For those that may not be aware, migraine is a chronic condition where patients suffer frequent headaches of varying intensity. These headaches are generally accompanied by nausea, a sensitivity to light, as well as severe pain. Migraine is a complex problem with no simple solution. The reason for this is that a multitude of different triggers can cause a migraine in one person, but not another, even if they are both known to suffer from the painful condition. One person may suffer from pain in their temples, while another feels pain in their jaw or neck, for instance. Since migraines vary from person to person, sadly no simple “cure” exists. What works for one person, may not work for another and vice versa. It is for this reason that people who suffer from migraine are constantly seeking new ways to alleviate and manage their painful symptoms. Fortunately, for migraine sufferers, there is new hope in the form of a chemical compound derived from the hemp plant known as Cannabidiol, or CBD for short.
CBD products come in several different forms, but the most common by far is CBD oil. Typically CBD oil is taken sublingually (held under the tongue), but can also be administered orally via an edible product, or even swallowed in pill form. Some CBD is specially formulated to be inhaled through the lungs as a vapor for faster absorption into the bloodstream and more immediate relief. CBD oil for migraines has received a lot of praise recently from people touting its ability to alleviate and even prevent the pain caused from migraine. Just take a look at the popular online message board Reddit to see that there are plenty of people who swear by its all-natural healing power. Some users even claim to have experienced relief from their migraines by using topical CBD products by applying them to temples, jaw or neck muscles.
If you suffer from migraines, it’s easy to get excited hearing about new treatments that have been successful for others, but we must always look closely at new emerging trends to see if the evidence is really there, or if it’s just more hype. Unfortunately, this can be difficult to do when it comes to CBD due to a lack of adequate scientific research, and contraband laws in some locations. The research we do have about the effects of CBD oil on migraines is positive. Unfortunately, due to the legal status of cannabis, adequate research for CBD specific treatments are still lacking largely due to the fact that there are currently more studies being done on medicinal marijuana. As a result, patients are often forced to rely on self-reports when it comes to CBD.
From the little research that does exist, CBD oil has been proven to be an effective treatment for arthritis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, depression, and migraines. The research also shows that CBD is safe, even in high doses, as there have been zero reported overdoses. CBD is gentle, as is evident in the fact that it is often used to treat epilepsy in children. It’s safe for almost all to use because unlike THC, another widely known cannabinoid commonly associated with marijuana, CBD does not have psychoactive properties or effects. Although it works locally, and can be inhaled or taken orally, it still won’t produce intoxication. This makes it ideal for patients who suffer from nausea associated with their migraines. Despite the fact that CBD oil does not make users feel “high” like marijuana does, it is still not legal in all 50 states. Therefore it is extremely important that potential users do research into their state and local laws before attempting to purchase or use CBD.
Additionally, if you are going to purchase a CBD product, we recommend that you do so from a reputable vendor operating in an area where hemp products are legal. The reason for this is that there is currently a lack of regulation surrounding CBD products, and sometimes a vendor will use artificial THC or other substances to skirt the laws in their area and still market their products as CBD oil. Synthetic substances can be very harmful to some patients. So, buyer beware, it is advisable to read reviews and check labels to ensure you are getting a pure CBD product.
Additionally, it is important that patients always first consult a physician before beginning any treatment. It’s important that you be open and honest about your plans to use CBD for treatment with your doctor. CBD does interact with the body, and it’s important that your doctor is aware of this interaction as it may have an effect on other medications you are taking. Your doctor can also take into account your lifestyle and offer suggestions for recommended dosage and administration methods.
So, what does the research actually say? If you take a look at the existing scientific research on this subject, the common consensus is that CBD oil can improve some migraine symptoms for most people. Studies show a direct link between the endocannabinoid system and the pain caused from migraines. Another study showed an oral dose of 200mg reduced acute pain intensity by 55% during a migraine attack. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research published a review showing a clear history of cannabinoid use in the treatment and reduction of migraines.
The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes can be traced though out history, even dating as far back as ancient times. It was once heralded in the world of medicine, recommended by top doctors for a number of disease, but in particular, it was often prescribed for headaches and migraine. This indicates that the use of cannabis may have a therapeutic role for a myriad of chronic conditions, particularly those that involve pain. CBD is known to affect the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain through interacting with the endocannabinoid system. It behooves us as a society to learn more about CBD, if it has any practical medical applications what so ever. Doctors should be properly educated on the medical potential and use of cannabis, as patients are sure to ask about it more and more as the word about CBD spreads, and its popularity grows. Fortunately, with such a large amount of support for CBD and the multitude of medicinal uses it has, the idea of cannabis use as a taboo is beginning to fade. The movement for legalization, especially for medical purposes, is gaining some serious traction with several states already approving the use of CBD.
With all the supporting evidence so far, it’s clear that there is a role for cannabis to play in medicine. It’s clear from personal testimonies of patients that several types of headache disorders including migraine and cluster headaches can be treated and relieved with CBD oil. Unfortunately, even though there are plenty of great things about CBD oil as a migraine treatment, it won’t be one-hundred percent effective for everyone. Some consumers have had better results with different strains or brands. Some experimentation may be necessary. Hopefully as CBD laws become more lax, more research can be done in order to develop a more reliable CBD based medicine for the treatment of migraine. Certainly we are not there yet, and more time is required to get to that point. However, evidence still shows CBD oil can absolutely help some people who suffer from migraine and help alleviate their painful symptoms.
In closing, it’s clear that many people have chosen CBD oil as their go to migraine relief supplement, and while CBD oil may be the perfect solution for some, it is not guaranteed to work for all. The important thing for all migraine sufferers to remember is not to give up hope. There is a solution out there for you. Could it be CBD? It’s possible, and certainly worth a try based on the evidence. Could it be something else? Sure, but at least with the use and recognition of CBD in the medical community, we are one step closer as a society to solving this detrimental condition that affects so many people’s day to day lives.