Does taking CBD for Migraines work? What About Other Treatments?
Taking CBD for migraines has been getting more attention lately as a safe alternative treatment. With the range of therapeutic benefits that CBD hemp oil provides, it’s no surprise that it is an effective option for alleviating the debilitating pain common with migraines.
CBD is a cannabinoid within the cannabis plant that isn’t psychoactive like its other primary cannabinoid, THC. For this reason, CBD is one of the most common constituents of medical marijuana, and is used to treat symptoms of epilepsy, chronic pain disorders, and inflammation.
Before we go over natural alternative treatments for migraines, and how hemp-derived CBD can help, we first need to understand the nature of migraines.
What is a Migraine?
A migraine is defined as a severe, chronic, and painful headache that usually occurs on one side of the head, often behind or above the eye. The pain may then travel to the eyes, face, and sinuses. The pain experienced from a migraine can range from a mild headache to a throbbing, debilitating pain; unfortunately, most migraine sufferers fall into this latter category.
In addition to the headache, common migraine symptoms include vomiting, dizziness, nausea, double vision, and tunnel vision. Some migraines can be preceded by an aura, or can just occur without warning. Common warning auras include a sudden sensitivity to light or sound, hallucinations, hot flashes, tingling in the limbs, or numbness on one side of the body.
Migraines are far worse than just a bad headache. The fear of having a debilitating migraine can have a severe impact on one’s life, which is why substantial research into migraine treatment is being conducted.
Statistics on Migraines
Migraines affects 12% of people in the United States, and it is estimated that around 10% of people suffer from them worldwide. Furthermore, 85% of chronic migraine sufferers are women. The peak incidences of migraines occur between the ages of thirty and forty, but children and elders have also been known to suffer from them. Research has suggested that the source of migraines might be genetic. One study found that 70-80% of migraine sufferers have family who also experience migraines.
Research has suggested that migraines might be caused by dilated blood vessels in the brain due to chemical imbalances. This causes the blood vessels to press on neighboring nerves and brain tissue, which in response creates the headache of a migraine. Other than that, not much is known about the neurological or vascular causes of migraines.
2 Tips to Reduce Migraines
The causes of migraines will vary from person to person, and there is now a variety of treatment methods available today that aim to improve migraine sufferers’ quality of life, but avoiding migraines whenever possible can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
Different things trigger different people, so most migraine sufferers work with their doctors to track their migraines and determine what may be causing them. Even though triggering factors will vary, some of them have been widely accepted as affecting most migraine sufferers.
Food such as dairy products, alcoholic drinks, caffeinated and carbonated drinks, processed foods, MSG, and pickled foods have all been shown to trigger migraines in a substantial amount of people. Moreover, certain medications or the flickering of televisions or computer screens have been associated with higher migraine frequency. Migraines can be avoided by limiting or eliminating the intake of these trigger foods, or by reducing the amount of time spent in front of screens.
Stress has been shown to be one of the leading causes of migraine. This is perhaps due to how several different conditions can lead to stress. Stressors such as anger, frustration, and depression are some of the most common migraine triggers, and even getting too much or too little sleep can lead to stress. It is for this reason that migraine sufferers should take as many measures as possible to reduce stress in their lives.
Activities that stimulate or calm the mind such as aerobic exercise, pilates, yoga and meditation have been shown to alleviate the symptoms of migraines. In addition, massages and getting the proper amount of sleep are effective ways of preventing stress-induced migraines.
Other Natural Treatment for Migraines
Prescription and over-the-counter medications are often used to treat migraines, but they often come with unpleasant or even dangerous side effects. Besides CBD (more on that later), there are a number of natural remedies that a migraine sufferer can explore to try and determine which is best for them. Here are some viable alternatives for migraine treatment.
Essential oils have been used historically to treat a wide range of ailments, including anxiety, insomnia, and headaches. Two particularly useful oils for treating migraines are those made out of lavender and peppermint.
One study conducted a three-month lavender treatment plan for migraine sufferers, and the results showed that the frequency and severity of migraines was significantly reduced. Peppermint is also effective in treating headaches due to its active ingredient menthol. Applying a 10% menthol solution substantially reduced the migraine symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light in one study. The use of essential oils has been confirmed as a safe and effective method for alleviating migraine symptoms.
Studies have indicated that small amounts of caffeine have been effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines, but on the other hand, excessive caffeine intake has also been known to cause headaches that can trigger migraines. Those who are habitual caffeine drinkers are particularly at risk for caffeine withdrawal migraines.
Acupressure is an alternative therapy in which physical pressure is applied at various points on the body to alleviate symptoms such as pain. In addition to its pain-relieving benefits, acupressure has been shown to be effective in reducing the nausea associated with migraines. Even though research has confirmed acupressure as a viable treatment for migraine, research into acupuncture has yielded inconclusive results.
Ginger has been shown to have numerous health benefits, and is particularly useful for treating nausea without adverse side effects. Furthermore, in a 2011 study, ginger was 24% more effective in eliminating or relieving migraine headaches than a placebo.
Magnesium plays an important role in the body’s nervous, muscle, and immune systems. As a result, magnesium deficiency is associated with many neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and migraines. Taking magnesium supplements or eating magnesium-rich foods can potentially prevent or reduce the symptoms of migraines.
Capsaicin is a chemical compound present in chili peppers, and it has been shown to have pain-reducing and desensitizing effects. In one study, all patients who inhaled capsaicin nasally once a day reported a 50-80% improvement in their migraines.
How Can CBD Help For Migraines?
Medical cannabis is used to treat symptoms of several diseases and disorders, but one of its most common uses is for alleviating chronic pain. Cannabis use has been demonstrated to quickly eliminate headaches, making it a promising treatment option for migraines.
In particular, hemp-derived CBD provides several pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects, and its anti-inflammatory qualities have been measured to be several hundred times more effective than aspirin. CBD has an effect that’s very similar to capsaicin, but it doesn’t cause an unpleasant burning sensation. In addition, hemp CBD doesn’t have the same psychotropic effects of THC, so its analgesic properties can be enjoyed without any intoxication. CBD’s pain-relieving qualities make it a viable natural treatment option for migraine sufferers.
It has been theorized that migraines could in part be caused by an endocannabinoid deficiency, which could explain why cannabis use has shown to be more helpful than traditional medications. However, more research needs to be done on this topic to yield conclusive evidence of this.
One research study found that migraine frequency and intensity decreased in patients who used medical cannabis. Furthermore, in this same study, cannabis was shown to be effective in both alleviating an active headache and preventing future episodes. The participants of this study reported that they preferred medical cannabis over prescription medications since it was more effective and caused fewer side effects.
Despite the limited research conducted on CBD oil as a treatment for migraines and headaches, its role in the endocannabinoid system provides undeniable relief. Using CBD during a warning aura may help prevent the occurrence of a migraine, and regular use may drastically reduce them outright. For migraine sufferers today, hemp CBD can be an effective and much safer alternative to prescription medications.
- A migraine is defined as a severe, debilitating headache that can be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness, nausea, double vision, and tunnel vision.
- Migraines can also cause sensitivity to light or sound, hallucinations, hot flashes, tingling or numbness.
- Stress, as well as certain foods, medications or flickering screens can be triggers for migraines and should be avoided or eliminated.
- Alternative natural treatments for migraines can include essential oils, caffeine, acupressure, ginger, magnesium and capsaicin.
- CBD has been used to treat symptoms of migraines or reduce the frequency of migraines due to its pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
Tessera Naturals topical salve contains 500mgs of CBD as well as Lavender essential oil for a perfect natural remedy against migraines and headaches. Rub some on your temples, sit back, close your eyes and feel the relief.
Tessera Naturals CBD Tinctures contain CBD oil within an organic coconut oil carrier base. Our mint flavor tincture includes organic peppermint essential oil that has been shown to help relieve headaches and migraines.
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