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CBD Oil For Migraines: A Beginner’s Guide


Unless you’ve been living on the Moon for the past decade, you have probably heard about medical marijuana (or medical cannabis). Thirty states have legalized marijuana for medical use. (Note: More states will likely legalize it by the time you read this.)

Well, one form of medical marijuana that has been discussed and researched to treat a variety of health ailments is CBD oil. CBD (short for “Cannabidiol”) is one of over 120 substances in cannabis. It derives from the marijuana plant.

Researchers have been studying and analyzing how CBD oil may a natural, alternative medicine to reduce pain and inflammation within the human body. One of those issues is migraines. According to U.S. statistics, more than 38 million people suffer from migraines.

Some migraine studies estimate that 13 percent of adults in the U.S. population have migraines, and 2-3 million a migraine suffers are chronic. It is also estimated that nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households includes someone with a migraine. A 2015 study conducted by the journal, Headache, discovered that headache or migraine-related symptoms was the 4th leading cause of visits to the emergency department in 2009-2010.

So as you can see, migraines are a “headache” literally and figuratively. So if you are a chronic migraine sufferer, then this article may offer a feasible solution. Let’s see if CBD oil may be a suitable pain relief to migraines.

What is CBD Oil And How Does It Work?

CBD oil is the non-intoxicating marijuana extract. (It contains little THC, the compound responsible for making you feel “high”). CBD works by interacting with cells in both the brain and nervous system. These molecules are called cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2)

For some within the medical community, it has become synonymous with dealing with a slew of health issues such as:

  • epileptic seizures
  • anxiety
  • inflammation
  • sleeplessness
  • arthritis
  • diabetes
  • multiple sclerosis
  • depression
  • migraines

While research is scant on some illnesses, CBD oil for migraines has a good amount of research. (We shall dig into some of this research in a second.)

The Human Cannabinoid System

A system many people have no clue about is the cannabinoid system (also called endocannabinoid system or ECS). The human cannabinoid system provides a wide array of functions to the human body, including the brain. This system controls a number of daily functions such as:

  • Mood
  • Immune function
  • Pleasure and reward
  • Appetite, digestion, hunger
  • Memory
  • Motor control
  • Sleep
  • Reproduction and fertility
  • Temperature regulation
  • Pain & inflammation

As you can see, the cannabinoid system helps control pain and inflammation. This explains how CBD oil binds with the system to help provide migraine relief. A 2018 review study conducted by the Front Pharmacology Journal explored the emerging role that cannabinoids (such as CBD oil) are having in treating migraines.

The study concluded that cannabinoids present a promising class for the treatment of migraine pain.

Does CBD Get You High?

Again, CBD oil does not get you high because it contains little to no THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol). In fact, since pure CBD does not get its users “high,” it is typically seen as a safer and less controversial form of therapy for patients.

The Benefits of CBD Oil For Migraines

Before it became legal, people used cannabis for thousands of years to treat headaches. So it is conceivable that people use CBD oil for migraines. But does it work?

Research has pointed out that CBD oil may reduce inflammation and pain in arthritis. So perhaps it can provide effective treatment to migraines as well.

A Decrease in Pain and Intensity of Migraines

A 2017 review study conducted by the Cannabis Cannabinoid Research Journal looked at previous studies who used cannabis to treat headaches. Overall, the researchers saw a useful and effective role for marijuana in treating migraines but did not find sufficient evidence that CBD oil provides relief for migraine headaches (or any headaches for that matter).

The reason research on CBD oil for migraines is limited is due to regulation and obstacles with cannabis legalization. Cannabis is not legalized everywhere (yet) so there are still barriers that need to be crossed before sufficient research can be done.

A Decrease in Frequency of Migraines

Despite the barriers in research, some researchers have conducted studies to determine the effectiveness of medical marijuana in relation to migraines.

A 2016 study conducted by Pharmacotherapy discovered that of the 48 people surveyed, about 40 percent reported fewer migraines overall after using medical marijuana. The only issues the users encountered was drowsiness or figuring out the right dose to take. While it’s not known if CBD oil was the form of treatment they used, this highlights the notion that medical marijuana may be a suitable treatment for migraines.

CBD Oil For Migraines: What The Research Says

CBD Oil For Migraines

A January 2016 study indicated that medical marijuana may reduce the frequency of migraine headaches. Interestingly, the researchers stated that “Inhaled forms of marijuana were commonly used for acute migraine treatment and were reported to abort a migraine headache.”

The primary way users take CBD oil is by inhaling it. A 2009 study conducted by J Opioid Management concluded that medical cannabis may treat chronic pain in people who have been taking opioids for long periods and want to reduce use.

Recent Studies

The latest research study (when this article was published) was conducted in July 2018 by Australian researchers. They did not find a link between the use of cannabis and a reduction in pain or a lower use of opioids.

However, users were depended on to document their own use of cannabis (most was the illegal version of it). Thus, the use of CBD oil as a pain reliever was not properly studied.

More Research is Needed

As mentioned earlier, more research needs to be conducted to determine the effects of CBD oil for migraines. Until more U.S. states (and countries) legalize medical marijuana, it will be difficult to get sufficient evidence.

Risks Associated with CBD Oil For Migraines

Since CBD oil derives from cannabis, there are risks associated with using it.

Legal Issues

Due to the psychoactive components of traditional marijuana, cannabis usage is still considered illegal in many parts of the US.

So where you live dictates whether it’s okay for you to use CBD oil or not; thus, using it in a state that hasn’t legalized marijuana is a big no-no. If your state legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use, then CBD oil is fine.

However, if your state has legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes only, then you will have to apply for a marijuana card through your doctor to use CBD oil.

Avoiding Fake or Mislabeled CBD

With the CBD industry experiencing tremendous growth, unfortunately, it’s common to find fake or knock-off versions of CBD oils.

Here are six steps you should take to determine if the CBD oil is legit:

  • Look for the word “pure” and a milligram amount
  • Identify where the CBD oil is sourced AND how it’s made
  • Ensure the CBD oil’s contents are verified with a third-party lab
  • Research the company’s reviews
  • Explore any legal summaries available
  • Locate the maker of the CBD oil contact info

Dry mouth, Drowsiness And Other Side Effects

As with other forms of cannabis, CBD oil can make you feel drowsy or sleepy.

CBD oil can also cause:

  • Dry mouth
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Lightheaded or dizziness
  • Headaches (Lower quality CBD oil are known to cause headaches despite being used to treat them.)

How To Use CBD Oil For Migraines

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), cannabis has been used for nearly 3,000 years in alternative medicine. One of the main uses was for pain management for migraines and other forms of headaches. CBD oil is taken via vaping or ingestion. Oral CBD is less likely to cause side effects, so beginners may want to start here.

CBD Oil Dosage For Migraines

You can put a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue, take CBD capsules, or even eat a CBD-infused treat. There aren’t any formal guidelines for dosage amount but experts recommend using between 2.5 and 20 milligrams (mg) per day for chronic pain.

Where To Buy Quality CBD Oil

If you are looking to buy CBD Oil, then get help finding the ideal type of CBD supplement for yourself by going to CBD Trusted Suppliers.

Final Word on CBD Oil For Migraines

CBD oil looks like it will become a trusty method for treating migraines and other painful ailments. However, more research needs to be conducted to further strengthen this claim. If you’re thinking about using CBD oil, please discuss with your doctor first.