CBD for Migraines – Is This a Remedy for Tough Pain?

Emily Robertson November 5, 2018 0 comments

While the studies are incomplete, CBD for migraines is still a popular choice for many patients. Does it work?

Migraines are debilitating and keep sufferers from participating in work life and relationships. Fortunately, a recent study indicates there may be hope on the horizon. The researchers gave participants daily doses of THC and CBD and the results were a an impressive fifty five percent reduction in migraine occurrence! In fact, CBD for migraines was more effective than many pharmaceutical prescriptions.

CBD is quickly becoming popular as a wellness product.  It may help with all sorts symptoms relating to pain and inflammation, and now research is showing that CBD may help manage migraines. The most effective form you can get is a full spectrum, high CBD oil. So, where Advil and Tylenol have failed, CBD for migraines is a game changer.

What is Special About Migraines?

Migraines can be unbearable. These present as a powerful, often debilitating, throbbing pain in the head. This pain is often isolated to one section. Migraines aren’t quick either – they can last as long as 72 hours and are no shorter than 4 hours. Not only that, sufferers can experience nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to sound and light, and may end up confined to a dark, quiet space until it’s over. Some sufferers also see an ‘aura’, which appears as flashing lines and/or a brief loss of vision.

Women are three times more likely than men to experience migraines. Triggers include stress and hormonal changes, but sometimes the exact reason for a migraine attack isn’t known.

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The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is crucial to the maintenance of good health. There are many theories suggesting that dysregulation within the ECS may even be the root cause of disease.

Almost every single cell in the body contains a cannabinoid receptor. These respond not only to the body’s naturally produced cannabinoids, but also to those that are within cannabis. While we have endogenous cannabinoids, like anandamide and 2-AG, receptors in the ECS also accept cannabinoids, like THC and CBD. Science is only just beginning to understand the nature this relationship and how it may or may not impact health.

CBD for Migraines represented by young woman rubbing her head in pain

Anandamide Deficiency Causes Migraines

Anandamide is a naturally occurring cannabinoid that is very similar to THC. It’s often called the ‘bliss molecule’ for the euphoric effects it can cause.

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As it turns out, migraine sufferers do have an anandamide deficiency. A 2007 study that found this deficiency went on to question if migraines were a result of a real deficiency or imbalance in the endocannabinoid system. During this study, it was found that CBD for migraines was able to correct this imbalance.

A 2016 study backed up the results of the 2007 study. This was again proven by a study from 2017 and 2015. The 2016 study found that migraines went from approximately 10.4 a month to 4.6 when sufferers used cannabis frequently throughout the month. That same study found that 11.6% of participants felt an absolute end to their migraines.

CBD for Migraines More Effective Than Prescriptions

The 2017 study had similar results. Prescription drugs for migraines were also less effective than cannabis. Over a period of three months, participants took daily doses of THC and CBD. The results? A 55% reduction in migraine pain. Not only were these results better than that found with prescription drugs, but cannabis didn’t burden the sufferers with the side effects experienced with prescription drugs.

Finally, the 2015 study found that participants who took CBD always felt a major reduction in pain. While they may not have found their migraines disappear entirely, 100% of participants felt a lessening of pain – and if you’ve ever suffered a migraine, you know that’s significant enough.

Additionally, CBD can help to fight issues like anxiety and sleep deprivation, which can trigger migraines. In that way, CBD oil for migraines helps to battle the root of the problem.

CBD For Migraines: Treatment Options

You can use CBD oil for migraines – just a couple drops under your tongue, or even in your morning coffee. Capsule form will also work. Vaping a high CBD strain is also often effective.

CBD for migraines represented by young woman taking pill with water

How To Medicate with CBD

Chemovars that are CHD-rich include: Harlequin, Remedy, and ACDC.

Taking CBD daily is a potential preventative measures, but whole plant may also go to work on an incoming migraine. Smoke a CBD-rich strain or take some full spectrum oil to fend off the attack before it can reach its full impact.

Many practitioners and researchers believe cannabis is safer choice than prescribed pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, the top pain prescription is an opioid. As the opioid epidemic continues to reach across North America, why would you want to take the risk? There are also unpleasant and serious side effects from prescription painkillers: nausea, muscle pain, drowsiness, dizziness, rebound headaches, chest tightness, and vomiting.

CBD for migraines is a novel treatment, but early results are positive. Speak to your cannabis doctor about the possibility of managing migraine pain with cannabis.

Author avatar

Emily Robertson

Emily Robertson has been writing freelance and contract work since 2011. She has written on a variety of topics, including travel writing of North America and the growing legalized cannabis industry across the globe. Robertson has a master’s degree in literature and gender studies, and brings this through in her writing by always trying to explore different perspectives. Born and raised in southwestern Ontario, Robertson moved to Glasgow, Scotland in 2016 to undergo her doctorate in Scottish Literature. She lives in the West End with her dog, Henley.

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