Can CBD help migraines?

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Migraines. We’ve all been there and it’s not fun. The dreaded migraine where your head is throbbing, noise and lights seem amplified. Migraine attacks can last anywhere from a few hours to 72 hours and over the counter pain medication can only temporarily alleviate the symptoms. This is where CBD comes in to play. Although research on CBD and migraines is limited, there are some studies done over the  years that suggest CBD can help those who suffer from migraines. A 2012 Italian study explored the effects of Nabilone, a synthetic form of THC, on headache disorders. Participants began by taking oral doses of either .50 mg a day of Nabilone or 400 mg a day of ibuprofen for eight weeks and then switched to the other for another 8 weeks. “Both drugs proved to be effective. However, at the end of the study, participants reported more improvements and better quality of life when taking Nabilone” (Heathline).  In 2016, Pharmacotherapy completed a study on the use of medical marijuana for migraines. Researchers found that of the 48 people surveyed, 39.7 percent reported fewer migraine attacks overall” (Healthline). In 2017, at the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN), a group of researchers presented the results of their study on cannabinoids and migraine prevention. “The researchers concluded that cannabinoids were only effective against acute cluster headaches if a person had experienced migraine attacks as a child” (Healthline).

So how exactly does CBD help with our dreadful migraines? CBD works by interacting with the body’s cannabinoid receptors; CB1 and CB2. CBD may prevent the body from metabolizing anandamine which is associated with pain regulation. By maintaining high levels of anandamine in our bloodstreams, we can reduce feeling pain. CBD is also suggested to limit inflammation within our bodies which allows us to reduce pain and other immune-system responses.

CBD has side effects such as drowsiness, fatigue, upset stomach, as well as changes in appetite and weight. Your risk of side effects may depend on the way you are using CBD. As always, consult with your doctor to make sure CBD is safe for your health conditions and will not interact with any other medications.

More research is needed before using CBD for migraines can become a conventional medical treatment option. If you decide to use CBD as treatment, finding the correct dosage for your body may take some time and adjusting. A medical professional can advise you on proper dosage as well as any state regulations.

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