Migraines are more than just ‘a headache’.
Migraines are pulsating headaches, with pain primarily located on one side of the head. Additional symptoms and triggers vary from individual to individual, but they all have a few things in common.
Blinding pain, inflammation, and fatigue.
Nearly 30 million people in the United States suffer from migraines and chronic headaches. Migraines typically last between 4 to 72 hours. They can be brought on by even the most mundane events, such as a bright light, high stress, exercise, or a waft of a perfume. Sometimes, they seem to be brought on by absolutely nothing at all.
Pharmaceuticals vs CBD Oil for Migraine Relief
Before we get into alternative treatment options, let’s take a moment to look at the medicine cabinet of a migraine sufferer. It likely contains a combination of over-the-counter and prescription medications.
A first line of defense for migraine sufferers is an over-the-counter painkiller, like Excedrin. This is essentially a blend of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine. While relatively safe for those who suffer migraines infrequently, consistent use of such drugs can pose some significant risks; ulcers, kidney damage, increased risk of stroke, and even heart attacks.
If you suffer from migraines more than once or twice a month, this is not a good option.
If you experience more severe/chronic migraine attacks, it’s likely you are taking a prescription drug, such as Imitrex or Treximet. These drugs increase the quantity of serotonin in your brain and constrict blood vessels to lessen the flow of blood into the brain. (I know, this sounds scary, but some forms of migraines are caused by blood vessel dilation.) While very effective for some, they have a host of highly unpleasant and common side effects:
- Mild headache (not a migraine)
- Pain or chest tightness
- Pressure or heavy feeling in any part of your body
- Feeling hot or cold
- Spinning sensation
- Nausea, accompanied by vomiting
- Hot flushes
For those who suffer from acute migraines, the options become even more concerning.
Common prescriptions of ergotamines and opioids, like morphine and Oxycontin, have life-threatening side effects. Overdose deaths have quadrupled in the last two decades, and data shows that these drugs promote heart attacks, strokes, birth defects, and even toxicosis when combined with other common medications, such as antifungals and antibiotics.
Preventive medications for migraines have their share of scary side effects as well, such as low blood pressure, weight gain, and decreased sex-drive.
Even so — these drugs make up a significant portion of daily drug usage across the United States. We can hardly blame those who suffer the excruciating pain of migraines. Instead, we’re left wondering why safer solutions, such as CBD, aren’t being thoroughly explored.
To examine the possible benefits of CBD oil for migraines, we’re going to have to step back a little further first.
CBD Oil for Migraine Relief: A Weirdly Safe, Yet Unexplored Solution
There are a few things to get straight before we go further. Firstly, there is a shockingly small amount of research done on the efficacy of CBD oil for migraines. The studies that have been performed so far have typically utilized medical cannabis, a combination of THC and CBD. But despite the lack of documented studies, the migraine and health community at large admits that there’s serious legitimacy to claims of CBD oil for migraine relief.
Even WebMD admits CBD shows promise for treating migraines — and we all know how skeptical they are of natural treatments. They state, “Marijuana might be one under-the-counter remedy for migraine relief. Some research shows that it may help ease migraine symptoms or possibly keep them from starting.”
So, the evidence of what we’re about to suggest is limited to mostly the testimonies of hundreds who’ve personally experienced migraine relief from CBD use, a few relevant studies, and some logic backed with science.
CBD Oil for Inflammation: Getting to a Root Cause of Migraines
Inflammation is a perfectly normal, healthy response in your body. Problems arise, however, when inflammation becomes chronic. Migraines are now widely accepted to be caused, in some part or entirely, by inflammation.
To read more on everything involved, check out this article, which sums things up this way —
“In general, acute inflammation is characterized by marked vascular changes, including vasodilation, increased permeability and increased blood flow, which is induced by the actions of various inflammatory mediators. Inflammation causes glutamate excitotoxicity and the cytokine IL-1b plays an important role in this, too. Inflammation also contributes to migraines because it causes changes in the trigeminal nerve, one of the main facial nerves that also houses a major pain pathway.”
Here’s where CBD steps in. Some of the most common research relating to CBD oil benefits focuses on relieving inflammation, such as that of Rheumatoid arthritis. You can read this study on CBD as a ‘novel anti-inflammatory’ here. This same report also documents CBD as providing significant immune support, a huge factor for those who suffer from migraines due to autoimmune disorders or viruses and infections.
CBD Oil for Migraine Symptoms
With the root cause of migraines addressed, let’s look at the common additional symptoms of migraines. It’s a dizzying array of misery, that’s for sure. Migraine sufferers frequently experience some or all of the following:
- Throbbing or pulsating pain, usually in a localized area of the head, but may also be in the neck or behind the eyes
- Depression or anxiety before the onset of a migraine
- Nausea, sometimes accompanied by vomiting
- Headache ‘hangovers’, including feelings of fatigue, weakness, and difficulty concentrating
- Light sensitivity
- Noise sensitivity
- Tingling sensations in the hands or limbs
- Flashing, spinning lights, or other optical illusions
Here’s where CBD oil can step into play. This simple herb has been in use for thousands of years to heal common ailments like migraines, nausea, and many others.
- CBD oil relieves pain
- CBD oil reduces anxiety and mild depression
- CBD oil improves sleep, diminishing episodes of insomnia
- CBD oil can be used to treat nausea and relieve vomiting
- CBD oil calms the sympathetic branch of the nervous system, sometimes relieving hypersensitivity to external stimuli
How to Use CBD Oil for Migraine Relief
There are a variety of ways to ingest CBD oil, but the best way is CBD oil. CBD oil allows for precise dosing and fast reaction time, though vaping has been reported to be fast-acting as well.
When it comes to finding the best CBD oil dose for migraines, we suggest starting small and gradually increasing. A typical starting point is 2mg, but you may want to start with less, especially if you’re new to CBD. Gradually work your way up to the full recommended dose. This will allow your body to get used to the oil and reduce your risk of any side effects, such as sleepiness or dry mouth. We suggest the these CBD extract softgels or these CBD extract drops for migraines.
Side Effects of CBD Oil for Migraines
Across 25 different studies, even the National Institute on Drug Abuse was unable to find evidence that CBD oil could be harmful to the human body. Those very few side effects that can arise are mild, and include:
- Dry mouth
- Mild nausea or stomach discomfort
Please note, CBD oil may interfere with your body’s ability to absorb other medications. We strongly recommend that you speak with your doctor before starting, stopping, or altering your use of any medications, including CBD oil. Keep in mind that because there is little clinical research, your doctor may be unwilling to prescribe CBD oil as a medication, rather than as a possible supportive supplement.
CBD Oil for Sale
Thankfully, in Madison, WI and many other parts of the country, it’s not hard to find CBD oil for sale online or in stores. You can buy CBD oil online and at all of our Madison supplement store locations.
Before getting started, we suggest calling us up at (608) 571-1094 or stopping in to talk with our Wellness Consultants. We can answer any questions you may have on CBD oil benefits, and point you in the direction of the best CBD oil for migraines and other health issues.
If you’re curious to dig into more CBD research studies, check out our growing library of resources here.
Let’s find your healthy place!
Disclaimer: We always recommend that you speak with a licensed medical practitioner before modifying, stopping, or starting use of any medications and supplements. The statements made on this page have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. If a condition persists, please contact your physician or healthcare provider. The information provided is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider, and should not be construed as medical advice.