does Marijuana Consumption Cause Hair Loss

Among several myths connected to Marijuana or cannabis, considered a stress relaxant is the added doubt about its effect on hair loss. When the world is disturbed with news about drugs, drug lords, drug cartels, and whether these drugs are truly effective in relieving stress, the problem of hair loss stands paramount now with numerous exchanges on the Internet some for and some against.

Marijuana is extracted from the cannabis plant (cannabis sativa). Also called pot, grass, weed, rope, skunk, ganja, bhang etc. it no doubt causes physical and mental problems resulting from intoxication and long-term use.

It is used in
medicine also but mostly taken as a relaxant making consumers more talkative and happy. Actually the active substance or cannabinoid in Marijuana, THC (Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol) a psychoactive compound enters the bloodstream and floods the brain with chemicals that gives the HIGH.

Although everyone is aware of the psychological effects such drugs have, its harmful effects on the respiratory system, cancer or general health including hair health is still under research phase.

To test drug abuse, forensic departments the world over rely on testing of hair follicle and hair samples. A high concentration of THC in hair has been used as an indication of drug intake by offenders. But does it lead to hair loss is a matter to be debated.

Some users are positive that they experienced increased oiliness of the hair and fast hair fall while some are vehement in disapproving this fact.

Previous studies which tested the effect of cannabinoids on hair follicles did find evidence of negative impact on hair growth. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that are of two types. The endocannabinoids are produced naturally in the body by humans and animals while the phytocannabinoids are produced by cannabis and some other plants besides the synthetic cannabinoids produced chemically.

THC a cannabinoid seems to be deposited in high levels in hair shafts of Marijuana users. Also it inhibits hair shaft elongation depending on dosage. The multiplication and growth of hair follicle keratocytes is also hindered. This proves that marijuana intake in any form, inhaling, in food etc. does indeed result in hair loss or that it obstructs hair growth.

Marijuana consumption causes increased activity, sleeplessness and anxiety. What started as a relaxant becomes a cause for stress, which may in turn lead to hair loss indirectly. Habits like irregular eating and intake of less nutritional food, smoking and sedentary lifestyle are associated with drug abuse which may lead to poor skin and hair health also.

The associated negative changes in a marijuana user’s lifestyle is prone to cause hair loss than the actual chemical itself. It seems to affect different people in different ways. Concrete medical evidence on hair loss effects of marijuana is hard to come by. But its consumption may aggravate medical conditions like alopecia areata or occurrence of bald spots on the scalp, according to doctors.

Many users and hair stylists opine that prolonged drug use makes the hair soft that will eventually fall. For those genetically inclined to bald, the process will be hastened. This may be the cause why some people who are not genetically prone to baldness are not affected including those who are happy with their hair count in spite of marijuana use. There are many who have even experienced more hair growth.

Research organizations including The National Institute on Drug Abuse, a federal U.S. agency, The National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre or NCPIC in Australia and others are researching the effects of Marijuana. Whether it leads to hair loss or not, it does lead to a drop in IQ.


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