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does weed grow your hair

There are a lot of variables in hair testing for marijuana that make it a very controversial way to decide whether or not a person is fit to have a job. As mentioned above, false positives are very possible. It’s still not entirely clear, for example, whether hair can incorporate marijuana-derived compounds after simply being in the same vicinity as marijuana smoke.

When you smoke, vape, or eat marijuana, all you’re really doing is facilitating the release of the drug’s active compounds into your bloodstream. Once they’re in your veins, these cannabinoids ride the blood highway to the cannabinoid receptors on the body’s cells, where they bind and exert their effects. Along the way, some of the cannabinoids — metabolites of psychoactive THC are what most tests look for — enter the blood vessels that feed the cells of the scalp. There, at the interface between the vessel and the follicle cells known as the hair papilla, THC jumps the gap, entering the matrix, where actual hair growth occurs. Over the next couple of weeks, the hair from the root sprouts upward, carrying THC past the scalp, where it becomes fair game for testing for the next three months.

Hair color — that is, hair melanin content — seems to alter the sensitivity of the test, with darker-colored hair being more sensitive to the test, according to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. There has also been some concern about gray hair frequently turning up false positives, though more research is needed to explain why this happens.

Once your hair is collected, it’s washed to remove any external contaminants, chopped up, and then digested in a solution meant to break it down into its components — largely the protein keratin, together with any other compounds that make their way into the hair shaft. Usually, that solution is put through an ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) screen, a laboratory procedure that uses specific antibodies to bind the target molecule of choice — in this case, THC. (More specifically, THCA, a direct metabolite of THC.)

How does hair testing detect THC?

The final concentration of the chemical in a sample of hair gives the final verdict. The “confirmatory level” of THCA that Quest Diagnostics uses is 0.1 picograms per milligram of hair. Anything above that pretty much confirms you’ve used marijuana in the past three months.

According to Quest Diagnostics, one of the premier drug testing labs in the United States, it takes five to 10 days before hair at the root pushes out past the scalp and into the world. In a drug test, samples are usually taken from hair 1.5 inches from the scalp. Since hair grows at about 0.5 inches per month, then you have about 3 months, or 90 days, before you’re in the clear.

You smoked with your friends last weekend, but in the cold harsh light of Monday, you might be having regrets — especially if your employer conducts drug hair tests. From the moment you get high, it takes about 90 days before you’re free and clear when it comes to the THC in your hair. But exactly how long does weed stay in your hair? Here’s what you need to know.

How does weed get in my hair, Anyway?

The dreaded hair test is one of the most used tests for finding drug users. It’s less invasive and takes less time than urine and blood tests, but it’s also controversial and has been known to cause false positives — even coming in contact with smoke can be enough to mess up your results. But until this issue is sorted out, it’s worth knowing exactly how hair tests work, especially for one of the most common drugs around: weed.

In the case of a positive test, another sample of the same hair is usually put through a secondary test that uses techniques called gas chromatography and/or mass spectrometry. These techniques, known as GC/MS and GC/MS/MS (tandem MS), are more accurate, more involved techniques that scan the sample for the “molecular signature” of the target compound.

If you’re concerned you’re not getting enough in your diet, a biotin supplement could help.

A study compared finasteride with saw palmetto for encouraging hair regrowth and showed that while finasteride was found to be most effective, saw palmetto also seemed to help.

This topical treatment comes in liquid and foam formulas. Minoxidil is an FDA-approved medication and it doesn’t require a prescription.

Biotin

According to researchers (and as mentioned earlier), there may also be a link between smoking cigarettes and hair loss.

Biotin is a B vitamin known for having positive effects on hair. One study found that women who had thinning hair and took an oral supplement containing biotin experienced hair regrowth compared to those taking a placebo.

As mentioned above, marijuana use can lead to ‘munchies,’ which don’t always involve the most healthful food options.

Finasteride and Minoxidil Together

You can also make lifestyle changes to help manage hair loss — especially to the tune of a balanced diet. (Eating the right nutrients can help you get a healthy head of hair.)

A 2019 review of studies on minoxidil affirmed that it improved hair growth in both men and women who suffer from pattern hair loss.

CBD especially is one of the trendiest ingredients in beauty and wellness products such as skin elixirs, balms, and hair products. Cannabis as a hair-growing agent however might be the most enticing discovery of the plant’s potential body care benefits.

Types of hair loss

Studies have shown that cigarette smoking can cause hair loss primarily due to the smoke itself. In relation, there are indications that smoked cannabis may cause similar effects to smoking tobacco. While these studies discuss the act of smoking, how does this relate to other means of consuming cannabis?

How weed affects our bodies

When it comes to a more severe form of alopecia, cannabis could work to treat the underlying causes or at least slow the progression of the condition. As it activates the CB1 receptors in the nervous system, weed could reduce stress which is a potential cause of hair loss.