After its recent legalization, CBD oil has been picking up some steam in the migraine community as a possible alternative treatment.
Beyond that, there have been floods of anecdotal evidence of peoples’ positive experiences.
Is this natural substance the cure to chronic migraines? Let’s see what science has to say about that!
What is CBD?
Before I bombard you with a variety of peer-reviewed studies and medical jargon, let’s first establish what the heck CBD even is.
First off, CBD stands for cannabidiol. CBD oil is an isolated extract from a plant called Cannabis Sativa. Woah, pump the brakes – isn’t that marijuana? Hear me out. Cannabis Sativa is a plant family, which encompasses marijuana and hemp. Hemp contains very low levels of THC (the compound that makes you high) and marijuana contains very high levels of THC. Hemp will not make you high, but marijuana will.
Unfortunately, in the US, the federal government clumped the entire family together and deemed it illegal…until recently. In December 2018, the US passed the Farm Bill that made CBD oil legal (with a few stipulations, of course).
If you’re still confused, think of Cannabis Sativa like mushrooms. Some you can buy at the grocery store and sauté for a family dinner, and others will make you think you are the family dinner! Both are mushrooms. But both do very different things.
For CBD to be legal to consume (federally in the US), it must be derived from the hemp plant and not the marijuana plant. Fortunately, most CBD oil extracts are derived from the hemp plant because they contain more CBD than marijuana.
Now that that’s over, will it help with migraine headaches? The short answer: maybe.
CBD and Migraines
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any studies (thus far) that have examined how isolated CBD affects people suffering from migraines.
However, there have been other studies that have shown promise in a more general sense. An article published in 2018 in Frontiers of Neurology showed that CBD had anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective substance. This same study also cites the fact that it’s safe because it does not alter heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and psychomotor and psychological functions are not negatively affected.
It’s also non-addictive. A double-blind, randomized study by the World Health Organization said there was no difference in addiction risk between CBD and the administered placebo.
Additionally, there have been studies with “medical marijuana” and migraines. In 2016, a survey conducted by Pharmacotherapy indicated that “medical marijuana” (containing both THC and CBD) reduced the frequency of migraines from 10.4 down to 4.6 per month. Of course, we can’t contribute this result to CBD alone, but it definitely bodes well for the entire plant family.
In a nutshell, there just isn’t enough evidence to say for sure.
If you’re still itching to learn more about CBD oil—more studies, proper dosage, legalization, side effects, see this article on CBD oil and migraines.
Guest post written by John Martinez in association with Axon Optics
*My personal experience:
So my personal experience is with CBD oil and a CBD cream. And I have to say I like the idea of giving it a go for migraine and all chronic pain. It intrigues me a great deal. So I am exploring it. However, cannabis is legal in Canada so I may also explore micro-dosing of a THC and CBD hybrid, assuming I am not working because, well, stigma.
I have to say, having it legal here makes things easier. And I do hope the CBD, which will not cause a ‘high’ will be beneficial for me. But since I have just started this experiment I do not know if it helps yet. I do know people have told me you have to take CBD every day and it doesn’t kick in right away. So it may reduce things over time but like most things do to with migraines, migraine do not budge from their engrained spot in our brains easily.
I am curious though. Wouldn’t it be cool if it did help? When nothing else seems to.