CBD and Migraines: What’s the Deal?

So... what is the deal with cannabidiol oil - CBD and migraines? When you hear the word cannabis, you might immediately imagine a smoky room full of stoners getting high, and you might wonder what on earth that has to do with treating migraines. (Hint: getting high definitely does NOT have anything to do with treating migraines!)

Medical marijuana, cannabis, cannabidiol oil, CBD and migraines. Does it work? @migrainesavvyMedical marijuana, cannabis, cannabidiol oil. Is CBD really providing effective pain relief?

While CBD does come from the cannabis plant, it’s an entirely different substance from the high-inducing THC cannabinoid that’s prevalent in recreational marijuana. You can learn about the differences between their atomic structures if you want to understand how they each react with the human body’s natural endocannabinoid system, but for the purposes of this article, it’s enough to say that CBD oil will not get you high!


Scientific understanding of CBD and its potential healing qualities and possible treatment solutions is very much in its infancy, and no studies relating specifically to migraines and CBD have been carried out. Add to that the complex issue of its legality as a substance (and even the legality of trialling its use in medicinal experiments depending on where you are in the world) and you have a pretty complicated avenue to explore!

But, studies have been carried out on CBD’s potential to reduce chronic pain, and results found in favour of its efficacy. Depending on the kind of pain a migraineur suffers from, CBD could well become an important part of a pain management medication plan. 

There is also current speculation about the ability of CBD to raise serotonin levels within the human body. If true, this could hold relevance for migraine sufferers who have reduced levels of serotonin because a possible migraine trigger is the dilation of blood vessels caused by a lack of of serotonin. But, there is also research that shows that cannabis can have an adverse effect on serotonin and cause levels to reduce, which would have the opposite of the desired effect for us!

CBD for pain relief @migrainesavvyCBD and Migraines - Weigh The Pros and Cons

Will Opportunity Smash the Cons of CBD and Migraines?

If you're feeling pretty skeptical about cbd and migraines and the supposed benefits, let's weigh up some pros and cons to consider should you get the opportunity to experiment with this option for pain relief.

Pros

  • CBD is not psychoactive (you don't get high) and also has strong medicinal research.
  • Results from studies are proving to be very positive.
  • Different delivery methods: vaporized, nasal spray, tablets, sublingual, topical cream, vaginal suppositories, oils and smoke. [1]
  • A selection of different strains that target migraine.
  • Stress reduction properties.
  • THC can reduce 'excitotoxicity' thus reducing excess glutamate. 
  • Increases serotonin levels. (As do the triptan medications).
  • Can reduce inflammation.
  • Provides nausea relief.
  • Will also help with comorbid conditions like: depression, anxiety and PTSD with proper diagnosis for prescription. [1]
  • Legal medical marijuana dispensaries that have combination treatments specific to migraine. It will be standardized, and you’ll know what’s in it. Safe and reliable.

Cons

  • THC is psychoactive (hallucinatory effects - you do get high) and it also serves a medicinal use (pro).
  • Diagnosing and prescribing is complicated. Plant products vary significantly. There are over 700 different strains of cannabis and their levels of THC and CBD can vary greatly. This means it could be quite a lot of trial and error in prescribing the right combination for your body.
  • CBD and THC are synergistic – you don’t know the ratio. [1]  The wrong dose can hurt more than help you. For example, a dose too high for your body can lower your serotonin levels. Again, may require a lot of trial and error to find the right combination.
  • Possibility of addiction. 
  • Raises the tipping point to schizophrenia – propensity to certain psychiatric disorders. [1]
  • Not yet legal. Still a class 1 drug.
  • Insufficient research.
  • Smoking is bad for your lungs and a known migraine trigger.
  • Regular use can cause nausea and vomiting. [1]
  • Side effects... yes... cannabis can cause negative effects in your body like: dry mouth, nausea, paranoia, anxiety, short-term memory problems, and if you get the mix wrong - hallucinations. This side effect has been found in large oral doses.
  • Unsafe, deadly, copycat combinations out on the street. [1]

The absence of research and guidelines means...

CBD and Migraines for Natural Pain Relief @migrainesavvyCBD and Migraines For Natural Pain Relief

The absence of trials relating specifically to CBD and migraines means there are no guidelines, recommended dosages or hard facts to draw on.

Whether or not you’ll have access to CBD oil depends on where you live; and whether or not your doctor knows enough about it to prescribe a safe, low dose to begin with is the next lottery to play!

But, if it’s something that interests you, I’d encourage you to do as much research as you can, and seek out an expert who can help you get the legal access and guidance you need if you think it’s an option you’d like to explore further. And I’d love to hear how you get on!

So, stay in touch and join my mailing list for some free things you can use every day to help ward off migraines.




CBD and Migraines Page Source:
1. Stephen Silberstein, MD (2018) Migraine World Summit. Cannabis For Migraine: Examining The Evidence. Available [online] at: https://www.migrainesavvy.com/migraine-world-summit.html


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