Efficacy and Tolerability of a Shampoo Containing Broad-Spectrum Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Scalp Inflammation in Patients with Mild to Moderate Scalp Psoriasis or Seborrheic Dermatitis

Skin Appendage Disord. 2020 Nov;6(6):355-361. doi: 10.1159/000510896. Epub 2020 Oct 19.


Introduction: Scalp inflammation is commonly associated with scalp psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis. It can aggravate the progression of androgenetic alopecia and cause troublesome itching and burning. Here, we evaluate the efficacy of a shampoo containing 0.075% broad-spectrum cannabidiol in 50 subjects with mild to moderate scalp psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.

Methods: Inflammation was assessed by evaluating the density of twisted/glomerular or arborizing vessels by trichoscopy using a 6-point scale at baseline and day 14. Symptoms of itching/burning sensation, clinical evaluation of erythema/scaling, overall tolerability, and subject satisfaction were evaluated using 10-point scales.

Results: There were significant reductions in arborizing vessel/twisted capillary inflammation and scaling by day 14. Severity scores reduced from 2.3 ± 0.1, 2.6 ± 0.1, and 3.6 ± 0.1, respectively, to 0.5 ± 0.05, 0.8 ± 0.05, and 0.6 ± 0.05 (all p < 0.0001). Symptom scores of itching and burning also reduced significantly from 6.9 ± 0.1 to 4.5 ± 0.1 to 1.5 ± 0.05 and 1.0 ± 0.05 (both p < 0.0001). Severity of erythema and scaling was also significantly reduced from 5.5 ± 0.1 and 7.0 ± 0.1, respectively, to 1.3 ± 0.05 and 1.6 ± 0.05 (both p < 0.0001). Tolerability and subject satisfaction were both excellent. There were no significant differences in treatment effect, tolerability, or subject satisfaction between men and women.

Discussion/conclusion: Replacing current shampooing practices with a broad-spectrum cannabidiol-containing shampoo significantly reduces both severity and symptoms of scalp inflammation within 2 weeks, with excellent tolerability and treatment satisfaction in subjects with mild to moderate scalp psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.

Keywords: Androgenetic alopecia; Broad-spectrum cannabidiol shampoo; Dermoscopy; Scalp psoriasis; Seborrheic dermatitis; Topical treatment; Trichoscopy.