Migraines can be a tough nut to crack, with their throbbing constricting pain sucking all the joy out of life and destroying your productivity. Traditional OTC medications often fail to provide any sort of relief. In your desperate search for alternative forms of relief from migraines, you have probably come across CBD, and want to discover more about how does CBD help with migraines.
Read on to find the answers about how and why CBD may be the migraine solution you need. In this post, we will provide all the info that will help you answer the question, how can CBD help with migraines?
We will reveal some of the science behind how using CBD for tension headaches is helping more and more people live a life with relief from the pain of migraines. You will also find information regarding the optimum CBD oil dose for migraines and tension headaches relief, and the best methods to take it.
Can You Take CBD Oil for Migraines and Anxiety?
It may come as a surprise, but cannabis has a tradition of being used as a treatment for headaches that goes back thousands of years.
The research is ongoing, but many researchers agree that there may be substances in cannabis which can provide therapeutic benefits for headaches, and this includes relief for migraine sufferers.
We must point out that recent studies have focused on the entire marijuana plant, which can have different effects than what the extracted CBD oil can produce. However, the therapeutic results reported from CBD oil may be derived from its analgesic effect, which can be explained with a little science.
The Science Behind How CBD Can Help with Migraines
A popular theory may help explain how CBD can help with migraines. Headaches and migraines are somewhat of a mystery to science, but one possible cause may be a dysregulation in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a system in the body named after the cannabis plant which helped in its discovery.
The ECS is a network of lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters found throughout the body and includes the brain, connective tissues, organs, immune cells, and glands. The function of ECS in the body is one of homeostasis, which, in simple terms, means to maintain a stable internal environment regardless of what is going on in the outside environment.
How CBD Works for Migraines
So far, research has revealed two cannabinoid receptors: CB1, which is found in the nervous system, gonads, glands, and connective tissues; and CB2, which is prevalent in the immune system. The body creates endocannabinoids specifically to stimulate the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Phytocannabinoids are plant-based compounds which are known to stimulate the cannabinoid receptors. Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise famously known as THC, has been shown to produce the most active response.
However, other cannabinoids are attracting the interest of researchers due to their healing characteristics, one of which is cannabinol (CBN), and the other is cannabidiol or CBD. While scientists continue to probe the depths of what phytocannabinoids are capable of, many people are finding relief by using CBD oil for migraines and anxiety.
There is still a lot that researchers need to discover about how the CBD interacts with the brain and nervous system to produce the healing response, but the interactions are thought to affect the immune system.
One avenue research is taking is exploring the effect CBD has on the body’s anandamide levels, which is a fatty acid neurotransmitter related to the regulation of pain. Scientists have discovered that CBD hinders the ability of the FAAH enzyme to break down anandamide. Higher levels of anandamide in the body may reduce the levels of pain experienced by migraine sufferers.
This theory is backed up by a study [*1] conducted in 2007 at the University of Perugia, where researchers analyzed cerebrospinal fluid samples to reveal that chronic migraine sufferers had much lower levels of anandamide than expected.
These results prompted Dr. Ethan Russo [*2] to present the theory he terms as Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency, which says that low levels of endocannabinoids create pain where there shouldn't be any. Dr. Russo also believes that it may be possible to address the deficiency by introducing cannabinoids such as CBD.
CBD Oil dosage for Migraines - How Much is Enough?
The national cancer institute revealed that cannabis has been in use for over 3,000 years as a remedy for many ailments. During the 19th century, it was widely used by the western medical fraternity as pain relief and to reduce inflammation. In 1951, the Boggs Act passed by Congress bundled cannabis in with other illegal narcotics, which certainly didn't do a lot for its continued study.
The reported effects CBD has on migraines is anecdotal, and no official studies have been completed. For this reason, there are no standard CBD dosages for migraines and no officially approved methods for using CBD as pain relief.
While no official stance has been taken by the medical fraternity for CBD oil dosage for migraines, there are dosage amounts which have been agreed upon by CBD oil specialists, such as the Mayo Clinic.
For chronic pain, it is recommended to take 2.5-20mg of CBD by mouth for around 25 days. Concentrated pastes or drops in tincture format are available which make oral ingestion more convenient.
However, oral ingestion is not for everyone so the best methods on how to apply CBD oil for headaches will be the one that is most comfortable and convenient, with the most popular formats including:
* in capsule form
* as a topical application applied to the skin
* sprays and drops taken by mouth
* vaping, or inhaling (there may be dangers related to the lungs).
When taking CBD orally you should know that the digestion system will immediately go to work at breaking down CBD. To counteract this, you should first hold the oil under the tongue before swallowing, as this will allow more of the CBD to work its way into your system.
As we mentioned earlier, there is still much more research to be done on CBD oil as a treatment for headaches and migraines and advice from your doctor is highly recommended. If nothing else has worked then it is certainly worth a try.
Just like many other remedies for migraines, CBD may need time before you notice any results. Some Experimentation may be required as you discover an optimal method and dosage amount which gives you the best results.
[*1] Endocannabinoids in chronic migraine: CSF findings suggest a system failure. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17119542
[*2] Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System