CBD for Migraines

by | Apr 29, 2022 | CBD, Mental Health | 0 comments

Migraines affect over 36 million Americans, meaning they are more common than asthma or diabetes. This neurological condition dramatically affects the quality of life due to its detrimental symptoms. Migraine attacks can last for hours and be incredibly taxing on the body. 

There is still a lot to uncover regarding migraine headaches. The current state of knowledge allows us to believe that the condition is hereditary. Still, the treatment is focused on minimizing the condition’s symptoms, not curing the migraine itself. 

Individuals struggling with migraine headaches can experience mood changes, constipation, neck stiffness, fluid retention, food cravings that indicate an upcoming attack. But sensitivity to light and pain are the most severe symptoms that occur during migraine attacks. CBD products are becoming known for mitigating the symptoms of migraines and helping those who are unable to function normally because of this condition.

How Do CBD Products and Marijuana Effect How We Feel Pain?

CBD oils and other products are known to the public for their pain-relieving effects. Although we have a lot of work to do in determining how exactly CBD impacts our organisms, many people have experienced this to be the case when supplementing with CBD oils. 

We know for a fact that medicinal marijuana is often recommended to patients suffering from various illnesses that require pain management, for example, in palliative care. How exactly can CBD and THC products affect how we feel pain then? 

CBD oils and marijuana have two primary compounds: cannabidiols and cannabinoids. These compounds interact with the cannabinoid receptors located in our body, changing the way they work. These changes may suppress the pain signals, therefore helping individuals who are afflicted. 

Cannabinoids have other beneficial properties. They can mitigate symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, insomnia, or muscle spasms. Medicinal marijuana, as well as CBD products, are treated like supplements. They can be prescribed to patients by their doctors (this applies mainly to marijuana because CBD oils are not considered medications) or used by individuals on their own. 

Treating migraines is not an easy task. There are a lot of triggers that can cause migraines, and as of now, we do not possess any medication that could treat the condition. The good question is, can CBD products prove effective in helping people who struggle with migraines?

can CBD help with Migraine

Can CBD Help with Migraine? 

The short answer to that is that we do not have enough data to state whether CBD products are sufficient in addressing migraine symptoms or not. The research done in this particular area does not provide enough evidence to conclusively confirm the hypothesis that CBD oils can be effective in treating migraine ailments.

This is connected to the fact that until recently, there were a lot of legal restrictions (that still are present in many states and countries) regarding the research on cannabis and its usage. Under federal law, cannabis is still considered a dangerous and illicit drug, which delays the work of researchers. 

This does not mean we do not have any research on the topic of CBD and other cannabis products in regards to how they can affect individuals suffering from migraine headaches. Here’s what we can learn from them.

What Does the Science Say

There are a few research papers that present some promising results. A study from 2020 suggests that CBD can be beneficial for patients with certain forms of epilepsy and imparts analgesia. Researchers pointed out that the cannabinoid CBD has the potential to treat chronic pain.

Another study from 2016 explored the effects of medical marijuana on the frequency of migraine attacks. The research states that: 

“Positive effects were reported in 48 patients (39.7%), with the most common effects reported being prevention of migraine headache with decreased frequency of migraine headache (24 patients [19.8%]) and aborted migraine headache (14 patients [11.6%]).”

Furthermore, the study from 2017 showcases the evidence that allows us to believe in the beneficial properties of cannabis for headaches disorders and points out the importance of more research that needs to be conducted on the subject. 

From 2013 research, we can learn that CBD might help prevent the body from metabolizing anandamide, which would lead to mitigating chronic pain. The researchers state that. 

“phytocannabinoids have efficacy in the treatment of various chronic pain conditions with greatest promise as a therapeutic adjunct in treating peripheral and central neuropathic pain and inflammation-mediated chronic pain.”

Undoubtedly, there are many reasons to conduct further research into how cannabinoids can be helpful in treating chronic pain, including migraine. For now, science has shown us some promising evidence to support the theory that CBD and medicinal marijuana have beneficial properties in this area. 

Are CBD Products FDA Approved?

The vast majority of CBD products are not FDA approved. The only cannabis-derived drug approved by the agency is Epidiolex, intended to treat seizures. This means that CBD oils cannot be considered medications for migraine.

CBD products might help address some symptoms of migraines or chronic pain, but patients should always consult with their doctor before implementing such supplementation.

The Risks Associated with Taking CBD Products 

There is much anecdotal evidence suggesting that CBD oils can be effective in treating pain or inflammation and also helping with mood swings, sleeplessness, and other conditions that might negatively impact the quality of life. That does not mean there are no possible side effects to taking CBD oils for migraines.

As was mentioned earlier, CBD supplements are not FDA approved, which means that these products may not be as effective or safe as the producer promises on the packaging. It is incredibly important to always check the credibility of the manufacturer before purchasing any CBD product.

Worth mentioning is also the fact that because there is not a lot of control over CBD products on the market, it is not a rare occurrence that the amount of CBD that is in the product does not match what is said on the packaging. This is a serious problem because the individual has little control over the amount of CBD they actually take. 

The risks associated with taking CBD products are drowsiness, fatigue, changes in appetite, upset stomach, and lung problems when vaping. These symptoms are relatively rare, but it is always good to be cautious of any changes after applying CBD oil or other CBD product for migraine headaches.

It is also crucial to be aware of the fact that CBD can interact with some drugs. For this reason, it is advisable to contact your doctor before taking any CBD product if you are currently taking any medications.

Practical Strategies to Deal with Migraines

Considering the fact that migraine is often a source of great discomfort, and there is still much we do not know about them, treating such a condition can be a challenge. There is no one golden solution when addressing chronic pain that will work for everyone. Often finding the proper medication and techniques to deal with migraine attacks is done by trial and error.

Some things that can be done to reduce the number of attacks or their intensity are

  • Managing stress levels 
  • Avoiding particular triggers
  • Eating healthy, avoiding alcohol or caffeine
  • Getting a good night’s sleep 
  • Taking care of quality rest.

Obviously, these are techniques or things that anyone can do, but this is not enough in many cases. Consultation with a specialist and selecting proper medications might be necessary to best manage pain levels. 

Additionally, supplementation with CBD for headaches can be an effective method of reducing pain and the number of attacks.

CBD for Headaches

Bottom Line

CBD for migraine has the potential to be the right answer for many people who suffer from this condition. As we said at the beginning, migraine is a serious neurological condition that often significantly impacts the everyday life of millions of people around the world.

Not only migraine, but chronic pain in all its forms, is tremendously hard to treat and may lead to severe side effects, like addiction to painkillers. That is why CBD oils or products often can be a preferred alternative for people interested in exploring new methods of treating migraine without such risks. 

Of course, a lot of research needs to be done to confirm the benefits of CBD in the treatment of chronic pain. For now, CBD oils can be implemented as supplements and support individuals in reducing the effects of migraines and other conditions.