Migraines and headaches can be extremely debilitating conditions that negatively impact the quality of life. While pain medications are commonly used for symptom relief, some people are looking to more natural options like CBD (cannabidiol).
In recent years, CBD oil has gained popularity for its potential to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines and headaches. CBD is one of over 100 active compounds derived from the cannabis plant.
Several studies have found benefits of using CBD oil for migraines and headaches, though more research is still needed. This article will examine the current research on CBD for migraines and headaches, potential mechanisms of action, and proper dosing considerations.
We’ll also look at first hand accounts of those who have successfully used CBD oil for migraine relief. Read on to learn if CBD may be an effective natural supplement to add to your migraine treatment plan.
- What is Migraine
- How Migraine Triggers
- The link between Endocannabinoid and Migraine
- What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)
- Role of Endocannabinoid System
- CB1 Receptors
- CB2 Receptors
- Does CBD Work Effectively For Migraines?
- CBD Dosage For Migraine Pain Relief
- How To Use CBD Oil For Migraine
- Scientific Studies On How CBD Help to Effectively Manage Migraine
- CBD Risk
What is Migraine
Migraine is a neurological condition and it Is frequently characterized by intense and debilitating headaches. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, difficulty in speaking, numbness or tingling, and sensitivity to light and sound.
Most migraines last about 4 hours. If it could not be treated or doesn’t respond to treatment, it can last for as long as 72 hours up to a week. If you and anyone you know have migraines, you already know how painful and debilitating it is.
How Migraine Triggers
Migraine sufferers also tend to experience depression, anxiety, and sleep problems. The exact causes of Migraine are not known, but it may be caused by changes in the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve, and the neurogenic inflammation.
Among these, the endocannabinoid system (ES) has recently attracted considerable attention. Experimental and clinical data suggest a link between dysregulation of this signalling complex and migraine headache.
Imbalance in brain chemicals—including serotonin, which helps to regulate pain in your nervous system may also be involved. Researchers are still studying the role of serotonin in migraine, but serotonin levels in the brain drop during migraine.
Migraine may be triggered by a variety of other factors like hormonal changes, foods, food additives, drinks like coffee, wine, and alcohol, stress, and changes in sleeping habits. Most migraineurs search for treatment, how to effectively manage and overcome that painful condition.
The link between Endocannabinoid and Migraine
Recent studies have shown that migraines may be caused by a lack of endocannabinoids and an abnormal inflammatory response. Triggers (mentioned above) initiate a chemical reaction in the brain, one that (non-migraineurs) would normally stimulate the release of endogenous cannabinoids to restore balance.
But migraineurs may not produce endogenous cannabinoids in the face of these triggers. Chronic migraine sufferers have an endocannabinoid deficiency. This leads to a cascade of pain-inducing signals within the brain, which causes dilation of blood vessels and an increase in pressure and swelling.
If you get migraines, you’ve likely looked for all kinds of treatments to ease your headache pain. Along with pain medication, migraine home remedies, and lifestyle changes. You might have considered CBD for migraines.
Let’s deep dive into how CBD Help to Effectively Manage Migraine.
What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)
Cannabidiol is a chemical in the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as marijuana or hemp. Over 80 chemicals, known as cannabinoids, have been identified in the Cannabis sativa plant.
While delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive component of marijuana. THC produces high cannabidiol, which is also obtained from hemp and contains a very small amount of THC.
CBD is the most abundant cannabinoid found in full-spectrum hemp extracts. However, there are over 80 different cannabinoids, vitamins, minerals, and terpenes found in hemp. These components of hemp may increase the medicinal value of CBD and help to effectively alleviate migraines.
Role of Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex cell-signaling system. The endocannabinoid system involves three core components: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. As part of our biological makeup, all of us are equipped with an endogenous cannabinoid system.
The endogenous cannabinoid system regulates the production, it is responsible for breaking down cannabinoids and the uptake of cannabinoids. It is believed to promote bodily homeostasis by regulating a diverse array of physiological processes. It regulates body temperature, thirst, hunger, sleep, digestion, heart rate, pain, and much more.
The endogenous cannabinoid system is vast and complex and has only just begun to be explored. Two main types of cannabinoid receptors are:
CB1 receptors are located throughout the brain, central nervous system, connective tissues, and related organs; these are the primary receptor for THC, the notorious psychoactive compound in cannabis.
It’s believed that CB1 receptors are the most densely populated receptor found in the human brain.
CB2 receptor are located throughout the peripheral nervous system, especially immune cells. CB2 receptors are critical for the regulation of the gastrointestinal system and the immune system.
Its receptors do not produce the “high” associated with cannabis use.
Medicinal cannabis is used to properly align the body’s endocannabinoid system, often by supplementing cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant. One can procure state well-being through bodily homeostasis, in which all physiological processes are balanced. The use of CBD and THC can fulfil endocannabinoid deficiencies, reduce inflammation and also reduce oxidative stress.
Does CBD Work Effectively For Migraines?
CBD may ease the pain because it affects specific receptors in the brain. These receptors are part of the wider endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in pain and inflammation throughout the body.
CBD (Hemp) extract has the potential to stop migraines. The research suggests it can do this with the power of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and help to reduce stress relief, improve sleep, and more. This is only the start of your quest to using CBD.
A 2017 review of studies revealed that cannabis could be beneficial for treating migraines. Regardless, CBD oil may have different effects, and there is no evidence that CBD oil can alleviate headaches. Overall, more studies are necessary.
It is suggested that patients who worked with a health care practitioner experienced in recommending CBD or medicinal cannabis. So that dosage and delivery methods can be developed and fine-tuned on an individual basis.
CBD Dosage For Migraine Pain Relief
The effectiveness of the optimize dosage of CBD for migraine pain relief is still under investigation. However, some studies have shown that CBD can be effective in reducing migraine frequency and severity.
Manufacturers and doctors should conduct additional surveys and research in order to provide a recommended dose.
Most discussions of treating pain with CBD suggest that finding the right dosage is critical. See how the right dosage is critical of CBD help to effectively manage migraine.
Always start with the micro dose to test sensitivity and go up as needed within the dosing range by body weight until symptoms subside. The micro to standard dose is usually recommended to treat migraines, but patients need to carefully monitor their condition and experiment to find the right formula.
A low dose is about 5 mg of CBD per day. Higher doses commonly used for chronic pain are 15 mg or 20 mg of CBD per day or twice per day, and even higher dosage in some cases. Most hemp extracts manufacturers recommend starting off with low doses and working up to higher doses to find the sweet spot.
How To Use CBD Oil For Migraine
A person can use CBD oil:
- as an ingredient in foods and drinks
- in capsule form
- in oral drops or sprays
- by inhaling or vaping it, though either can be dangerous
While early research shows promise for CBD in migraine treatment, more definitive human studies are still needed to establish proper dosing and delivery methods.
However, some doctors in states where CBD is legal may be able to recommend a safe, low starting dosage to try.
When using CBD oil for migraines or headaches, it’s advisable to start with the lowest possible dose and increase slowly over time if needed.
For CBD oil, you could start off at 5 mg per day and increase this dose by 5 mg every week until you find your desired dose. You may feel best with 5 mg per day, 15 mg per day, 25 mg per day, or 50 mg per day.
This cautious approach can help determine if CBD oil is effective for you, while minimizing any potential side effects. Consulting a doctor familiar with CBD oil is the best way to determine an appropriate migraine-specific dosage.
Scientific Studies On How CBD Help to Effectively Manage Migraine
In May 2016, the first clinical trial for cannabis was published. In the study, 103 of 121 migraineurs reported a decrease in migraines.
The study found that, on average, migraine-suffering patients who used medical marijuana saw their frequency of migraines drop significantly.
While initial findings are encouraging in regard to CBD and migraine treatment, future research may shed more light on how migraines manifest and what CBD works to decrease the symptoms.
Although some research has shown that migraine sufferers report more relief from cannabis than they do from prescription medications. Clinical studies that focus specifically on the effect that CBD can have on migraine are yet to be conducted.
However, a 2018 study found that CBD, a non-intoxicating constituent of cannabis, has several properties including acting as an anti-inflammatory, and anecdotal accounts of CBD oil, successfully being used for migraine show promising results.
A 2018 review found that cannabis compounds seem to be good for pain relief, including migraine-related pain.
Though these studies indicate potential benefits, direct research on CBD for migraines is still lacking. Further clinical studies are needed that investigate CBD in particular and its effects on migraine frequency and severity in human subjects.
CBD is generally considered safe for most people, but there are some potential risks to be aware of. These risks are more likely to occur when taking high doses of CBD or when taking CBD in combination with other medications.
- Drug interactions: CBD can interact with certain medications and reduce their effectiveness. It is important to talk to your doctor before taking CBD, especially if you are taking other medications.
- Drowsiness – High doses of CBD may cause drowsiness or sedation. If you’re taking CBD and experiencing extreme fatigue, you may need to lower your dose. Driving or operating heavy machinery is not advised when first starting CBD.
- Quality and source – There is limited FDA regulation of CBD products, so quality and purity can vary greatly between brands. Only purchase CBD from reputable companies that provide third party lab tests. Also, only use CBD extracted from hemp, not marijuana.
- Potential side effects – Diarrhea, changes in appetite, and fatigue are commonly reported side effects of CBD. Less common side effects include dry mouth, low blood pressure, and drowsiness. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns when using CBD.
The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp-derived CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC by dry weight legal. Currently, access to CBD varies depending on the state and their adoption of the Farm Bill. In some states, CBD is easily available to purchase and possess, while others make it less accessible or largely available online.
The World Anti-Doping Agency advises against the use of over-the-counter CBD products for athletes due to manufacturing and regulation risks that could lead to THC contamination.
The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. The content is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.
The FDA has not evaluated statements about CBD and its use for migraines or headaches. CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. There is limited research on the efficacy of CBD for migraines and headaches, and more clinical studies are needed.
This article does not endorse any specific brand, product, or dosage of CBD oil. Some CBD products may contain THC, which is illegal in some states. Check your state laws before buying or using any CBD products. If you decide to try CBD, talk to your doctor first, especially if you take any medications or have a health condition.
Manish brings over 10 years of hands-on experience in weight lifting and fat loss to fitness coaching. He specializes in gym-based training and has a lot of knowledge about exercise, lifting technique, biomechanics, and more.
Through “Fit Life Regime,” he generously shares the insights he’s gained over a decade in the field. His goal is to equip others with the knowledge to start their own fitness journey.