Migraines are one of those health issues that affect men, women, and children all over the world — and yet, we know so little about them. Without proper treatment in sight, CBD oil has been hailed a hero in the fight against this condition.
But how does CBD work exactly, and can it really treat our migraines? Those are just some of the questions we’ll be answering today.
What Is a Migraine?
Migraine is one of the most widespread neurological diseases in the world that affects roughly 1 billion people. Yet, even though it affects so many, research suggests that about half of them never get diagnosed.
Migraines manifest as throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head. Oftentimes, migraine attacks are followed by other symptoms, including:
- Extreme sensitivity to light, sound, touch, and smell
On average, migraine attacks can last anywhere between 4 and 72 hours. During this time, most people aren’t able to work or function properly. Also, it’s pretty common for migraine sufferers to struggle with anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
One thing that exacerbates the condition and turns an episodic migraine into a chronic one is the overuse of painkillers.
Various triggers can bring about a migraine, and the list is pretty extensive. From having too much or too little sleep to stress, certain foods, drinks, and medication, there are plenty of factors that can cause an attack.
To figure out what’s causing the migraine, specialists recommend that we put together a list of potential culprits. Every time we feel an attack coming, we can check what we think caused it and try to see if there’s a pattern.
Once we learn what’s making the condition worse, we can get better at avoiding it. However, treating the cause of the migraine, and not just the symptoms, is a whole different story.
How CBD Helps With Migraines
Long before cannabis became legal in some states, people used it to treat various chronic illnesses, including milder headaches and migraines. But up until the 1990s, scientists had no explanation as to why or how CBD helps with these conditions.
That’s when they discovered the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This neural communication network is responsible for keeping your whole body balanced and well regulated, which it does by releasing endocannabinoids.
However, when the ECS isn’t doing its job, and we experience an endocannabinoid deficiency, our anandamide levels drop. Once that happens, we may experience severe headaches and migraines.
One of the best ways to restore our body’s balance and bring the levels up is to take CBD.
CBD as an Alternative to Opioids
Unlike opioids or other over-the-counter meds that we can buy to treat migraines, CBD is a completely natural substance. Also, unlike other medications, it should not only treat the symptoms but the condition itself.
It’s also important to mention that CBD isn’t addictive and won’t make us feel high. Still, when ingested in high quantities, it can produce some minor side effects.
Other CBD Benefits
In addition to treating headaches and migraines, CBD offers a wide variety of other health benefits. It can be used to treat insomnia, anxiety, and chronic pain, which are some of the biggest migraine triggers.
What’s more, lots of people use CBD to ease the symptoms of PTSD, ADD, MS, and many other conditions. CBD also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and when used topically, it can treat numerous skin conditions too.
How to Take CBD for Migraines
We can get our daily dose of CBD by ingesting, vaping, or applying it topically. For those who don’t want to vape or are just starting their CBD journey, we recommend taking it orally, in the form of CBD oil.
With just a few drops under the tongue or in a drink, we can experience the soothing effect of CBD in a matter of minutes.
Vaping is also a pretty popular method of ingestion among those who suffer from migraines. However, since it’s trickier to find the right dose, it’s best to start on the lower end and work our way up.
Side Effects of Taking CBD
As mentioned, ingesting too much CBD does come with some side effects, which include:
- An upset stomach
Fortunately, consulting with a doctor and understanding how to take CBD can usually help us avoid all of these.
By treating the underlying issues, and not just the symptoms, CBD can transform the lives of those suffering from migraines in immeasurable ways. However, before starting the treatment, we recommend consulting with a physician. That’s the only way to ensure that this natural alternative doesn’t interfere with any other medication we might already be taking.