CBD Oil – An Alternative Treatment Option for Migraines?
The potential health benefits cannabis has gotten the attention of scientists, medical researchers and the general public. For many years, cannabis products have been employed in numerous medicinal aspects one of which is pain management. Headache disorders are one of the most common sources of chronic pain.
Migraines happen to be the most prevalent headache disorders affecting millions of people around of the world. A migraine is a type of headache that causes throbbing and pulsing pain in isolated areas of the head. It commonly causes sensitivity to sounds and light as well as nausea and vomiting.
Migraines are incurable, and the existing pharmaceutical treatment options are inadequate or come with undesirable side effects. This has led many people to seek alternative pain management options such as cannabis products. One cannabis product that shows promise in this regard is Cannabidiol (CBD) oil.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid; a group of more than 100 chemical compounds that are found in the cannabis plant. There is a lot of information out there (much of it potentially misleading) on the near-magical potency of CBD oil against migraines.
Herein we take a comprehensive look at the suitability, safety and effectiveness of CBD oil in the treatment of migraines.
The Research on the Efficiency of CBD against Migraines
Due to the regulated nature of cannabis and legalization challenges, there is still limited research on the use of CBD oil for treating migraines. Nonetheless, there are preliminary reports and anecdotal evidence that support the effectiveness of CBD against acute and chronic pain. Migraines fall into this category.
Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research published the results of a 2017 study that investigated the efficacy of oral cannabis. 26 subjects who experienced chronic headaches receive either an oral cannabis and nabilone combination or ibuprofen and nabilone combination over a period of 6 months. The dosages were administered for 8 weeks at a time.
The study revealed that the subjects that took the oral cannabis combination exhibited significant improvements. This study highlighted the benefits of cannabis in combinations and not cannabis alone. Studies on other ailments also indicate that CBD provides more health benefits when combined with other cannabinoids.
A 2016 study published in Pharmacotherapy explored the use of medical cannabis for migraines. The study involved 48 subjects. 40 percent of the study participants reported an improvement in migraines overall.
It is worth noting that these studies investigated the effects of cannabis on pain and not pure CBD oil. However, researchers believe CBD plays a significant role in pain reduction. Researchers are yet to conduct clinical trials of CBD oil as a treatment for migraines. Most reports indicate that patients commonly use it to self-medicate with largely positive reviews.
A retrospective analysis of the available data shows that CBD may be effective against migraines and other headache disorders. More well-designed clinical studies are necessary to fully explore the true effects and complications of CBD when it comes to treating migraines.
How CBD Works Against Migraines
Currently, scientists do not entirely understand the underlying physiological mechanisms of many headache disorders including migraines. However, research indicates that the effects of CBD on acute/chronic pain can be attributed to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) which are responsible for the regulation of a number of biological systems. CBD also affects the body’s ability to metabolize anandamide. Anandamide is a chemical compound that is associated with pain regulation. Having high levels of anandamide in the blood reduces the perception of pain significantly.
CBD also curtails specific cellular processes that cause swelling and inflammation. Inflammation is a healthy body response. However, when it becomes chronic, it leads to a number of problems. Inflammation is one of the main biological causes or triggers of migraines. A reduction in inflammation leads to a significant pain relief.
Indications for CBD oil usage for Treating Migraines
California and Illinois are currently the only US states that have approved the use of medical cannabis to specifically treat migraines. However, many other states allow its use for chronic pain. Always be aware of state laws regarding the use of cannabis products. It is worth noting that in some states, CBD usage has to follow the recommendation of a doctor.
It is advisable to seek medical advice before using CBD oil as it may interact with certain medications. CBD oil carries minimal risk for adverse side effects. This is the reason why many people prefer it to pharmaceuticals options. The most common side effects are drowsiness, appetite changes, dry mouth, dizziness, and upset stomach.
Overall, CBD oil is a promising natural alternative for the treatment of migraines. A large percentage of people with headache disorders do report improvements with the right dosage. However, more research is necessary before CBD oil can be considered a safe, conventional treatment option for migraines. The importance of consulting your doctor before deciding to use CBD oil cannot be overstated.