CBD For Migraines: What The Research Says

Table of Content

Migraines are a neurological disorder that causes severe headaches and can even lead to nausea, light sensitivity, and fatigue.

For some people, migraines can be so debilitating that they miss work or school. There is no cure for migraines, but there are treatments that can help lessen the frequency and intensity of attacks. Some people find relief with over-the-counter medications, while others require prescription drugs.

But what if there was a natural treatment that could help reduce the frequency of migraines?

That's where CBD could be an option.

CBD is a compound found in cannabis that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. While there is no formal research on CBD as a treatment for migraines, many people who suffer from migraines find relief with CBD oil.

This article will look at what the research says about migraines and CBD and how people use CBD products for chronic pain and other headache disorders.

Key Takeaways:

  • Migraines are a complex neurological condition—there's still a lot the medical community doesn't know about it. Triggers and treatments vary significantly from person to person, making it a condition that's difficult to treat.
  • CBD is a natural compound derived from cannabis plants that have been studied for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving potential.
  • While there isn't much research supporting CBD oil use for migraines, many people still turn to CBD products to support their comfort and reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.
  • If you suffer from migraines, you must speak to your doctor.

What Are Migraines?

We've all heard of migraines, but what exactly are they?

First of all, it's important to know that migraines are not just bad headaches. Migraine sufferers are dealing with a neurological condition that can cause various headache disorders, including head pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound that can last for hours and even days.

This can be a debilitating condition for migraine sufferers who often have to miss work or school. Unfortunately, the scientific community still understands very little about migraines. The exact causes of migraines are still unknown, but they're believed to be the result of changes in the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway.

Some people are more susceptible to migraines than others, which may be triggered by certain foods, drinks, stress, bright lights, or weather changes. If you're at risk for migraines, it's important to identify your triggers and take steps to avoid them.

What Are The Symptoms of Migraines?

Migraine attacks go beyond your typical stress, dehydration, or allergy-related headaches and are extremely painful and debilitating.

Some people even experience "aura" symptoms before a migraine, such as flashes of light or blind spots.

Migraines attack can come about suddenly, causing intense throbbing or a pulsing sensation in one area of the head. They're often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound that can last for hours or even days.

What Are Common Treatments For Migraine Symptoms?

If you've ever had a migraine, you know that the pain can be debilitating. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for migraines, and what works for one person may not work for another.

However, some common treatments can help to ease the symptoms of a migraine. Over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen or aspirin can effectively relieve the pain of a migraine.

If over-the-counter medications don't work, your doctor may prescribe you a more potent painkiller.

In addition, some people find relief from migraines by taking preventive medicines every day. These medications help to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines by preventing them from happening in the first place.

If you're struggling with migraine headaches, you must seek professional medical advice from your doctor, who may be able to offer you some lifestyle guidance and prescription drugs to mitigate your migraine headache frequency.

How Does CBD Oil Work?

How does CBD oil work?

CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabis-derived compound that interacts with the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system is present in all mammals. It is believed to be responsible for maintaining homeostasis (balance) of vital systems, including pain perception, stress, inflammation, memory, metabolism, mood, and the sleep-wake cycle.

Where does CBD come into play?

CBD and many other hemp-derived cannabinoids closely resemble neurotransmitters in this system to replay signals for balance. This is how CBD can produce a wide range of effects and why its impact can vary from person to person.

Regarding migraine pain and headaches, researchers hypothesize that CBD may be an effective treatment by working through multiple pathways in the ECS—rather than one, like many other anti-inflammatory drugs or painkillers.

There are a lot of anecdotal reports of people using cannabis products to support a wide range of wellness goals, including muscle pain and chronic migraines. However, more research is needed in the space to understand how CBD and other cannabinoids may be used to treat migraine and headaches.

What Does The Research Say About CBD Oil And Headache Disorders?

CBD oil is becoming increasingly popular as a natural remedy for many common health concerns, including headache disorders. But what does the research say about this controversial treatment? CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant and contains high levels of the active ingredient cannabidiol (CBD).

CBD oil has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and pain in animal studies, and it is thought to work similarly in humans. A few small clinical trials have also been conducted on using CBD oil for headache disorders, with promising results [1].

It's important to note that a lot of the research on CBD as a potentially effective treatment for migraine headaches looks at high concentrations of CBD and THC combined, which isn't accessible everywhere as marijuana-derived CBD products remain federally illegal [2].

Because the research on CBD-only products to treat migraines is so limited, no CBD-related products are available for migraine treatment. Even still, people are taking their health into their own hands and have found a lot of luck using high-quality CBD oil in their health regimen to mitigate some of their migraine symptoms.

Let's look at how some people are using CBD oil for their headache disorders.

How Some People Find Migraine Relief With CBD

When it comes to using nonprescription CBD products as a migraine treatment, it's essential to keep in mind that there hasn't been any formally studied, medically reviewed research on CBD for migraine headaches in humans.

On top of this, the CBD industry is notorious for its poor regulations, with many scam businesses looking to take advantage of unaware customers, selling ineffective or potentially dangerous products.

However, there are a lot of people who use nonprescription CBD and medical cannabis as a migraine treatment, and this is the advice used for choosing safe and effective CBD oils for their wellness goals.

Shop For Full Spectrum CBD

The hemp flower contains over a hundred biologically active compounds and CBD. The other cannabinoids and terpenes have been shown to support the effectiveness of CBD oil in what's called the entourage effect.

You'll often come across three extract types when it comes to CBD oils:

  1. Full spectrum CBD: With a careful extraction process, full spectrum CBD contains the most natural phytocannabinoid and terpene profile for robust and well-balanced effects.
  2. Broad spectrum CBD: Because hemp plants can legally have up to 0.3% THC, there may be traces of THC in your CBD oils when using full spectrum. Some people still want the benefits of the entourage effect without the THC, which is where this extract comes in. It undergoes a filtration step to isolate and remove all traces of THC.
  3. CBD isolate/CBD distillate: CBD isolate is perhaps the most common extract you'll see in CBD oils and other products because it's often the cheapest to produce. It only contains one active compound from hemp, CBD. While you can still get the benefits of pure CBD or CBD distillate, you may find that you need a higher dose to reach the same level of effects.

High Doses Of CBD

CBD has a favorable safety profile. Even in high doses, it doesn't have psychoactive properties, and it's well-tolerated in most people.

Most of the research surrounding the effects of CBD on pain observed that it's most effective in higher doses (50 MG+) [3].

This doesn't mean you should start with these high doses when you're new to CBD. It's best to work your way up in doses over a period of several weeks to allow your endocannabinoid system to adjust.

The best way to do this is to find a CBD oil that has a high potency (5000 MG per 2oz bottle). This will allow you to scale your doses drop by drop to higher doses without breaking the bank.

Add Other Lifestyle Changes

While many people find CBD to help with their chronic pain and migraines, the most important aspect in achieving any wellness goal is considering your habits and lifestyle.

When it comes to migraines and other headache disorders, identifying what triggers the attacks and creating specific lifestyle changes can go a long way in reducing the frequency and severity of these attacks.

This includes eating an anti-inflammatory diet, regular exercise, prioritizing seven to eight hours of sleep each night, and finding ways to reduce stress levels.

Is CBD Legal?

CBD can come from both hemp and marijuana plants. Marijuana-derived CBD products are not federally legal—though some states have implemented medical marijuana programs or have legalized the recreational use of cannabis entirely.

Only CBD-derived from industrial hemp crops with less than 0.3% THC are legal.

All Neurogan products are made from high CBD hemp crops grown outdoors on the sunny Pacific Coast, making them perfectly legal throughout the United States.

You can reference our third-party lab tests online to check our products' potency, cannabinoid profile, and safety.

Medical Marijuana For Migraine Pain

Medical marijuana contains higher levels of THC than hemp-derived CBD products, which means it can also produce psychoactive effects.

If you live in a state that has medical marijuana programs, you may be able to talk to your healthcare provider about cannabis to treat your chronic migraine pain.

Depending on where you live, migraines may be under the state medical marijuana laws list of conditions treated with marijuana.

Next, you'll want to talk to a qualified doctor to prescribe medical marijuana and present your case.

There have been some notable, medically reviewed studies on THC combined with CBD's effects to relieve pain associated with headaches and migraines due to its interaction with serotonin receptors while maintaining an impressive safety profile [4].

Even if it is accessible, not everyone wants to use a psychoactive substance for chronic pain, which is where hemp-derived CBD oils made with full spectrum hemp may be able to help.

The Takeaway: Can CBD Help With A Migraine Attack?

When it comes to CBD oil and other non-prescription cannabis products on the market, there are not enough medically reviewed studies specifically on humans to say definitively whether CBD is an effective treatment for migraines.

Even though migraine pain is widespread, affecting about 34 million Americans, its causes remain a mystery. However, many people are reportedly already using CBB products as a way to mitigate the pain and reduce the instances of their migraine headaches.

The effects of CBD are known to be broad-ranging, thanks to its interactions with the endocannabinoid system. However, much research is still needed to understand CBD's potential for supporting neuropathic pain, like migraines.

While it seems to work for many people, it's not a miracle cure, and you should still discuss options with your doctor on how to best support your symptoms.

Resources:

  1. Cuttler, C., Spradlin, A., Cleveland, M. J., & Craft, R. M. (2020). Short-and long-term effects of cannabis on headache and migraine. The Journal of Pain, 21(5-6), 722-730.
  2. Baron, E. P. (2018). Medicinal properties of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in cannabis, and benefits in migraine, headache, and pain: an update on current evidence and cannabis science. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 58(7), 1139-1186.
  3. Russo, E. B. (2008). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and clinical risk management, 4(1), 245.

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