CBD for Migraine: Effect and Recommendations

A migraine is a common neurological disease that can cause severe pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. It is accompanied by vomiting, nausea, sensitivity to light, and sound. These migraine attacks can last for 4 to 72 hours, and they can interfere with your daily activities as the pain can be very severe. There are many symptoms of migraine including auras. These are vision disturbances like flashes of light or blind spots. Another symptom is the tingling on one side of your face and difficulty speaking. Migraine may occur rarely or may strike several times a month depending on person to person. Medications can help prevent migraines and make them less painful. While pain medications can help alleviate symptoms of migraine attacks, there are side effects such as dizziness, stomach pain, fainting, and irregular or fast heartbeat.

CBD for Migraine

CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a compound extracted from the hemp plant. Studies show that CBD can help treat a variety of health issues such as insomnia, anxiety, stress, depression, epilepsy, and chronic pain. Unlike THC, which is a psychoactive ingredient that can be found in cannabis plants, CBD is not psychoactive and will not cause you to feel high. Since CBD is known to help chronic pain, studies have been conducted to know how CBD helps treat migraine attacks without getting the same side effects from pain medications. The dosing of CBD is usually from 5 mg to 25 mg a day and can increase depending on your doctor’s recommendation. Do not take CBD without consulting your doctor first.

What Research has been done on the Effects of CBD on Migraines?

Currently, the research for CBD use in migraine attacks is still limited. Existing studies look at the combined effects of CBD and THC on a person than examining the effects of every ingredient of CBD on migraine. In 2017, a study was conducted at the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology. 48 people with chronic migraine received a combination of the two compounds. One contained 19 per cent THC and the other contained 9 per cent CBD with no THC. The compounds were given orally. Doses under 100 mg had no effect but when the doses were increased to 200 mg, acute pain was reduced by 55 per cent. Another study was conducted wherein 79 people with chronic migraine received a daily dose of 200 mg of the combination of CBD and THC, while 48 people received 25 mg of amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant. The CBD-THC combination reduced migraine attacks by 40.4 per cent, while amitriptyline reduced migraine attacks by 40.1 per cent. The CBD-THC combination also reduced the intensity of pain by 43.5 per cent. 

Is CBD Efficient for Treating Migraines?

Yes. Although formal research into CBD and evidence that CBD is safe and effective in treating migraines is still limited, the American Migraine Foundation reports that it’s a promising treatment for migraine. Also, research about the benefits of CBD suggests that CBD helps relieve pain, particularly neurological pain. 

Why might CBD Ease and Help Migraine?

CBD interacts with endocannabinoids in the body that bind the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are responsible for coordination in the central nervous system such as movement, pain, appetite, memory, mood, and other functions, while CB2 receptors are in the peripheral nervous system influencing pain and inflammation. Unlike THC, CBD does not make you high and typically does not cause any negative effects.

What are the Usage Methods of CBD for Migraine?

There are various ways to consume CBD. The best consumption method for you will depend on your preference and requirements.

  • Inhalation. Smoking or vaping CBD will take 15 minutes before you feel its effects.
  • Topical Application. Topical products such as cream, balms, and ointments take effect within 15 minutes after applying them.
  • Ingestion. Swallowing or consuming food that contains CBD will take 45 minutes to 2 hours before you feel it taking effect as it still needs to go through your digestive tract.
  • Sublingual. When taking a sublingual tincture, you should keep it under your tongue for at least 90 seconds for maximum effect. Effects are felt within 15 minutes.

How Many Milligrams of CBD should I Take for a Migraine?

There are limited studies on the effects of CBD on migraine in humans, so there’s no standard dosage or method of using CBD for migraine. The dosing of CBD depends on your doctor’s recommendation and what you want to treat. If you want to try CBD for pain relief, it is recommended for you to take 10 mg daily.  

Are There any Side Effects of CBD for Migraine?

Yes. Generally, CBD is often well-tolerated but it can still cause side effects such as dry mouth, diarrhoea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, fatigue, and in severe cases, liver damage. CBD can also interact with other medications that you might be taking such as blood thinners. You should talk to your doctor first before taking any CBD products to know if they’re reliable and pure.

What Type of CBD is Good for Migraines?

There are 3 types of CBD, containing different compounds and concentrations.

  • Full-spectrum: contains 0.3 per cent THC
  • Broad-spectrum: contains little to no THC
  • CBD Isolates: contains only CBD with no other cannabinoids or THC.

Although broad-spectrum and CBD Isolates products can help treat migraines, the best type of CBD to use for migraine is the full-spectrum CBD. They have no more than 0.3 per cent of THC so you won’t get high. Research suggests that a synergy between cannabinoids and terpenes, called the entourage effect increases the effectiveness of CBD so it’s best to use full-spectrum CBD. In choosing the best CBD product, you should also consider the quality of the hemp, potency level, and extraction methods.

What are the Best CBD Products for Migraine?

There are a lot of CBD products in the market these days. There are CBD oils, CBD tinctures, CBD pills, and CBD-infused edibles which are the easiest and most popular ways to ingest CBD. They are an effective pain aid and will elevate your mood. Here are some of the best CBD gummies you can buy:

  • Exhale Wellness: vegan, 100% organic, contains less than 0.3 per cent THC
  • Cheef Botanicals: cruelty-free gelatin, 100% natural ingredients, third-party lab tested, full-spectrum
  • FAB CBD: pesticide-free, pure cannabinoids and terpenes, organic, non-GMO, broad-spectrum
  • ZenBears CBD Gummies: vegan, forest friendly, organic, THC-free, broad-spectrum

Which one is Better, CBD oil or CBD Tincture?

Both CBD oils and CBD tinctures are equally effective. The decision between these two will just differ on your individual preference. CBD oil is made by extracting the oil from seeds, flowers, and stalks of the hemp plant then mixed with a carrier oil such as coconut oil. CBD oil is the most potent and most expensive. Some people mix CBD oil with their food for more natural consumption. CBD oil can be applied directly to the skin and can also be taken using the vaping method. It usually takes 1 to 2 hours for the CBD oil to take effect. CBD tinctures on the other hand are made with 60 to 70 per cent distilled alcohol. They are liquid extracts of the hemp plant combined with alcohol, glycerin or cinnamon/peppermint oil. While CBD oil can have an unpleasant taste when consumed orally, CBD tincture comes in different flavours like chocolate and peach. CBD tincture can be taken sublingually (putting it under the tongue) for at least 90 seconds. Unlike CBD oil, CBD tinctures are lower in potency but have a longer shelf life.

Can CBD Oil and CBD Tincture be used Together?

Yes. Some research suggests that using CBD oil and CBD tincture together works better and is more effective than using one of the compounds alone. This is due to an interaction between phytocannabinoids and terpenes which both of these products have. Before using CBD oil and CBD tincture together, consult with your doctor first.