If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to experience a migraine, you know that these incredibly intense headaches can bring your life to a screeching halt. The pain and associated symptoms of migraines—think nausea, vision problems, and numbness or tingling in your limbs—can put a serious damper on your work and personal life. Worst of all, many migraine sufferers experience these symptoms regularly. While there are prescription medications for migraines, many of them come with unwanted side effects and some people simply don’t find them all that effective. For an alternative treatment option, many migraine sufferers are beginning to explore CBD.
What is a Migraine?
To start, let’s take a closer look at how a migraine differs from a standard headache. Migraines most often manifest in the form of a severe, throbbing or pulsing pain on one side of the head. People usually begin to experience migraines in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood, and can continue to have migraines throughout their lives.
Before the headache begins, migraines are often associated with several warning signs, collectively known as the “prodrome” period. In the hours or days before a migraine, you might experience visual disturbances like wavy vision or flashes of light. Some people also report tingling or numbness in their limbs, difficulty speaking, or auditory abnormalities. During the headache, light sensitivity, blurry vision, nausea, vomiting, and lightheadedness often accompany intense pain. After a migraine, it’s common to experience fatigue, confusion, and mood changes.
All these symptoms add up to a condition that can seriously diminish your quality of life, which is why there has been so much recent interest in CBD as a potential treatment for migraines.
What Triggers Migraines?
There’s no definitive answer to why migraines occur, but most doctors lean toward a mix of genetic predisposition and environmental factors. Brain chemical imbalances and hormonal changes may be physiological triggers for migraines, along with external factors including certain types of food and alcohol, stress, changes in sleep or your daily environment, and other medications. While women are more likely to experience migraines than men, this wide variety of triggers means that migraines affect millions of people around the world, making effective treatment options all the more important.
Why Choose CBD Over Other Migraine Medications?
When it comes to treating migraines, a wide array of over-the-counter and prescription medications are available. Some people stick to OTC options like Excedrin, while others who experience migraines regularly may choose to see their doctor for a daily prescription that acts as a preventative.
OTC pain relievers can be effective in treating migraines, but they can have negative side effects with prolonged use. NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like Advil and Motrin can damage your stomach and digestive system over time, especially if you’re using them frequently to treat headaches. Many prescription migraine medications also come with side effects including fatigue, depression, dizziness, and nausea.
If you suffer from migraines but have concerns about the side effects of extended medication use, CBD hemp oil for migraines might be an appealing alternative. Below, we’ll explore how this natural compound can work to relieve migraine pain.
How Does CBD Oil Help Migraines?
CBD has been studied as a potential treatment for a wide variety of ailments because of the way it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. This network of receptors is scattered throughout the body, so it’s able to affect lots of bodily processes including mood, memory, and—key for migraine treatment—pain and inflammation.
When cannabinoid compounds like CBD are introduced to the body, they trigger activity in the receptors of the endocannabinoid system. In the case of migraines, CBD may help to activate the receptors that reduce pain and inflammation. If stress or anxiety is a cause of migraines for you, regular CBD use can also work as a preventative measure, minimizing these common triggers before a headache begins.
Is CBD an Effective Treatment for Migraines?
Because migraine triggers are so unpredictable, the treatment of these life-altering headaches can present a challenge to even the most experienced medical experts. There has been relatively little formal research on the subject of CBD as a migraine treatment, so current knowledge is largely anecdotal. However, the limited number of available studies does show promise.
A 2016 study showed a reduction from 10.4 headaches per month to 4.6 headaches per month among medical marijuana users. A review of studies in 2017 called for more research on the subject of CBD and migraines, noting that cannabis is “a potential treatment for some headache sufferers.” While more studies are needed to find a definitive link between CBD and migraine treatment, these early results suggest that further research could lead to meaningful results.
What is the CBD Dosage for Migraines?
If you decide to try CBD as a treatment for migraines, you’ve got lots of options. CBD is available in several ingestible forms, ranging from oils and pressed pills to gummies. This means it’s easy to find an option that fits your daily routine and preferences. You can also consider vaping CBD, which delivers the compound to your bloodstream more quickly.
Once you’ve chosen your CBD product, the next step is finding the right dosage. If you experience migraines regularly, a daily dose of CBD could be the best preventative option. While formal guidelines for migraine dosage haven’t been established, many experts recommend 20-25mg per day for migraine prevention and relief.
What Else Should I Know About CBD Oil and Migraines?
For first-time CBD users, the most common question is always, “Will CBD get me high?” If you’re using purely CBD products, the answer is no; they don’t contain any THC, so they don’t have psychoactive effects. This makes them safe for daily use as a part of your regular routine. (Learn more here about the differences between CBD and THC).
Partner with a doctor you trust when starting a CBD regimen for migraine relief. The side effects of CBD are very limited, but may include drowsiness and digestive upset. If you experience these symptoms—or have other concerns about CBD and migraines—consult your doctor before taking any additional CBD.
Due to FDA Regulations, we recommend that you do your own research on CBD products. We also suggest that you read the reviews on our website, where our customers record their real-world results of using our products.