What to Know About Using CBD for Migraines

Taking CBD may help prevent migraines, while using topical CBD gel or oil may help relieve the pain associated with these headaches. Here's what you should know.

Migraine Management

If you suffer from migraines, you've probably tried a variety of treatments to alleviate the pain. You may have considered CBD for migraines in addition to pain medication, migraine home remedies, and lifestyle changes.

If you don't get migraines, you probably know someone who does. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, nearly one in every four households in the United States has someone who suffers from them. They are more than just headaches; they can cause debilitating head pain, nausea, vomiting, and extreme light and nose sensitivity.

Can CBD relieve migraines?

According to a study published in the Journal of Headache and Pain in 2018, multiple laboratory and animal studies support the potential use of cannabis and its components, including cannabidiol (CBD), for migraine pain.

According to Dr. Bonni Goldstein, MD and other experts, CBD may help with pain by supporting the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters produced by the body that interact with cell receptors throughout the body. This creates a feedback loop that regulates nearly every system in the body and can modulate pain perception, mood, appetite, inflammation, and other factors. THC and CBD, for example, are plant cannabinoids that interact with the ECS in unknown ways.

How do I use CBD to treat a migraine?

Taking CBD oil on a regular basis may help restore endocannabinoid tone, which may help reduce migraines. When using CBD for the first time, experts advise starting with a low dose and gradually increasing it. You should also keep a journal to see if CBD has any effect on your symptoms. CBD oil can be taken sublingually, or under the tongue, where it is absorbed more quickly and efficiently than if you swallow the oil or consume an edible.

While CBD oil is relatively non-toxic, it can cause sleepiness, nausea, and diarrhea in some people. Another concern is that CBD may interact with other medications, making them more or less potent.

As a result, if you intend to begin taking CBD on a regular basis, you should notify your health care provider and inquire whether any drugs or supplements you are taking may interact with CBD.

Topical CBD products can also aid in the relief of muscle aches, pains, and tension.

The Entourage Effect

The fact that different "strains"—the popular term used to describe the various varieties of hemp—have varying amounts of CBD, THC, other cannabinoids, and terpenes is one of the major challenges in determining whether CBD and other cannabis components have medical benefits.

These cannabinoids' components have synergistic effects, according to the hypothesis known as "the entourage effect." As a result, determining which cannabis chemovar (the term used by experts) is best for treating a specific condition is extremely difficult.

According to Dr. Silberstein,MD, director of the Jefferson Headache Center and professor of neurology at Thomas Jefferson School of Medicine in Philadelphia, some of his migraine patients benefit from taking CBD oil—both orally and topically—for the neck stiffness and soreness that often accompany migraine.

CBD research is made easier now that the 2018 Farm Bill allows farmers to grow and sell hemp—Cannabis sativa plants with less than 0.3 percent THC by weight. However, this has resulted in an increase in the sale of unregulated products.

How to find high-quality, clean CBD products?

If it’s your first time purchasing CBD, third-party testing is the first thing you need to look for! Simply ensure that it has been third-party tested for purity and potency and that it is accompanied by a recent batch-specific Certificate of Analysis. 

You should also look for hemp products that are…

  • Free form pesticides, heavy metals, mold, and other contaminants
  • Grown in the USA
  • Organic

What is Full-Spectrum?

Full-Spectrum CBD Oil: This means it contains all the other components of the hemp plant, including trace amounts of THC (up to 0.3 percent by weight) and terpenes, which are plant compounds. The small amount of THC is insufficient to produce a "high." However, it may be enough to cause you to fail a marijuana drug test.

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