Can CBG Fight Dandruff?

Back view of woman washing her hair

Studies are hinting at the potential for CBD to be used as an anti-dandruff ingredient, and recently information has come out that CBG may do the same.

Dandruff is often a symptom of scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. Both conditions cause plaques on the scalp that are often dry, itchy, and irritated. CBD and CBG have been shown to reduce inflammation and, in the case of CBG, increase sebum production, helping to lessen the severity of the symptoms associated with dandruff.

While it is helpful to alleviate the inflammation and treat the dry scalp, another aspect of dandruff is caused by the body reacting to an overgrowth of Malassezia fungi.

Yes. Fungus. We all have fungus as a regular part of our microbiome. But fungal growth can become uncontrolled, and excessive Malassezia furfur, Malassezia restricta, and Malassezia globosa can cause the scalp to become dry and irritated, resulting in white flakes. In some instances, an overgrowth of these fungal species can also cause a condition called tinea versicolor. For many teenagers, this can be a devastating issue where the fungi cause white splotches on the upper back and torso. While treatable, it can affect self-esteem until eradicated.

An effective anti-dandruff ingredient would effectively bring the Malassezia fungus back to its proper levels and re-establish a balanced skin microbiome.

Our Research on Cannabinoids and Malassezia Imbalance

We tested how treatment with CBD, CBGA, and CBG affects the growth of M.furfur, M.restricta, and M.globosa and collected some promising results.

CBG was able to prevent the growth of all three fungal species tested. It inhibited the growth of M.furfur at a concentration of 6.25 µg/mL. It showed less activity against the other species, but was able to prevent the growth of M.globosa at 100 µg/mL and M.restricta at 200 µg/mL.

CBGA was also able to prevent the growth of M.furfur at 25 µg/mL. It also hindered the growth of M.restricta at 100 µg/mL and M.globosa  at 200 µg/mL.

CBD was not as potent as either CBG or CBGA. While it was able to prevent the growth of all 3 Malassezia species, it did so only at the highest concentration tested at 200 µg/mL.

As we’ve previously noted, CBG has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory, and increase sebum production. Both of these traits, along with its ability to prevent the growth of M.furfur could lead to a gentle, yet effective anti-dandruff and tinea versicolor treatment.

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