CBD and Migraines: Can CBD Help Prevent and Treat Migraines?
Migraine is a type of headache that causes moderate to severe pain that is throbbing or pulsing. Migraine usually occurs on one side of the head. Migraine has several symptoms, such as vomiting, nausea, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. People are seeking medical help to get rid of this neurological disorder. Several treatments are available for migraine, including medications, injections, supplements, and acupuncture. Besides that, researchers suggest cannabidiol can reduce pain because the compound contains several properties that help to lower neurological pain. They are taking a closer look at CBD as an alternative treatment option to migraine.
The article will guide you to the use of CBD for migraines, its potential benefits, and how it helps to prevent and treat migraines. Before getting into the topic, let’s know more about migraine.
What is Migraine?
Jessica Cho, M.D., an integrative medicine physician and internist at Wellness at Century City in Los Angeles, defined migraine as more than a bad headache, and the cause of the condition is still yet to be understood. When specific nerves in blood vessels send pain signals to the brain, it triggers the release of painful inflammatory substances, and severe pain occurs in those nerves. Studies show that most migraine happens due to genetic disorders. Some factors can trigger the condition worse, such as
- Certain medications
- Hormonal changes
- Too much exercise
- Not enough sleep
- Overconsumption of caffeine
- Consumption of alcohol
- Loud noises
Usually, the pain occurs on one side of the head. In some cases, pain may happen on both sides of the head, around the eyes, and behind the cheeks. Severe pain is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. The symptoms may vary depending on the physical status of an individual. The pain may last hours to hours, and severe pain can cause your daily activities. In some people, migraine shows pre-symptoms of visual disturbances such as blind spots, tingling on one side of the face, or difficulty in speaking. Proper medical support can manage migraines and make them less painful.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is one of the active ingredients in the Cannabis sativa plant used for several purposes. It is an essential chemical of medical marijuana derived from the hemp plant, considered a cousin of marijuana. The naturally occurring chemical compound offers a variety of benefits to the body. It is used for a wide variety of conditions, such as muscle disorder, anxiety, insomnia, Parkinson’s disease, chronic disease, and many other conditions. But there are limited studies available to support these benefits.
There are two different cannabis plants called marijuana and hemp. Tetrahydrocannabinol(THC) and cannabidiol (CBD)are the two active compounds in those plants. Marijuana contains a high level of THC and a low level of CBD, on the other hand, hemp contains a high level of CBD and a low level of THC. The natural compound CBD is extracted from the hemp plant. Both chemicals offer different effects on the body. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t create a ‘high’ when used and doesn’t cause any effects like euphoria.
What are the health benefits of CBD?
CBD is marketed as providing relief for several health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, inflammation, etc. The label ‘nonpsychoactive’ makes CBD a unique compound and provokes consumers to buy CBD products for different health benefits.
- Relieve neuropathic pain
CBD is effective in pain management. Spoke research studies have discovered that certain components in CBD have pain-relieving effects on the body. It helps to reduce pain by affecting the endocannabinoid system, which regulates a variety of functions, including pain sensation, appetite, sleep, and immune system response. CBD affects the endocannabinoid receptor activity and reduces inflammation and interaction with neurotransmitters.
- Reduce depression and anxiety
One of the reasons behind the popularity of CBD is its ability to reduce depression and anxiety-related symptoms. The Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry tested the anxiety levels of 57 men in a stimulated public test. People received different amounts of CBD before the test. Few people got a placebo, while others received 150 milligrams, 300 milligrams, and 600 milligrams. People who took 300 milligrams of CBD found a visible reduction in anxiety during the test compared to others.
- Medicine for Epilepsy syndrome
In 2018, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a CBD, named Epidiolex to treat certain Epilepsy syndromes. Three well-vetted studies provide evidence supporting the benefits of CBD in treating epilepsy.
- Reduce diabetic complications
Tests based on human cells found that CBD is good for reducing the effects of high glucose levels on other cells in the body. Further studies reveal that CBD may result in a positive impact on people with diabetes. Researchers found that CBD can decrease the level of resistin, and reduce diabetic complications, and plaque buildup in artery walls.
- Alternative to opioid
Some preclinical animal and human clinical trials suggest that CBD could be used as an alternative to opioids. Many people are dependent on opioids which have several side effects, such as anxiety, insomnia, pain, etc. Compared to other drugs, CBD has mild side effects. So CBD is used to reduce the disorders related to opioid addiction.
- Relieve cancer-related symptoms
Some clinical studies in animals have shown positive results of using CBD in reducing cancer-related symptoms, including pain, nausea, and vomiting. An older study revealed CBD with THC can make significant results in pain reduction and other symptoms related to pain. A review of five studies has shown that consuming Sativex is effective in cancer-related pain in people.
How CBD works in migraine relief?
When you talk about the health benefits of CBD, the first thing you prioritize is its ability to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. It may ease the pain because it affects specific receptors that are a part of the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system has a vital role in central nervous system development. CBD binds to these receptors and reduces inflammation and pain throughout the body. Clinical evidence shows people with chronic migraines have lower levels of endocannabinoids. Giving additional cannabidiol binds to the receptors and relieves pain. Some research studies have proven that They also added that consuming CBD supplements can reduce some of the symptoms related to migraines, such as inflammation, pain, nausea, and anticonvulsive effects. However, there has been limited research supporting the effectiveness of CBD oil in managing migraine. The legal restriction on using the cannabis plant is one of the reasons behind the limited results of CBD.
What are the potential risks associated with CBD for migraine relief?
As you all know, CBD extracts from the plant hemp, which relates to marijuana. Compared to marijuana and THC, it has mild side effects. The following are some of the common side effects of CBD.
◻️ Dry mouth
◻️ Weight loss
According to Dr. Cho, taking CBD for migraine relief is not a long-term solution. It has possible side effects, and the long-term use of CBD may lead to other symptoms, such as memory loss and mood fluctuation. Lack of regulation is one of the potential risks of using CBD for migraine relief. In the United States, there is no regulation over the marketing of CBD products. As a result, many manufacturers are selling CBD products with the wrong information about the amount of CBD used in them. Some products may contain more or less CBD than advertised may increase the possible side effects. The FDA hasn’t approved any CBD as a migraine treatment, except one CBD used for treating epilepsy syndrome. CBDs are not for pregnant women. People who take regular medications should consult their doctor before choosing any CBD product.
What are the other treatments for migraine?
Each disease has a proper way of treatment. In the case of a migraine, your healthcare provider is likely to suggest proven treatments and approaches deal with the pain. Pain can be reduced with the help of proper medication and other techniques.
Tips that help to avoid the condition
Follow a regular high-quality sleep
Avoid bright lights
Practice stress management techniques like yoga
Spend time for yourself
The migraine treatment may vary depending on the physical status of each individual. People with moderate pain can prevent pain using pain relief medications. In rare cases, a combination of approaches is given to the people to get the benefit from treatments.
Some of the medical approved treatments for migraine
Certain drugs- antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, beta-blockers
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)- Aspirin, ibuprofen, Anaprox, Cambia, and Cataflam.
Medications – triptans, ergots, Analgesics, Glucocorticoids, Anticonvulsants, and opioids.
Every disease can be prevented by choosing proper medication and a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to migraine, it is possible to get rid of the pain and symptoms by following proper treatments and healthy choices. If you consider CBD oil for managing your migraine, you should speak with your doctor and take recommendations about the right approach.
Dr. Edward Zelman
Dr. Edward Zelman works as a Neurologist with the expertise of over 15 years, helping more than thousands to get back in complete health through his research-proven treatments. He earned his Masters from Harvard University and completed his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Dr. Edward Zelman is one of the notable names in the medical industry for his work in pain management, chronic disorder, and so on. He is also a former faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At present, Dr. Edward Zelman is researching safe and effective natural remedies that can restore as well as maintain the youthful functioning of the body.
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