Knowing something is true and understanding how it is true are two different things. Keep reading to learn the simple science behind why CBD beats migraines.
Do you suffer from migraines?
Do you experience pain in addition to nausea, light or sound sensitivity?
If you’ve experienced a migraine, you know how debilitating they can be. For migraine sufferers, a migraine can last hours, and in some cases, it can last days.
The bigger problem is that traditional migraine medication doesn’t always work to alleviate a headache.
Often times, especially when there’s a delay between the onset of symptoms and taking the medication, the medication isn’t nearly as effective.
The good news is that CBD products have been proven to beat migraines.
Keep reading to learn the simple mechanics of how CBD can take out a migraine in no time.
CBD stands for Cannabidiol and it is one of a number of compounds that are found in cannabis.
The primary compound that most people associate with cannabis is THC. THC is the compound that gives a psychoactive effect. CBD is a separate compound and is non-psychoactive.
Unlike THC, CBD is legal in many states. However, its source is important. In order to be legal, it must be derived from the hemp plant. It can also be derived from medical marijuana, and because it tends to have higher levels of THC, it is not legal.
A quick aside on the difference between hemp and marijuana. Both plants are from the same genus (cannabis) and species (setiva). There are several differences between the two, inclusive of use, cultivation methods, and most importantly, chemical properties.
Hemp has less than .3% THC. Technically, anything over that is considered marijuana, but in reality, most marijuana has between 5%-35% THC.
There are four primary methods in which you can take Cannabidiol.
Some migraine sufferers choose to an oil form at the first sign of a migraine. The pros to inhalation are that it can increase the CBD levels in your blood in just a few minutes.
The cons to inhalation are that the results last the shortest amount of time, between 1-3 hours. Because the vaping oil normally only contains just the Cannabidiol and not some of the other vitamins and nutrients found in other forms, the effects wear off quickly.
Taking the oil in a pill format is the most discrete way to ingest it. The soft gel caps also tend to taste better to many users.
The best reason to take it orally? The pills will last the longest (up to 7 hours). Most oral versions have the nutrients and other compounds that help you to absorb the CBD more quickly.
The downside is that the oral version takes the longest to kick in. Absorption rates range between 30 to 90 minutes. It’s also more difficult to adjust the dosage than other formats.
Taking CBD sublingually, or under the tongue, is the most popular way to ingest it. Absorption is lighting fast, normally taking place in 15 minutes. It works quickly because the CBD is absorbed through capillaries in the mouth, completely bypassing the digestive system.
Other pros include the ability to still get the same spectrum of nutrients found in soft gels, lasts almost as long as oral varieties and is far easier to adjust dosage.
The con to sublingual forms of it is the taste. Hemp-based products tend to taste fairly “earthy.” While there are some forms of Cannabidiol oil with artificial flavors, it’s best to avoid them. Artificial flavoring could potentially trigger a migraine (even worse than the one that you have) and it also may indicate that the product is not true CBD.
Muscle tension can inflame nerves in the neck and face that then trigger a migraine. Remedies, like massage, Botox, or nerve-blockers can be used as migraine preventatives and treatment forms.
CBD can also prevent nerve pain and overactive nerves. Using a Cannabidiol topical cream or mixing it into a topical cream can be very effective. Massage the cream into the shoulders, neck, and face. This method also bypasses the gut and allows for quick symptom relief.
Dosage will depend on several different factors. Similar to traditional medicine, people react differently to dosages.
A low dose of CBD is about 5mg per day. Depending on your symptoms, pains levels, and reaction to it, some people with migraines can use up to 200mg per day.
The best rule of thumb is to start with a very low dosage and work your way up over time. Start at 5mg per day and increase your intake in 5mg increments every week until you begin to notice a difference.
Pharmacotherapy published the first research on the effect of cannabis and CBD on migraines. The study found that out of 121 participants, 113 experienced a lower frequency of migraines after starting to take CBD. The average number of days with migraines dropped by over 55%.
In 2017, a study was presented in Amsterdam at the Congress of the European Academy of Neurology. The research confirmed that cannabinoids are just as effective as other pharmaceutical treatments in migraine prevention.
The study also found that cannabinoids reduced the pain intensity during a migraine by 43.5%. While the study used a combo of both THC and CBD, it’s possible that these results could come from CBD use alone.
In addition to their direct impact on migraines, cannabinoids have also proven to impact many of the factors leading to a migraine.
Early studies indicate that CBD is a promising anti-inflammatory. It has also been shown to have a significant impact on anxiety, stress, and depression. Each of these conditions can lead to a migraine. In fact, low-dose anti-depressants are often used as a treatment option to prevent migraines.
More recent research points to a link between gut health and migraines. CBD reduces overall gut inflammation, therefore reducing the likelihood of gut-induced migraines.
While CBD has shown to be an effective migraine preventative and symptom treatment, it’s important to check with your doctor prior to starting to take it.
A survey done by HelloMD and Brightfield Group asked 2400 members about their use of Cannabidiol. It found that almost half of the people who begin using cannabidiol products cease their use of traditional medicines for those same ailments.
Another survey of cannabidiol product users completed last year showed that over 93% of them preferred CBD products to opioids for pain management purposes. While opioids are not a preventative treatment for migraines, they can be prescribed to help patients manage their pain levels.
Anecdotal online testimonials also point to the effectiveness of CBD in treating and preventing migraines.
One woman suffering from chronic migraines used to experience the headaches for, on average, 87 hours per week. Once she started a regular Cannabidiol regimen, after four months, her migraines lasted about six hours per week.
Another migraine user who had fought against using CBD oil for years had a similar experience. She woke up with an intense migraine, one that her traditional medication normally wouldn’t have been able to affect. She took a dosage of Cannabidiol oil, and within an hour, experienced some pain relief. Within two hours, her migraine was gone!
There are a few other things to know when you’re considering using Cannabidiol for migraine treatment.
If you’ve used marijuana before in an attempt to prevent or cure a migraine and it didn’t work, don’t give up on Cannabidiol. A lot of strains of marijuana contain virtually no CBD and high levels of THC.
Trying a CBD product and modifying your dosage to find something that works for you may help your migraines.
No, most hemp seed oils do not contain any level of CBD. The two are not interchangeable, so make sure to look for a Cannabidiol product.
Tests have shown that many products that claim to have CBD in them have none. Products should list the CBD mg on the bottle. Most reputable manufacturers will have both a purity analysis and a cannabinoid profile available.
Some products may not mention CBD by name. You can look “phytonutrients”, “phytochemicals”, or “full spectrum” instead.
CBD has the potential to stop migraines. The research suggests it can do this with the power of anti-inflammatories, stress relief, antioxidants, improved sleep, and more.
CBD has hundreds of health applications. It can be used to treat anything from migraines to multiple sclerosis.