Let’s face it; headaches are the worst. Even the garden variety tension headache can make it hard to think clearly and function effectively. And migraines feel like a headache on steroids. 1 in 7 people are afflicted with migraines, and many find the condition completely debilitating. What can you do when a couple of aspirin just doesn’t even come close to cutting it? Today, we’re going to discuss the potential benefits of using CBD oil for migraines.
People have been using cannabis in various forms to manage pain for centuries. Mentions of its use in that capacity date back to the twenty-eighth century
CBD is one of the many chemical compounds from the cannabis plant and, when isolated from the other compounds, it is non-psychoactive. What’s that mean? Unlike THC, the chemical compound found in marijuana, CBD won’t get you high.
While studies focused on CBD oil for migraines are still pretty scarce, the ones we have seen show great promise. The National Center for Biotechnology Information concluded that, while additional clinical trials are necessary, “It appears likely that cannabis will emerge as a potential treatment for some headache sufferers”.
While we wait for more studies to emerge, there is no shortage of people posting in online forums about the vast improvement of their symptoms as a result of using CBD oil for migraines. Many lament they hadn’t heard about CBD’s potential much sooner and feel they may have suffered needlessly.
What exactly is a migraine, anyway?
According to Merriam-Webster, a migraine is defined as a condition marked by recurring, moderate to severe headaches with throbbing pain that usually lasts from four hours to three days, typically begins on one side of the head but may spread to both sides, is often accompanied by nausea or vomiting, is sometimes preceded by an aura, and is often followed by fatigue.
When researching how migraine sufferers describe their pain, we find phrases like “like an ice-pick through my eye,” “worse than childbirth,” and “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy,” over and over again.
And, trust us, it’s as awful as it sounds. While the exact cause of migraines isn’t completely understood, environmental factors and genetics both seem to play a role. One theory is that migraines might be caused by disruptions in the interaction between the brainstem and a major pain pathway called the trigeminal nerve.
Other chemical imbalances in the brain may also be the culprit. What we do know is that women are twice as likely to suffer from migraines than men due to hormonal influences, and many people find that traditional methods are ineffective when it comes to managing migraine pain.
When in the grips of a migraine, many find themselves unable to work, drive, or complete the most mundane of tasks. Then there are others who can’t manage to get out of bed and are forced to lie in a dark room alone due to intense sensitivity to light, sound, or even touch that could induce vomiting or intensify pain. Combined with the resulting lack of quality sleep, it’s no wonder that many people suffering from migraines have often felt frustrated by the lack of pain-relief options.
Are there possible benefits to using CBD oil for migraines?
We’re delighted to report that there are. In addition to the studies mentioned above, we’re also seeing an explosion of threads and accounts on social media in which many people using CBD oil for migraines discuss their results. Many are experiencing migraines less often, sometimes not at all, while others report a vast improvement of their symptoms and/or pain of much shorter duration. Some even call their results “life-changing.”
Once additional clinical studies are completed, use of CBD oil for migraines could result in major strides towards the quality of care for those who suffer from chronic migraines. This could come as a relief to many, since research on migraines has been notoriously slow to progress in terms of innovation.
Using CBD oil for migraines may also assist those afflicted by allowing them to participate in normal activities again. Those finding relief through a CBD oil regimen write about being pain free, spending less time at the doctors, being able to sleep better, and taking fewer sick days from work. And, with the cost of migraine care in the U.S. alone estimated at over 76 billion dollars annually, the potential benefits can’t be overstated.
Okay, but what are the side effects?
According to many people who suffer from migraines, over-the-counter options often don’t provide the necessary level of pain relief that would allow them to carry on with day-to-day life.
On the other hand, prescription opioids, while oftentimes more effective, can be highly addictive and bring with them a host of potential complications and side effects, such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, physical dependence, tolerance, and respiratory depression.
The good news it that, early research has shown there are very few side effects associated with the use of CBD oil for migraines. Most adults tolerate a wide ranges of doses quite well and negative reactions to CBD are not at all common. Of the side effects that may present, the most common are not serious and include diarrhea, change in appetite, and tiredness.
There are also potential drug interactions that could exacerbate those issues, so be sure you check with your doctor or pharmacist to ensure that you aren’t taking any medications known to interact with CBD oil.
Promising early data…
While studies available on the effects of utilizing CBD oil for migraines are still relatively limited, it does seem as if there are many people who have suffered migraines chronically finding relief from migraine pain by implementing a CBD oil regimen. And, with CBD use on the rise for all types of pain management, more and more data is becoming available. We’ll continue to update you with the latest information.
As always when making changes to your healthcare plan, you should consult your doctor to make sure that CBD oil for migraines is the right choice for you.
- The Future of Migraine: Beyond Just Another Pill
- The Use of Cannabis for Headache Disorders
- Historical Reports of the Use of Cannabis as a Treatment for Headache (19th and Early 20th Century)
- Cannabis and Pain: A Clinical Review
- Opioid complications and side effects.
- CBD oil has changed my life.
- The burden of neurological disease in the United States: A summary report and call to action
- How Would You Describe a Migraine to Someone Who’s Never Experienced One Before?
- Marijuana – The First Twelve Thousand Years