CBD for Dandruff

Could CBD be a cure for dandruff?

The use of CBD in beauty products has exploded over the past couple of years. You can now find CBD face creams, CBD mascara and even CBD shampoo. And while some of these products may not make a radical difference in your life (CBD lip gloss?), others may have the potential to do a lot of good. In this article, we look at CBD products that target dandruff, and how you can use them to heal your scalp. Does CBD shampoo live up to its claims?? Let’s find out!

What is CBD?

First, let’s talk a bit more about CBD. CBD is a molecule found in the cannabis plant. It is classified as a cannabinoid, a class of compounds with some very interesting health benefits.

When cannabinoids enter our bodies, they bind with receptors of the endocannabinoid system, which brings about a lot of benefits for body and mind. For example, CBD binds with endocannabinoid receptors in such a way that it lowers pain, inflammation, blood pressure, anxiety, and depression, as well as countless other afflictions.

This molecule has been used in dermatology to treat eczema, psoriasis, acne and many other conditions. When applied onto the skin, it calms inflammation, irritation and itching. It can also regulate the production of sebum and skin cells. All of these effects could make it useful for treating dandruff. 

To understand how CBD may be useful to those with dandruff problems, we first need to understand where dandruff comes from.

What causes dandruff?

Dandruff is a condition that causes flakes of skin to fall off the scalp and collect in the hair. Some people find that dandruff also makes their scalp itch, which makes it even more irritating. Although it is not a dangerous condition, getting rid of your dandruff can make you feel and look better.

The problem is, there are many different reasons why you may have dandruff.

Some people experience flaking of their scalp because of seborrheic dermatitis, a skin condition that causes the skin to produce too many skin cells. If you have dandruff because of seborrheic dermatitis, you will likely also suffer from irritated patches behind the ears, on the eyebrows and on the sides of the nose.

Other people experience dandruff because of excessive yeast. This type of dandruff usually comes during the winter months and goes away in the summer when heat and sunlight help destroy some of the yeast.

Finally, you may suffer from dandruff because of a fungal infection. This is something a dermatologist will be able to diagnose. 

CBD for Dandruff

Does CBD help to get rid of dandruff?

Regardless of the type of dandruff you have, CBD may be able to help.

This is because it can treat many of the possible causes of dandruff:

  • Excess sebum production
  • Excess growth of skin cells
  • Fungus

CBD may also help to calm scalp irritation. 

CBD could lower oil production

Not every person who suffers from dandruff has an oily scalp. However, having a scalp that produces excess sebum is often a trigger for dandruff.

The oil your scalp produces can feed yeast or fungus. This means the oilier your scalp gets, the more yeast and fungus can thrive. 

The answer, however, is not to dry out your scalp. Using harmful chemicals such as those found in shampoo for greasy hair  can leave your scalp irritated and dehydrated. It will only produce more oil as a protective mechanism, meaning you are unlikely to see the end of your problem!

Rather, you should focus on using products that balance out oil production back to normal levels. In that sense, CBD can help. A 2014 study conducted on people with acne found that CBD had sebum-regulating effects. When applied to the skin, CBD sends messages to the sebaceous glands to stop them from overproducing oil. As a result, it can treat conditions caused by excess sebum, including acne and dandruff. 

CBD could fight off fungus

Often, dandruff is caused by an excess of fungus. Our scalp is the ground where fungus and bacteria naturally live. But when scalp fungus grows too strong, this can cause irritation, itching and dandruff.

Cannabis has been used for its anti-fungal properties for thousands of years. A cannabis-based product like CBD oil could help fight dandruff by killing off some of the fungi that live on your scalp. 

CBD could reduce the number of skin cells your scalp produces

CBD for Dandruff


In some cases, people have dandruff because their scalp produces too many skin cells. In that case, the answer is to regulate skin cell production … which is easier said than done! Chemicals like salicylic acid can help because they speed up skin cell turnover. However, they can be irritating to the skin.

On the other hand, CBD is a gentle product that may be able to slow down skin cell reproduction in a more natural way. This 2007 study found that cannabinoids had a key role to play in the production of new skin cells. By activating certain receptors at the level of the skin, they could slow down the creation of skin cells. This could be very helpful not only to people with skin conditions like psoriasis but also for those with dandruff. 

CBD could help with itching

Dandruff is already irritating enough, but itching makes it even worse! People with dandruff often get into a vicious cycle: the more their scalp itches, the more they scratch it. And the more they scratch it, the more dandruff they risk having because scratching stimulates oil production. 

That’s why a product that reduces itching could also be helpful in reducing a dandruff problem. CBD may be such a product. A 2017 review of the role of cannabinoids in dermatology found that molecules like CBD could reduce itching significantly. 

How do you fight dandruff with CBD?

To fight dandruff with CBD, you have a couple of options. The first one is to simply take CBD oil and apply it to your scalp. This could be a little bit tricky because you’ll need a lot of CBD oil to cover the area. But if you already have a CBD oil tincture at home, it’s worth giving it a try.

How do you fight dandruff
Another option would be to apply a CBD-based lotion or ointment to your scalp. You may want to leave it on for a few hours or overnight, giving it time to calm down the irritation, regulate oil production and fight off the fungus. 

Finally, you could invest in a CBD-based shampoo. This product is a little harder to come by, and you may have to order it from the internet. But if you can find it, it’s a great way to apply CBD on your scalp easily while you’re in the shower. Simply massage your whole scalp with it after you get your hair wet and leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing. 

Is CBD legal where I live?

CBD has been legalized in many Western countries, but we encourage you to check your local laws before buying it. In the United States, CBD is not approved by the FDA, but it is legal on a federal level, as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. 


CBD may be a good, natural alternative to anti-dandruff shampoo. It can fight excess oil production, excess skin cell production and excess fungi. It will also help to reduce inflammation and itching, calming down your scalp. So if you’re looking for a natural way to fight your dandruff and restore balance to your scalp, why not give it a try?


CBD and sebum production

2014 study on the effects of CBD oil for acneic skin

Antifungal properties of CBD

2016 study on the therapeutic benefits of cannabis

CBD and excessive skin cell production

2007 study on the effects of CBD on overactive skin cell production

CBD and itching

2017 review of studies on the role of cannabinoids for skin disorders (notably itching)

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