Effect of cannabis use on alopecia areata

Abeer AL Lihabi, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Taibah University, Medina, Saudi Arabia

Background: Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune disease of the hair follicles causing unpredictable hair loss, occurring in about 2% of the general population throughout their lifetime. AA is associated with other concurrent disorders, such as depression, thyroid diseases, and anxiety. Cannabis receptors (CBRs), especially CB2Rs, are found on immune cells, including lymphocytes, macrophages, mast cells, natural killer (NK) cells, peripheral mononuclear cells, and microglia. We report the case of a girl who reported improvement in AA symptoms following marijuana use. Case presentation: A 15-year-old girl with alopecia universalis and multiple psychiatric diagnoses started self-medicating with cannabis for her symptoms over a year. She reported hair regrowth on her scalp but not anywhere else on the body. Conclusion: Endocannabinoids are a new natural candidate for treating and understanding autoimmunity. There is limited research on the effects of cannabis on AA, and this case report highlights its use as a potential treatment option for autoimmune diseases.

Palabras clave: Alopecia. Alopecia universalis. Autoimmune disease. Cannabidiol. Cannabis.