Migraines are a common type of headache that can cause intense pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound. They affect millions of people worldwide and can significantly impact their quality of life. Many people rely on prescription medication to manage their migraines, but there is growing interest in using CBD oil for migraine relief. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. In this article, we will explore the science behind CBD and migraine relief, the potential risks and benefits of using CBD oil for migraines, how to use CBD oil for migraines and more.
What are migraines?
Migraines are a type of headache that can cause moderate to severe pain and other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. They are often accompanied by visual disturbances called auras, which can include flashing lights or zigzag lines. Migraines can last for hours or days and can be triggered by various factors, including stress, hormonal changes and certain foods.
Can CBD oil help with migraines?
CBD oil has gained popularity as a potential treatment for a variety of health conditions, including migraines. Some studies have shown that CBD may have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, which could make it effective in reducing the symptoms of migraines.
What is CBD oil?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its cousin THC, which is responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, CBD does not produce a "high" sensation. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and diluting it with a carrier oil, such as coconut or hemp seed oil.
The Science Behind CBD and Migraine Relief
Migraines are believed to be caused by changes in the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway. The exact causes of migraines are not fully understood, but they are thought to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors.
Several studies have suggested that CBD may be effective in reducing migraine symptoms. In a 2017 study, researchers found that CBD was effective in reducing the frequency of migraines in a group of 121 adult participants. Another study conducted in 2018 found that CBD was effective in reducing the intensity and duration of migraines in a group of 79 participants.
How does CBD work?
CBD is believed to interact with the body's endocannabinoid system, a complex network of receptors and neurotransmitters that help regulate various physiological processes, including pain perception, inflammation, and mood. By interacting with these receptors, CBD may help to adjust the body's response to pain and inflammation, potentially reducing the symptoms of migraines.
Number of ways CBD oil might work against migraines:
- CBD may reduce inflammation:
Inflammation is a common trigger for migraines and CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
- CBD may reduce pain perception:
CBD has been shown to interact with receptors in the brain that are involved in pain perception, potentially reducing the severity of migraine pain.
- CBD may reduce anxiety:
Stress and anxiety are common triggers for migraines and CBD has been shown to have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects.
- CBD may reduce nausea:
Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of migraines and CBD has been shown to have antiemetic (anti-nausea) properties.
Using CBD for Migraine Relief in the UK and Side Effects
The legality of CBD in the UK can be a bit confusing, as there are different regulations for CBD derived from hemp and CBD derived from marijuana. Hemp-derived CBD is legal in the UK as long as it contains less than 0.2% THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. CBD derived from marijuana, on the other hand, is illegal in the UK unless it is prescribed by a doctor for a medical condition. It is important to do your research and only purchase CBD products from reputable brands that provide third party lab test results.
Side effects of CBD oil
CBD is generally considered to be safe and well tolerated, with few side effects reported. Even though it’s rather, some people may experience side effects such as dry mouth, diarrhoea, changes in appetite or weight or changes in mood, and may be dose dependent.
It is important to speak with a healthcare professional before using CBD, especially if you are taking any medications or have any underlying health conditions.
How to Use CBD Oil for Migraines
There are several ways to use CBD oil for migraines, including:
Sublingual CBD: This involves placing drops of CBD oil under the tongue and holding them there for 30-60 seconds before swallowing. This method allows for fast absorption and may provide quicker relief.
Vaping CBD: Inhaling CBD oil through a vaporiser or e-cigarette allows for quick absorption into the bloodstream for faster relief. However, it may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with respiratory issues.
Ingesting CBD: This involves taking CBD oil in the form of capsules, edibles, or beverages. This method takes longer to take effect but may provide longer lasting relief.
Topical CBD infused products: Applying CBD infused creams, balms, or lotions directly to the skin can target specific areas of pain or inflammation. This method provides quick and localised migraine relief.
It is important to start with a low dose of CBD and gradually increase it until you achieve the desired effects. It is also important to choose a high quality CBD oil from a reputable brand
Tips to Prevent Migraines
Lifestyle changes that can help prevent migraines include:
- Managing stress: Stress is a common trigger for migraines, so it is important to find ways to manage stress. This may include relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
- Getting enough sleep: Lack of sleep can also trigger migraines, so it is important to prioritise getting enough sleep each night. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
- Regular exercise: Regular exercise can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, such as brisk walking or cycling, most days of the week.
- Eating a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help prevent migraines. Avoiding trigger foods, such as caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods, may also be helpful.
- Keeping a migraine diary: Keeping a diary of your migraines, including triggers, symptoms, and treatment, can help you identify patterns and develop strategies to prevent or manage migraines.
Final words on CBD oil for Migraines
CBD oil has emerged as a potential natural remedy for migraines due to its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. While more research is needed to fully understand the effectiveness of CBD oil for migraines, CBD oil may be worth considering as a natural treatment option for migraine relief.
By making lifestyle changes, such as avoiding triggers and practising stress reduction techniques, and potentially incorporating CBD oil into your migraine management plan, you can work towards reducing the frequency and severity of your migraines and improving your quality of life.