Can CBD Oil Help Migraines?

Migraines are so much more than just a headache. More than 1 in 10 Americans suffer from migraines on a regular basis and 4 million experience 15 or more migraines a month.

Traditional remedies for migraines aren’t effective for everyone. Research is growing into the use of CBD oil for migraines, and the results are promising. Read on to find out more about whether CBD oil can help migraines - and how.  

What Causes a Migraine?

Without CBD oil, migraines can make life a misery. Unfortunately, the exact cause of them remains unclear. Having said that, we do know that women are disproportionately affected by migraines, that there seems to be a genetic factor behind them, and that they are considered a neurological disease.

Debilitating, severe, throbbing pain characterizes a migraine. They can be accompanied by a certain amount of visual impairment, nausea, numbness and sensitivity to light, sound, smell, and touch. During the onset of a migraine, sufferers often find some comfort by taking refuge in a darkened room. With symptoms lasting for up to 72 hours, migraines seriously impair the quality of life of the sufferer.

The use of CBD oil for migraine headaches is on the rise thanks to its proven ability to reduce pain and nausea, without major side effects.

Existing Treatment for Migraines

Many migraine sufferers will tell you that most existing treatments for migraine headaches aren’t very effective, or that the side effects are unpleasant. Many of these drugs are not designed for extended use - a problem if you are a long-term sufferer of migraines.

The following are all popular treatments for migraines as prescribed by your average US physician:

  • Opioids: strong painkillers such as codeine. These can be highly addictive and are not intended for long-term use.
  • NSAIDs: painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen are often the first port of call for someone experiencing migraines. They are available over the counter and so are easy to access. However, they are not always fully effective at combating the extreme pain of a migraine, and over-reliance on them can cause severe gastrointestinal complications, such as stomach ulcers.
  • Ergots: ergotamine is another popular migraine treatment, but users often report the worsening of nausea symptoms after use.
  • Glucocorticoids: a drug family which includes prednisone and dexamethasone. Can be effective for migraines but the side effects are manifold and serious, including an increased risk of cataracts, glaucoma, osteoporosis, hypertension, weight gain, and diabetes.
  • Triptans: drugs such as sumatriptan, rizatriptan, almotriptan, and naratriptan are another migraine treatment, but can make the user nauseous, dizzy and drowsy.

As you can see, none of the existing treatments for migraines is fully satisfactory, or without its problems.

However, a recent review of CBD oil studies showed evidence from a twenty year study that CBD oil is effective for pain management, with few to zero side effects.  

CBD Oil for Migraine Headaches

The law in the US has made research into CBD oil difficult to carry out until recently. And yet, as the law changes and stigma around the use of cannabis and its derivatives reduce, researchers are starting to learn more and more about the potentials of CBD oil for migraine treatment.

There is now a wide range of different types of CBD treatments available on the market, from topical oils to capsules. Organic and vegan CBD oils are widely available, and the purity and ecological balance of these oils make them a popular choice.

In 2016, researchers tracked 121 adults for migraine attacks over the course of a month. Results found that with the use of medical cannabis, the frequency of attacks was reduced from 10.4 to 4.6 per month - more than a 50% reduction.

This research was important because it demonstrated that cannabis not only prevented migraine headaches, but it was also effective at stopping migraines once they had already begun. The cannabis used in this study included the psychoactive element, THC. This is absent in CBD oil, and so the cognitive impairment that puts some people off trying medicinal cannabis is not an issue. Being able to use medicinal cannabis without the mind-altering effects of THC makes the use of CBD oil for migraines is a win-win.

Talk to Your Physician

Before you begin using CBD oil, we recommend arranging to speak to your doctor. While there is significant evidence to suggest using CBD oil for migraines is worthy of consideration - particularly if other treatments haven’t worked for you - it can interact with some pharmaceuticals.

Whether you only suffer from the occasional migraine or experience them several times a week, you know that fast and effective treatment is a must. Speak to your clinician to find out more about using an organic CBD oil for migraines, and how it could be suitable for you.