Headaches and migraines affect a high percentage of the population. Although people often resort to NSAIDs for a treatment, CBD oil has shown promise too.
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CBD for Headaches: Frequently Asked Questions
- How much CBD should I take for a headache?
- What’s the best CBD oil for headaches?
- Can CBD help with tension headaches?
CBD Oil for Headaches: The Highlights
- Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are commonly used to treat headaches.
- CBD oil is starting to be used for headaches because of its effect on pain relief.
- CBD oil has little to no side effects.
- You can get CBD oil for headaches online as long as the CBD is derived from hemp and has less than 0.3% THC.
- Aside from headache relief, CBD oil has been found to treat ailments from anxiety and depression to name a few.
Why Do You Get Headaches?
The brain is a very complex organ. It is responsible for all the decisions you make in a split second or over a longer period of time. When a headache sets in, you may actually think your brain is where the pain comes from. But that’s not the case.
Surrounding the brain is an intricate network of blood vessels, capillaries, nerves, and connective tissue. When all of this matter gets inflamed, pain sets in and you are faced with a headache. In the worst of cases, migraine headaches can appear.
These are more severe than your average headache, and according to the Mayo Clinic, they can last from several hours to days.
Symptoms can be more involved than just pain in the head too. You can experience things like:
- blurred vision
- changes in mood
- stiffness in the neck
Sometimes headaches can occur on only one side of the head, and there are several things that can trigger them, such as:
- excessive alcohol intake
- not drinking enough water
- bright lights
- getting too much sun
- exerting yourself too much
- tooth pain
Living With Frequent Headaches
The pain and discomfort from headaches are very real and can be completely debilitating. Especially with migraine headaches that linger on. If there is any good news when it comes to headaches, they are not permanent or life-threatening.
Unless, in the rare case, a tumor is present in the brain and that’s causing the pain. This is a far more serious condition that can actually be life-threatening. But on the average, they are short-lived.
However, the problem sets in when they occur over and over again.
It is at this time that people often resort to conventional medications like OTCs to battle the symptoms.
The Risks of Conventional Headache Treatments
Everything comes with a risk and reward.
You may want to view this as being safe or dangerous. A car can get you from one point to another in a short amount of time. That’s the reward. But every time you get behind the wheel, you have a chance of getting into an accident.
Even if it is not your fault.
When it comes to conventional headache treatment, you are under the same type of circumstances. The reward is that your pain disappears. But the risk is that you can experience unpleasant side effects.
It seems that all forms of conventional medications have some form of side effects associated with them.
Fioricet, for example, is a prescription drug often administered to people with bad headaches. It has a combination of acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine, which combine to relax muscle contractions and improve blood flow through the body.
When taken, this does the job with headache pain, but at a cost.
Continual use can have a major impact on the liver and kidneys. This goes for OTCs like Advil and Motrin as well. But prescription drugs like Fioricet can also cause short-term side effects like:
- difficulty in breathing
- shortness of breath
- a drunken feeling
All of these ingredients combined is what drives people to take alternative action. And that is where CBD comes to the table.
CBD Oil For Headaches: What Does The Science Say?
But here is the problem.
There are many states that do not allow the sale, production or possession of any product that derives from a cannabis plant. Marijuana is cannabis and both contain CBD and THC. Hemp plants, on the other hand, do not contain THC.
Although the Farm Bill was passed to legalize the agriculture of hemp across the nation, every state still has the right to legislate the use of marijuana and CBD as they wish. This could spell bad news for you if you live in a state that does not allow either.
But, considering the science, there is a good chance all the rules will change in the very near future.
How Can CBD Relieve Headaches?
When you get high from marijuana, your body tends to go numb and you feel really light. This is an effect on your endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short, and it’s due to the THC, which gives you a mind-altering effect.
However, the other part of cannabis plants is CBD, which can have the same effect as THC, but without getting you high.
Internally, the ECS is like a regulating system that puts you into what’s called homeostasis. Think of this as having all of your systems functioning in balance and on all cylinders. Even if you never take CBD or THC, your ECS is still working.
But over the course of time, you can develop chronic pain or repeated bouts of headaches. When conventional medications no longer work or didn’t work in the first place, you can look to CBD as a possible fix.
The way it works is, it dulls the pain receptors in your ECS, as well as reducing overall inflammation. The end result is you experience relief from your headaches and you can get back into homeostasis.
Studies On CBD For Headaches
When it comes to research, you need to take it with a grain of salt. Often times, studies are funded by organizations that are pushing a personal agenda or they are skewed in favor of a company trying to prevent you from taking an alternative approach to their product.
But that’s not to say they’re not good to look into. You can use them as a general guide to see if what you want to take is legit or not. When it comes to CBD and headaches, the research goes a little something like this.
Headaches are caused by pain and inflammation around the brain. It is well known that CBD has a positive effect on the ECS, and by triggering this positive response, it can, in turn, have an equally positive effect on headaches.
Although there is not a ton of actual studies with CBD in relation to headaches specifically, there have been some done on its ability to ease pain and reduce the symptoms associated with other conditions. By default, this can have a positive effect on both headaches and migraine headaches.
A 2018 joint study done by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland, University of Helsinki, and Kazan Federal University in Russia, showed promise in both acute and prophylactic treatment of migraine pain due to cannabinoids anticonvulsive and anti-inflammatory effects.
Additionally, further studies have shown that migraine sufferers noticed their rate of monthly headaches was cut in half when dosing CBD oil.
Lastly, research by the Department of Medicine, Minneapolis VA Medical Center in 2009 on the analgesic effect of cannabinoids. Analgesics are looked to for the relief of pain. Additionally, low doses of cannabinoids are useful adjuncts to these drugs, which can bode well for the management of severe pain.
Choosing CBD Over Conventional Treatments
It really all boils down to two things. One is the side effects.
As mentioned above, there is a very slippery slope involved with OTCs and prescription medications. Regardless if they are used for headaches or other ailments. It is true that you can experience short-term or maybe even long-term relief.
But at what cost?
You always subject yourself to side effects. The ones that are rather mild may not be that big of a deal. But when you are talking about eventual organ failure, you have a major problem.
So you are trying to do something good for your body, but put yourself at risk for something else.
It’s always safer to go a more natural route where very little side effects are ever even seen. In fact, the only thing you would really have to worry about with CBD is vaping.
If you are not used to this, you can experience some discomfort in your throat or lungs. And if you inhale too much, you can also experience coughing. But both situations are rather benign and short-lived.
The other reason you should consider CBD over conventional treatment is that it is natural. It comes from a plant. And not just any plant, but one that is sustainable and good for the earth.
Hemp plants are especially known for their ability to soak up toxins in the ground, which creates a cleaner environment.
And while there is no set dosage for everyone, it’s best to start with a dose of 10 mg of CBD oil. If after a couple of hours you feel you need more, increase the dosage by 10 mg.
CBD For Headaches: Final Thoughts
You do not have to go far to find relief from a headache. But you should really consider an alternative treatment like CBD. The long-term effects of using an OTC or prescription drug for an extended period of time is not worth the risk.
If you can take a natural path and get the same reward without the side effects, you are always better off.
And if you’re wondering which CBD brands to try, we recommend the following:
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- The analgesic potential of cannabinoids.
- Emerging Trends In Migraine Treatment: CBD Oil
- Emerging Role of (Endo)Cannabinoids in Migraine.