How Are Cannabinoids Detected in Hair?

Chart of the different compounds in cannabis, including CBG, CBC, CBD, CBN, and THC

Reply to @azaeliabanks how crannabinoids are detected in hair #ouidtiktok #education #science #chemistry #medicinalplants #fyp

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In one of Riley’s first videos, she explains how “crannabinoids” are detected in human hair. Using a small drawing, she describes how hair follicles are surrounded by blood capillaries. Because of this, any substance in your blood can diffuse into your hair. This also goes for sweat or other substances that have contact with your hair. 

Lipophilic Molecules

Lipophilic molecules are one of the molecules in our bodies that love fat. This is relevant because cannabinoids are a lipophilic molecule. These types of molecules will accumulate in your hair a lot faster than hydrophilic molecules. 

How Hair Testing Works

Using another drawing to demonstrate, Riley shows her viewers imagery of the human head and where the hair follicle will start. When testing hair for cannabinoids, the tester will take a piece of your hair and segment that piece of hair and create a timeline of your substance abuse over time. It is segmented into 0 to 3 months, 3 to 6 months, 6 to 9 months, and 9 to 12 months. The first segment starts at the root of the hair and the last segment ends at the very end of the piece of hair.  Using a solvent like methanol, the tester will extract each segment and run them through specialized machines.

Treated Hair

If your hair has been treated with hair dye, bleach, UV, perm, etc. the compounds in your hair will break down faster than those with untreated hair, but it will still take a long time for the compounds to be broken down completely. 

Keeping Up With Riley

You can keep up with Riley Dee on her Tik Tok account named Cannabichem, as well as right here on the Arbor Vita8 website! 

Still have more questions? Do you know someone in the field that’s looking to take their industrial hemp efforts to the next level? Have them reach out to us today! Our network of credentialed associates are here to help you. Head over to our contact page now for more information.

Clip Transcript

Riley Dee:

Heck yeah, I can. Let’s talk about how cannabinoids are detected in your hair. So this is a typical hair follicle. The follicle is surrounded by a network of very small blood capillaries, so any substance that is in your blood can passively diffuse into your hair. With that being said, lipophilic molecules, or those that love fat, are going to accumulate in your hair faster than hydrophilic molecules. So if someone asks you for a piece of hair to do one of these tests, this is what they’re going to do.

They are going to segment your hair and create a timeline of your substance abuse over time. They’re going to extract each segment of the hair separately using a solvent, such as methanol, and then once they have your hair extract, they’re going to run these on machines like an LCMS or GCMS. Now, if you dye, bleach, perm or have tons of UV exposure to your hair, your compounds in your hair will break down faster than people who do not do this to their hair. Hope this helps.


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