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Headaches, specifically tension headaches, are experienced by up to 90 percent of people in the US at some point in their lives. For the majority of us, it’ll be more than once. This is probably one of the reasons that the brand names of many OTC headache tablets are more well known that their chemical names.
There are a variety of headaches, the more serious of which have well known names (migraines and cluster headaches). They may start as a dull pain, or a sharp pain. They may or may not be localized to one part of the head and they may also spread across the whole head. They can last anywhere from a few hours up to several days. They may be tolerable, they may render us completely incapacitated for a while.
For more serious headaches, such as migraines, if it lasts more than a couple of days, it’s worth seeking medical help. There are plenty of other, more serious issues that can result in migraine-like symptoms. The same is true for cluster headaches, though for the unlucky among us that experience them, they’ll likely feel very compelled to seek a doctor as the pain can be unbearable (and can even cause loss of consciousness).
We still don’t completely understand what causes most headaches. It has been suggested that the brain tissue and the skull are never responsible as they lack any nerves that create pain. However, the blood vessels in the head and neck can signal discomfort, as can the tissues that surround the brain along with some specific nerves. The muscles, scalp, sinuses, teeth, and joints of the neck can also cause head pain.
There are some factors however, that have been firmly linked as potential causes of headaches:
There are of course, other causes linked to specific illnesses, other conditions and certain medications.
CBD (Cannabidiol) and medical cannabis have been shown in multiple studies to be effective in treatment of many different contributing symptoms that may cause headaches. Mood disorders, joint and muscle pain, insomnia, blood pressure, glaucoma, inflammation, the list goes on. Some areas have more in-depth research supporting these claims than others, but the volume of medical and biological research into the uses of cannabinoids (CBD/CBN/THC) in the body is increasing each year as the use of cannabis based treatments become more accepted.
CBD is a known anti-inflammatory but it also has neuroprotective properties too. This is of great interest to researchers and those who suffer from headaches as the causes of some headaches can be due to Neuropathic pain which is pain caused by disease or damage to the somatosensory (sensory) nervous system. As we have mentioned before cannabinoids from the cannabis plant like CBD and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) interact within our endocannabinoid system which also interacts with our vital organs, brain and different internal systems including our central nervous system.
This shows a clear pathway for potential benefits from CBD to be delivered to the causes of certain conditions such as headaches as well as others. The interaction of the cannabinoids depends on which receptors are interacting with them as this can mean it will either bind or stimulate proteins to act. Both of these interactions will likely have different outcomes for the patients/user.
Like any medication there are side effects you should be aware of. CBD (Cannabidiol) does not have any major side effects to be concerned about but in some cases patients can feel, tired, sleepless, hungry, a calming effect or focused. Most of these side effects can relate to first time usage or dosage and concentration of the CBD treatment but it should be specifically known that in regards to headaches in some occasions CBD can causes headaches as well. Like most of the beneficial claims further research is needed into these side effects to fully understand why they happen.
CBD is a unique compound classified as a cannabinoid, and it’s one of the very few molecules that work correctly with a human system called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is responsible for regulating a collection of vital homeostatic functions, and has been implicated as a therapeutic target for many conditions.
For CBD to get into your body to get an effect you’ve a few choices. Smoking it is not something we’ll recommend here as there are proven negative repercussions of any variety due to the carcinogenic products of combustion. There are plenty of alternatives, however.
There are now some foods that come with CBD as one of their ingredients, and the internet has a whole plethora of different recipes for you to try at home. Whether combining it into smoothies, baked goods, or buying it in chewing gum, it’s always good to keep track of how much you are consuming. Treat it just as you would tylenol or any other OTC drug. Consuming it via foodstuffs can take a while for the effects to begin, as they need to work their way through your digestive system before entering your blood, but the results last up to six hours.
Sublingual CBD usually is in the form of a dropper, or a spray. “Sub” means under, and “lingual” in this case, means tongue, means as it suggests. A daily does under the tongue and held there for a short time while it begins to be absorbed into the bloodstream. It’s quicker than via the digestion system, though the flavour is noticeable as the concentration is usually higher for this purpose. It’s also an easy way to ensure it gets to the desired target quickly, as the distance to the rest of the head is very small.
CBD vape juice is also a really quick acting method of getting it into your body. There’s a variety of flavours (the mint ones are surprisingly good), and vaporizers are relatively cheap for how useful they can be. We recommend avoiding nicotine when choosing vape liquids, as it’s an addictive substance, but it’s worth finding a reliable “full spectrum” liquid, rather than a CBD isolate as it’s been shown in research, that range of dosages that it’s effective at, is easier to hit.
Topical CBD treatments also exist, and you may wonder how a cream would help with a headache. However, bath bombs, massage oils and lotions also exist. Baths and massages help ease tension, and by incorporating CBD into the experience, it becomes even more therapeutic. Additionally, CBD has many benefits on the skin directly, too.
Nearly everyone has a headache occasionally. When they happen repeatedly, they are a symptom of a headache disorder. In the United States, the field of alternative and complementary medicine is proliferating and includes the treatment of many health conditions, including headaches that introduces the use of CBD. You can be assured that the current research proves that CBD has a high safety profile. Although it may influence the effectiveness of other medication, as long as CBD is taken under the guidance of medical professionals, there is a minimal risk of severe side effects.