Migraines are defined as a recurring type of headache, according to MedlinePlus.Gov. These headaches can range from moderate to severe in nature that usually occurs on one side of the head but can occur on both sides.
Symptoms of migraines may include pulsing or throbbing pain with or without feelings of weakness and nausea. Some people may be sensitive to sounds and light or experience numbness or tingling between the face and body extremities. Therefore, it is more than just a bad headache.
The following will discuss Migraines, CBD oil, and how CBD oil may be a viable resource for treating or preventing migraine headaches.
Causes of Migraines
While it is believed that migraines are genetic there are several known triggers of migraines.
- Loud noises
- Strong odors/smells
- Stress and/or anxiety
- Flashing or bright light
- Not enough or too much sleep
- Hormonal changes or imbalances in women
- Overdoing physical activity
- Smoking or using tobacco
- Consuming too much caffeine or withdrawal from caffeine
- Skipping meals
- Medications or the overuse of medications
- Weather changes
- Food allergies or sensitivities
Higher Risk Groups
- Women are at higher risk of having migraines over men.
- People with a family history of migraines are at higher risk.
- People with medical conditions such as epilepsy, sleep disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety.
Common Treatments for Migraines
According to MayoClinic.org, pain-relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other over-the-counter or prescription medications are used to treat migraines. Some medications are used to prevent the frequency or severity of this type of headache.
For people who prefer a natural approach to relieving migraine pain or reducing the occurrences of migraines, there are alternatives to medicines.
Acupressure, dietary changes, essential oils, herbs and spices, relaxation and stress management options, stretching or yoga, biofeedback therapy, acupuncture, massage, magnesium, B vitamins, and warm or cold compresses are effective.
The latest natural alternative is CBD oil for migraines, which has been studied, researched, and used for many years. According to Frontiers in Pharmacology on the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health website, research regarding CBD oil for migraines is again pertinent because of the anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsive, antiemetic, and analgesic properties of endocannabinoids.
One opinion about CBD oil and its effectiveness for migraines is discussed by Dr. Stephen Silberstein on the American Headache Society website.
What is CBD oil?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is the second highest active ingredient of the marijuana plant and is an essential ingredient in medical marijuana. However, CBD oil is most often taken from the hemp plant, which contains significantly lower amounts of THC (the element that makes you “high’) than the marijuana (cannabis) plant.
WHO (World Health Organization) even says, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” (World Health Organization, Cannabidoil, Pre-Review Report, (November 2017).
Is CBD oil legal?
The legality of using CBD oil varies between countries as well as in states in the United States. Some states consider CBD oil from the hemp plant no different from other dietary supplements such as Valerian root.
Medical industry professionals debate the use of CBD oil due to the fact that there is not yet enough proof that it is effective for treating migraines. All CBD oil products will have a disclaimer stating that the product “has not been evaluated by the FDA” and that it “is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.” This is a common disclaimer for anything natural that has not been approved by the FDA.
How does CBD oil work?
The human body already contains cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), with which CBD oil interacts. Currently, how these cannabinoids work is not completely known, but it is believed that these receptors have an effect on the human immune system.
According to Medical News Today (Jon Johnson, July 29, 2018) CBD prevents the human body from absorbing the naturally occurring compound, anandamide which regulates pain. Increased levels of anandamide may reduce how much pain a person feels.
In the same article, cannabidiol may be able to limit brain and nervous system inflammation, which reduces pain, some immune-system responses, and insomnia. (Jon Johnson, July 29, 2018)
CBD Oil for Migraines: Benefits and Side Effects
Former studies have proposed that cannabinoids may be effective for treating headache disorders such as migraines. (Bryson C. Lochte, Alexander Beletsky, Nebiyou K. Samuel, and Igor Grant. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.Dec 2017.ahead of printhttp://doi.org/10.1089/can.2016.0033, Published in Volume: 2 Issue 1: April 1, 2017)
With one in seven people suffering from migraines across the world, it is well worth more research, studies, and discovery of how CBD oil for migraines will affect humans. Maria Nicolodi, an Italian researcher, performed studies on 48 adults who suffer from chronic migraine headaches in the first phase of her study.
What she discovered is that those who were provided with a combination of THC and CBD at 200 milligrams or higher noticed a reduction in migraine pain by 55 percent. Doses lower than 100 milligrams had no effect. There were two phases of this study found here.
Essentially, more research and studies are needed to fully grasp the effect of CBD oil for migraines. Even with that, the current and previous studies show that it can work as a treatment. The department of Neurology, Western Montana Clinic, Missoula reported that cannabis/marijuana has been used for centuries for the treatment of migraines and that it was used by top physicians in previous decades. This author thinks that controlled clinical trials are necessary. (Department of Neurology, Western Montana Clinic, Abstract, Cannabis for migraine treatment: the once and future prescription? An historical and scientific review, (May 1998)
Only a few adverse side effects have been discovered. Fatigue, upset stomach, drowsiness, appetite changes, weight changes, and possible liver toxicity (observed in mice injected with very high doses) have been reported.
Depending on how CBD oil for migraines is used, other side effects may include breathing issues, wheezing, or the development of a chronic cough. It is not advised for people with lung disease or asthma. Most of the side effects are related to drug, grapefruit, or supplement interactions.
Summary of CBD Oil for Migraines
It cannot be denied that there is sufficient information to link CBD oil with reducing inflammation and pain. How effective it is for migraines is an area that requires further exploration, research, and comprehensive randomized human clinical trials.
Current research does touch on the benefits of CBD oil for migraines as well as other types of pain. CBD oil does not get you high and has very few adverse side effects which makes it a potential alternative over prescription migraine medications.