If you suffer from frequent or recurring migraines, you know they can really put you down and out for the entire day. A really bad migraine can last several days or even a week. The effects of these killer headaches can be debilitating, keeping you from being able to handle the tasks of everyday life or even go to work. Fortunately, researchers have brought several options for the table to help treat these massive headaches. Many prescription medications do exist to help treat the conditions, and many people have seen good results. However, some of those medications may have nasty side effects, or may not be safe for long-term use. The good news is that research has identified cannabidiol as a potential treatment for these migraine headaches.
Many people are already taking advantage of this information. One user went to Reddit with her life-changing story. She had previously suffered up to 20 migraines a month and had taken all of the usual recommendations, including over the counter painkillers and magnesium supplements. Her migraines were so debilitating that she even tried Botox to find some relief. Nothing seemed to work.
Then, she decided to give cannabidiol a shot. She began taking .25-.50 mL of a cannabidiol tincture for migraines every day. Now she has way fewer migraines, going up to a week without a headache at all. She even claimed that she experienced no side effects from her cannabidiol regimen. Luckily, cannabidiol is relatively easy to get your hands on, and it may be the migraine fighting supplement you’ve been hoping for. If you’re still a little wary, take a look a the science.
Science Says CBD Can Help
Researchers have investigated the use of CBD for migraines, which often result in pain and inflammation. The results are promising for migraine sufferers. The most prominent effect is CBD’s potential to decrease pain. Studies show that cannabidiol may be able to bind with neuro-receptors that usually absorb pain signals. By binding with these receptors, cannabidiol may be able to block pain signals and prevent pain before it starts.
Another reason cannabidiol may be useful for migraine treatment is that of its potential to reduce swelling and inflammation. One study looked at cannabidiol effect on inflammation and found that it targets a3 glycine receptors to reduce inflammation and neuropathic pain.
One study admits that cannabis shows “sufficient anecdotal and preliminary results” to warrant further research in the treatment of headache disorders. One FDA approved medication, Marinol, is inspired by the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. A review on Marinol for migraines claims that it works well for headaches, about “70-80% as well as whole plant cannabis itself.” Marinol is often prescribed for the treatment of pain, including pain due to chronic headache disorders. Marinol for migraines can be effective and may help explain why so many people get equally great results from cannabidiol, too.
CBD May Be Useful for Other Migraine Symptoms, According to Research
For those who suffer from chronic or frequent migraines, you know that the symptoms don’t stop at a headache. Other symptoms can include nausea, fatigue, inability to focus, and trouble sleeping. Luckily, cannabidiol may be helpful for these symptoms as well.
One study looks at cannabidiol’s effect on nausea. It shows that CBD is able to work within the endocannabinoid system to suppress nausea and vomiting. Another study shows that cannabidiol may be a wake-promoting agent, which means it may increase focus when taken daily. Some research suggests that by increasing wakefulness during the day, cannabidiol may also be useful for treating sleep disorders or difficulty sleeping. All of these uses, when combined, may make it appropriate for treating migraines, too.
Benefits of CBD vs Other Medications
While there are many medications designed for migraines, they might also come with unpleasant side effects. Common medications, like analgesics and NSAIDs, have one particular drawback. According to many sources, they can actually make headaches worse when taken every day. Many over the counter pain medications are also not recommended for everyday use due to possible adverse effects on the stomach and liver. Some NSAIDs can even lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, and stomach ulcers. This can be an obstacle for people who experience regular or daily migraines or headaches.
Some prescription options exist, like Triptans and Ergotamines. Triptans may produce some side effects, like numbness in the extremities, tightness or pain in the chest, nausea, and tiredness. They should not be taken by people with heart conditions and can’t be combined with certain antidepressants due to an increased risk of serotonin syndrome. This makes Triptans a poor option for some. Ergotamines can have potentially dangerous side effects. They are toxic and high doses and may cause birth defects. Pregnant women should not take ergotamines or may of the over the counter painkiller options, which
often leaves them unable to treat their migraines or headache disorders.
Alternatively, cannabidiol side effects seem mild. There is no evidence that daily cannabidiol use will induce headaches or migraines. In fact, one study concerning the side effects of CBD list only a few effects. The most common side effects shown after regular cannabidiol use were diarrhea, tiredness, and changes to appetite and weight. The study confirmed the safety profile for CBD use in humans.
How to Use CBD for Migraines
The appropriate CBD regimen will vary person to person. How much CBD you should take and how often you should dose depends on many factors. These factors could include biological factors like weight, age, gender, as well as other factors like health conditions and tolerance to cannabis-based supplements.
In order to decide if cannabidiol is best for your recurring migraines, you should talk to your doctor. If you are currently taking a prescription for migraines, do not discontinue your dose until recommended by a doctor. With all of the research available, your doctor is likely to consider cannabidiol as an option. He may recommend a tincture for migraines since it is one of the most direct consumption methods and can take effects quickly.
Because there are no exact dosing guidelines for cannabidiol, your doctor is likely to start you on a low dose and have you increase slowly. Often, these doses can start as low as 2mg or as high as 20-30mg. Some products may include a dosing guide by weight.
You’ll need to record the effects cannabidiol has on your migraines, and any adverse or uncomfortable effects as well. Although adverse effects are rare, it is important that you communicate them to your doctor, as well as the size of the dose that caused them. This will help your doctor more accurately determine what dose is best for you, or if you need to seek other options.
Cannabidiol may just be exactly the supplement you’ve been searching for. Even though more research is needed before cannabis-based migraine medications hit the shelves, many people have seen results by using cannabidiol regularly. You and your doctor can find a cannabidiol regimen that works for you to get you on your way to a pain-free life.