Pain that is associated with a migraine comes in different ways. For many the experience causes them to not only to hide in a dark room shielded from all light sources, but any sound or movement intensifies the pain. While each person experiences migraine pain differently, one thing is for certain, it affects not only the person with the migraine, but those around them as well.
Unfortunately, there are nearly 37 million people in the United States alone that suffer from these intense migraines. The condition is said to affect 13% of the adult population. Out of the 37 million, 2 to 3 million are dealing with what is known as “chronic migraines” with nearly five million experiencing at least one a month. These numbers are staggering considering that the statistics is only for the United States. Imagine what the numbers would be like for the rest of the world.
Many people turn to their doctors for help. Unfortunately, though those experiencing migraines are often left with a bottle of pills that has a long list of side effects associated with them. Some people are beginning to question if there is a healthy and faster alternative than taking over-the-counter medicines. Luckily, nature has provided the solution in a simple plant.
Cannabis which is a plant that is also known as marijuana has been used for eons to help manage pain and other illnesses. But how this remarkable plant helps migraines, you have to understand what triggers them to begin with.
What Is A Migraine?
For anyone who has never experienced a migraine, think of getting hit in the brain with a baseball bat from Babe Ruth. There is a reason why migraines are the 6th most disabling condition around the globe. It is extremely painful. A migraine can last from a few hours to several days. Studies that have been conducted show that the typical time from trigger to relief varies on several factors.
Simply put, a migraine is more than just an intense headache. It is an array of neurological symptoms. Some experience pain on just one side of the head while 30% documented migraine patients have the pain throughout the entire head. And if you think that migraines only affect adults, according to the Migraine Research Foundation, 10% of children have experienced it at one point or another.
What Triggers A Migraine?
While doctors are entirely certain, there are factors like genes, hormone fluctuations, food allergies, and sensitivity to loud noises, bright lights, and even strong smells. Out of these ‘triggers’ the most common factor is genes. 90% out of the patients who have been treated for migraines have stated that one or both of their parents also suffered with the condition. If a child has only one parent that suffers with this neurological condition, they have a 50% chance that they too will suffer later in life. However, if both parents have stated they deal with migraines, the possibility of the child having to deal with it later rises to 75%.
With so many factors to take into consideration on how a migraine starts, then one must also wonder how to stop them. There are several over-the-counter drugs that anyone can purchase without a doctor’s note. Of course there is twice as many prescriptions dole out by doctors. But these “solutions” have a long list of side effects and don’t always help. There is a ‘trial and error’ sort of method to taking medication.
Since migraine medication falls into two different categories and trying to pinpointing which category you’re in complicates matters. There are the “pain-relieving medications” and the “preventive medications.” But no matter which solution you try, you are looking at negative side effects.
Side effects for typical over-the-counter drugs like Advil or Tylenol comes with the possibility of ulcers. Or worse, gastrointestinal bleeding. Triptans will cause nausea, and reactions where the injection took place, to even muscle weakness. Antidepressants are known to cause weight gain, constipation, and insomnia while anti-seizure drugs tack on diarrhea, weight loss, and concentration issues.
With all these negative side effects that can happen it is no wonder people are looking for a natural solution. Luckily nature has given us a solution that has minimal side effects to help you get back on with your life.
How CBD Oils Can Help With Pain Management
Doctors have come to understand that a migraine can be triggered when there is an imbalance in the brain. Our bodies are equipped to handle headaches and such. But if the endocannabinoid system (ECS) cannot produce enough endocannabinoids, the migraine begins. CBD oil and other products containing CBD can supplement the deficiency and bring the body back into balance.
Cannabidiol or simply put CBD, works by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and nervous system. When CBD is introduced to the body, the stress of the area affected is lessened due to the calming effects of the cannabis plant oil.
CBD-rich Hemp Phytocannabinoids are basically the endocannabinoids natural twin and are found in nature, in the cannabis plant. This explains why a person can take CBD without the fear of overdosing and minimal side effects.
Studies Conducted Showing CBD Helpful With Migraines
The medicinal use of cannabis is not something new and has been used as an alternative medication for over 3,000 years. However, there have been a lot of studies conducted over the past several years to prove the medical properties of cannabis can help the population instead of hindering it. Yet, due to the nature of cannabis plant being illegal is several states within the United States, research is limited. But, there is no denying the evidence that CBD products including oil can help in managing all forms of chronic and acute pain.
In 1996, A Lichtman conducted a study which confirmed that cannabinoids (CBD) binds the pain transmission area of the brain (ECS) that is the fault line where migraines begin.
2014 lab tests were run on rats that were injected with a substance to trigger artificial migraines. The scientist conducting the experiment then introduced cannabis-like medicine which showed an improvement in the rats.
A study in 2016, was conducted with 121 patients all suffering from migraines. Out of the 121, 103 showed improvement when introduced to CBD products. Within the 103, 14 people in the study stated that by using CBD their migraines were nonexistent. The other people noted a reduction in frequency of migraines saying that they used to have ten episodes a month and are now down to 4.
A more recent study done in 2017, showed that patients who received 200 mg of a compound with THC and CBD for three months reported having 55% less pain.
While doctors are still testing the effects of CBD, the proof as they say is in the pudding. Research continues, but is limited due to the restrictions of cannabis in the United States. But in 2017, a study was published that shed light on the fact that CBD could be used as a migraine and headache treatment. So, it is only a matter of time before the substance becomes legal.
Different CBD Products And How To Use Them
With the proven facts that are coming out of studies, it’s not surprising that many companies are producing products with CBD. You can find a wide range of items that have CBD from beauty products to tasty treats. But what product should you use when dealing with migraines?
The fastest way to relieve pain associated with a migraine is vaping. When you inhale the CBD, the effect is nearly instantaneous. You don’t have to wait for the CBD to get into the blood stream and ease the pressure that comes from the migraine. But for those who are opposed to smoking, there are always drops.
The drops are simple and easy to use. Simply place a few under your tongue and wait a few moments before swallowing. Then follow up with a tall glass of water. By ingesting the CBD through the mouth, there is a small delayed reaction due to having the CBD travel through the digestive system.
Of course there are also capsule that one can take if the drops don’t taste good and if smoking is off the table. The capsule work just as fast as if you put oil under your tongue.
Of course if you want something yummy to eat, you can find chocolates infused with CBD to gummies. Every month a new product comes out that is mixed with CBD, so it all depends on how you want to administer the CBD and how fast you need the reaction to be.
However, it is important to note that those that suffer extreme migraines should look to vaping or drops. While there are no “formal” guidelines as far as how much you should consume to stop a migraine, the suggested amount is 2.5 mg to 20 mg (milligrams) a day. It is also recommended that if you are just starting to use CBD, go with the smaller amount first to see how you are affected by it before diving in head first.
Are There Side Effects For Using CBD Oil?
For many people consuming CBD in one form or another experience minimal side effects. Most people report drowsiness or an upset stomach but these side effects depend on how one uses CBD. For instance, if you smoke CBD, the likelihood of chronic cough, breathing difficulties, or wheezing is possible if you don’t normally smoke. After all, you are inhaling something foreign and if you don’t normally smoke, there will be some irritation until your body gets used to it.
It is important to note that CBD does not contain the psychoactive properties that are so common with marijuana and THC. However, there are two strains of CBD on the market today, the “dominant” and the “rich.” A product with CBD-dominant has very little if any THC, while the “rich” contains both CBD and THC equally. So it all depends on the sedative properties you are looking for. But even if you go for the “rich” properties, you will not get that “high” feeling due to the CBD canceling out the THC.
Buying CBD Products
CBD is still considered under review in many states due to its relations with the cannabis plant. However, more and more studies are showing that CBD is far better for individuals with health issues to the point where 21 states have already legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. However, if you live in a state that is still on the fence, you may have to go through a doctor to get a medical card to use CBD.
Hopefully in the near future all states will come to realize the use for CBD and have it legalized across the board. After all, the studies conducted have shown that CBD can supplement other pain medications like opioids while cut back on the addiction that is caused by such powerful drugs.
If you have any questions about whether you should begin using CBD, speak with your healthcare provider. You should also do a bit of research and be certain to purchase your CBD from a respectable brand. Companies that post third-party lab results are the ones you should go with as they are not ‘doctoring’ information to get you to buy from them.
CBD For Migraines Final Thoughts
Migraines have the possibility to knock you down, but with a proper pain management, you won’t stay down for long. And when it comes to dealing with migraines, you don’t want a drug that is going to wear off quickly or one that takes hours to find relief. CBD is all natural and comes from nature. You can’t get any better than that. Plus, there is no possible way for you to become addicted to CBD as it is non-habit forming unlike other over-the-counter drugs. Do what is best for your body and talk to your doctor about how CBD can help you.