cbd oil for headache muscle pain

Best CBD Oil for Migraines

If you have tried just about every standard over-the-counter painkiller for migraines without much effect, you might want to consider using cannabidiol (CBD) oil for relief. Below are some of the best CBD oil products that we recommend to relieve your headaches and the pain associated with migraines.

Spruce 750mg Lab Grade CBD Oil
  1. Peppermint flavor masks any unpleasant taste
  2. Contains 25mg of CBD per dropper full
  3. Bottle includes a graduated dropper for correct serving measurement

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Mid-strength
Natural peppermint flavor
Made from 100% organic and natural ingredients
No other flavors
NuLeaf Naturals 900mg Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil
  1. Natural remedy for various illnesses
  2. Product is full-spectrum whole-plant extract
  3. Contains naturally occurring synergistic cannabinoids and terpenes

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Pure CBD hemp
All natural
Approximately 300 drops total
No other flavors
Spruce 2400mg Lab Grade CBD Oil
  1. Maximum possible potency
  2. Each dropper full contains 80mg of CBD
  3. Conveniently fits in a 30mL bottle

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Extra Strength
No artificial flavoring or colors
Made from 100% organic and natural ingredients
Tastes bitter
No THC-free option
Avida Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture 500mg
  1. Proprietary full-spectrum
  2. Developed using advanced AVIDA CORE Spectrum Technology
  3. Highest naturally occurring Phyto-cannabinoids and Terpenes with THC (<0.3)

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Light Spearmint flavor
Non-THC, Non-detected in drug test
No other flavor

Best Natural Alternative

cbdMD CBD Oil Tincture Natural 1500mg
  1. made using only CBD sourced from medical hemp
  2. available in many flavours
  3. safe for daily use

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Various delicious flavors to choose from
Has vegan, organic, and gluten-free ingredients
Free shipping for this particular product within USA
World-class customer service team
cbdMD uses MCT as its carrier oil so individuals who are allergic with coconuts should consider other brand options
CBDistillery THC Free CBD Oil Tinctures
  1. Do not contain THC
  2. Available in different potencies and sizes
  3. Brand has special deals and offers

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60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee
Various strengths
Oil extracted from aerial plant parts of US grown industrial hemp
Sourced from non-GMO industrial hemp grown in the USA through natural farming practices
Dropper is a bit shaky

Best Customer Rated

cbdMD CBD Oil Tincture Natural 750mg
  1. THC-free
  2. Has plenty of flavours to choose from
  3. Totally vegan

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Vegan and Gluten free
Has a third-party lab test
Wide variety of CBD strengths and sizes
Does not ship internationally
NuLeaf Naturals 300mg Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil
  1. Lowest concentration for CBD beginners
  2. Fully organic and lab-tested
  3. Full-spectrum

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Pure CBD hemp
All natural
Approximately 100 drops total
No other flavors
A bit pricey compared to competitors

Best Flavor Range

Hemp Bombs 750mg CBD Oil
  1. Has a wide range of flavours
  2. Safe to intake
  3. Get 20% off when you avail of their subscription

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Wide variety of flavors
Lab test results are complete
30-day money-back guarantee
Incomplete information about the product
Does not ship to all international countries

Best CBD Oil for Migraines 2022

    Editor's Pick Best Organic Editor's Pick Best Seller Best Natural Alternative Best THC-Free Best Customer Rated Best Starter Best Flavor Range

Compare the best CBD Oil for Migraines 2021

Best CBD Oil for Migraines

1. Spruce 750mg Lab Grade CBD Oil
cbdc overall score
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Pros Cons
Mid-strength No other flavors
Natural peppermint flavor
Made from 100% organic and natural ingredients
Pros
Mid-strength
Natural peppermint flavor
Made from 100% organic and natural ingredients
Cons
No other flavors
Overview

Each bottle of the 750mg CBD oil tincture contains 25mg of CBD per dropper full. The oil is peppermint flavor to mask any unpleasant tastes related to CBD.

2. NuLeaf Naturals 900mg Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil
cbdc overall score
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Pros Cons
Pure CBD hemp No other flavors
All natural
Approximately 300 drops total
Pros
Pure CBD hemp
All natural
Approximately 300 drops total
Cons
No other flavors
Overview

Natural remedy for various illnesses. NuLeaf Naturals’ CBD oil is a whole-plant extract containing a full spectrum of naturally occurring synergistic cannabinoids and terpenes.

3. Spruce 2400mg Lab Grade CBD Oil
cbdc overall score
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Pros Cons
Extra Strength Tastes bitter
No artificial flavoring or colors No THC-free option
Made from 100% organic and natural ingredients
Pros
Extra Strength
No artificial flavoring or colors
Made from 100% organic and natural ingredients
Cons
Tastes bitter
No THC-free option
Overview

The largest bottle of CBD oil that Spruce offers contains 2,400mg of CBD. This is full-spectrum CBD oil, which is the maximum possible potency. Each high potency dropper full contains 80mg of CBD. There are no flavorings in it, which allows for the most CBD to fit in the 30ml bottle.

4. Avida Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture 500mg
cbdc overall score
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Pros Cons
Light Spearmint flavor No other flavor
Non-THC, Non-detected in drug test
Pros
Light Spearmint flavor
Non-THC, Non-detected in drug test
Cons
No other flavor
Overview

Avida Extracts Full Spectrum CBD oil is the latest iteration of the brand’s advanced Avida CORE Spectrum technology. They use a proprietary full spectrum blend, resulting in the highest naturally occurring Phyto-cannabinoids and Terpenes with THC (<0.3) to support your health.

5. cbdMD CBD Oil Tincture Natural 1500mg
cbdc overall score
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Pros Cons
Various delicious flavors to choose from cbdMD uses MCT as its carrier oil so individuals who are allergic with coconuts should consider other brand options
Has vegan, organic, and gluten-free ingredients
Free shipping for this particular product within USA
World-class customer service team
Pros
Various delicious flavors to choose from
Has vegan, organic, and gluten-free ingredients
Free shipping for this particular product within USA
World-class customer service team
Cons
cbdMD uses MCT as its carrier oil so individuals who are allergic with coconuts should consider other brand options
Overview

cbdMD’s CBD oil tinctures are made using only CBD sourced from medical hemp and MCT oil as a carrier oil. Tinctures are offered in orange, mint, natural, and berry flavors. Safe for daily use, the oil tinctures are packaged with a built-in rubber dropper to adjust CBD dosage easily. The packaging is made to be easy to transport and discreet to use.

6. CBDistillery THC Free CBD Oil Tinctures
cbdc overall score
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Pros Cons
60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee Dropper is a bit shaky
Various strengths
Oil extracted from aerial plant parts of US grown industrial hemp
Sourced from non-GMO industrial hemp grown in the USA through natural farming practices
Pros
60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee
Various strengths
Oil extracted from aerial plant parts of US grown industrial hemp
Sourced from non-GMO industrial hemp grown in the USA through natural farming practices
Cons
Dropper is a bit shaky
Overview

CBDistillery’s Isolate CBD Oil Tinctures harness the power of pure CBD. CBD Isolate Oil Tinctures include 0.0% THC. When you use CBDistillery CBD Isolate Oil Tinctures, you can be assured you’re using the highest quality CBD on the market.

7. NuLeaf Naturals 300mg Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil
cbdc overall score
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Pros Cons
Pure CBD hemp No other flavors
All natural A bit pricey compared to competitors
Approximately 100 drops total
Pros
Pure CBD hemp
All natural
Approximately 100 drops total
Cons
No other flavors
A bit pricey compared to competitors
Overview

This is one of several concentrations from NuLeaf Naturals. As the lowest concentration, it is the company’s best option for those new to CBD oil. The product is lab-tested and fully organic. It is full-spectrum, so it contains THC in small quantities.

8. cbdMD CBD Oil Tincture Natural 750mg
cbdc overall score
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Pros Cons
Vegan and Gluten free Does not ship internationally
Has a third-party lab test
Wide variety of CBD strengths and sizes
Pros
Vegan and Gluten free
Has a third-party lab test
Wide variety of CBD strengths and sizes
Cons
Does not ship internationally
Overview

A 750mg bottle of cbdMD’s Broad Spectrum Oil Tincture does not contain THC. It also has a fairly wide flavor range which is perfect for those who prefer other taste. Vegan consumers are considered since cbdMD offers Vegan products. Aside from all of that, another reason why people love cbdMD is because it’s free from harmful chemicals.

9. Hemp Bombs 750mg CBD Oil
cbdc overall score
CBDC Evaluation Table/Score
Pros Cons
Wide variety of flavors Incomplete information about the product
Lab test results are complete Does not ship to all international countries
30-day money-back guarantee
Pros
Wide variety of flavors
Lab test results are complete
30-day money-back guarantee
Cons
Incomplete information about the product
Does not ship to all international countries
Overview

Hemp Bombs offer CBD Oil Tinctures that come in a 30ml bottle containing 750mg of CBD. They provide a wide range of flavors perfect for those that have a knack for sweets. Consumers can safely intake this because it’s free of chemicals and pesticides. Hemp Bombs also offer a 20% off on products upon subscription.

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Value

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Core Technology

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Expandable Packages

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Installation & Set-Up

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Trial Period & Flexible Contracts

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Brand Recognition & Reputation

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How CBD Works for Migraines

CBD interacts with the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help regulate pain sensation s . The ECS maintains the body’s equilibrium and keeps balance in several bodily functions , such as mood, appetite, metabolism, anxiety, memory, sleep, and immune response.

A 2018 study noted that migraine and several mental state disruptions are connected to disturbances to the functionality or supply of endocannabinoids (1) . A separate study reported that cannabinoids , such as CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) , may help reduce neuropathic, acute, and chronic pain (2) . Cannabinoids are compounds that occur naturally in Cannabis sativa plants.

The ECS contains cannabinoid receptors located in different parts of the body, mainly distributed throughout general pain sensation pathways (3) . These pain pathways are mostly found in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and the central nervous system (CNS).

CBD and other cannabinoids, both natural and synthetic, bind to the endocannabinoid receptors, which affects the body’s functionality.

CB1 and CB2 are the primary types of cannabinoid receptors associated with the ECS.

CB1 receptors are associated with cognitive functions (4) . These include movement, emotion, mood, thinking, memories, pain, and appetite. Meanwhile, CB2 receptors are associated with pain and inflammation (5) .

Although cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body, certain types tend to be concentrated in one area more than others. For instance, CB1 receptors are abundant in the brain, making them a potential target for treating migraines (6) .

Meanwhile, CB2 receptors are prevalent in the immune system (7) . These receptors have potential anti-inflammatory properties and represent an alternative response to migraine (8) .

CB1 and CB2 receptors also interact with anandamide, a naturally occurring cannabinoid in the body (9) . In 2011, researchers collected data from an animal model and examined the effects of anandamide on migraine . The authors’ study is published in the Journal of Headache and Pain (10) .

Upon combining their data with related literature, the researchers hypothesized that a dysfunction in the endocannabinoid system potentially contributes to the development of migraine attacks.

The same study suggested that the pharmacological modulation of CB1 and CB2 receptors may be useful in treating chronic migraine pain.

Meanwhile, a 2017 study presented evidence that migraine sufferers have anandamide deficiency (11) . The study’s researchers noted that migraine is not associated with a generalized anandamide deficiency. Instead, they attributed migraine to a localized deficiency.

How CBD Works for Tension Headaches and Cluster Headaches

In chronic tension headaches and cluster headaches, existing research focuses on assessing massage therapy effects in alleviating pain from these conditions. Tension headaches occur when the scalp and neck muscles contract and become tense. Meanwhile, cluster headaches are one-sided head pains that occur in cyclical patterns or “cluster periods.”

In a 2002 study with human subjects, researchers provided structured massage therapy treatment to patients (12) . Massage therapy targeted the patients’ neck and shoulder muscles.

Although the results did not yield any positive effect s on headache intensity, researchers noted that the duration of headaches decreased during massage periods.

As such, the researchers stated that muscle-specific massage therapy might help reduce chronic tension headaches.

CBD products come in transdermal options, which you can apply directly to your skin . When applied topically, they may have some potential benefits in relieving pain and inflammation.

There is no substantial evidence to support CBD oil’s benefits in treating tension headaches. However, coupling CBD oil products with massage therapy may increase the migraine relief offered by both treatment options compared to when used separately.

Benefits of Using CBD for Migraines

Several studies have backed CBD’s purported benefits in relieving migraine symptoms, including headaches, vomiting, nausea, inflammation, and general pain. Moreover , the World Health Organization (WHO) showed approval for CBD, saying that it is “generally well-tolerated with a good safety profile (13) .”

Patients considering taking CBD to treat their migraines may rest assured that the substance is not habit-forming. During a 2015 conference, Nora Volkow, MD , the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), stated that CBD does not produce euphoria, intoxication, or addiction, unlike opioid medication (14) .

CBD has shown promise in relieving pain associated with migraines. According to Dr. Stephen Silberstein of the American Migraine Foundation and director of the Headache Center at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, CBD topicals are a viable option for patients who experience joint and muscle pain linked to migraines (15) .

Dr. Silberstein stated that taking CBD oil is reasonable among patients who experience a lot of neck pain or soreness. He also said that CBD oil may prevent vomiting and nausea. Some studies support Dr. Silberstein’s claims about CBD’s antiemetic properties.

In 2019 , a study in the British Journal of Pharmacology cited significant evidence that manipulating the endocannabinoid system regulates vomiting and nausea among humans and animals capable of vomiting in response to a toxic challenge (16) .

According to the study, preclinical research indicated that CBD and other cannabinoids are potentially useful in treating both vomiting and nausea caused by treatments, such as chemotherapy.

Meanwhile, a 2013 review in the European Journal of Pharmacology discusses the potential of utilizing cannabinoids in the regulation and treatment of debilitating conditions, specifically vomiting and nausea (17) .

The National Headache Foundation has also estimated that nearly 40 million people, or 12% of the United States population, are experiencing migraines (18) .

The organization further explains that the pain from migraine headaches results from signals interacting with blood vessels and the nerves surrounding the brain. Blood vessel nerves are activated when you experience a headache. This occurrence also results in the nerves sending pain signals to the brain.

The pain results from the swelling of blood vessels surrounding the nerve endings. This occurrence happens when overactive nerve cells send impulses to the blood vessels, causing the release of substances, including serotonin and prostaglandins.

Serotonin is a body chemical required by nerve cells and the brain to function, while prostaglandins are lipids that regulate blood flow and inflammation.

In 2005, researchers studied migraine as an inflammatory disorder (19) . CBD allegedly possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with migraines related to inflammation.

The 2005 study published in the Neurology journal of the American Academy of Neurology explained that migraine is not usually associated with heat, redness, and swelling. As such, migraines are not traditionally classified as an inflammatory disease.

Years after , a 2017 study published in the Physiological Reviews journal of the American Physiological Society showed that intense sensory nerve stimulation might be partially responsible for the pain from migraine headaches. Inflammatory agents during a migraine attack cause this stimulation (20) .

Some studies support the purported anti-inflammatory properties of CBD. In particular, a 2018 study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics highlighted CBD’s potent anti-inflammatory properties (21) .

Meanwhile, a 2012 study noted how CBD inhibit ed neuropathic and inflammatory pain by targeting glycine receptors (22) . Glycine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter involved in the processing of motor and sensory information that allows movement, vision, and audition.

The study’s findings suggest that glycine assists cannabinoids in the suppression of chronic pain.

Although studies have documented CBD’s potential as an analgesic, CBD requires more longitudinal analysis to substantiate its purported benefits as a pain reliever against migraines.

Risks of Using CBD for Migraines

CBD oil companies marketing their products as dietary supplements or medicine for any condition is prohibited , according to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (23) . The FDA is responsible for ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of drugs for human and animal patients to protect public health (24) .

There is a lack of evidence on CBD as a viable treatment for migraines or other debilitating conditions, aside from the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in children over the age of one .

The FDA has approved Epidiolex as a CBD treatment for children who experience seizures caused by rare and severe forms of epilepsy only . Epidiolex is the first FDA-approved narcotic that contains a pure, marijuana-derived drug substance (25) .

In terms of migraine treatment, researchers in 2017 conducted a review of related literature and noted a potentially useful role for medical cannabis in treating migraine. Unlike CBD products, medical cannabis may exceed the federally legal amount of 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis.

The review of studies is published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research journal (26) .

Despite the collection of studies centering on the potential of medical cannabis in treating migraines, there is a lack of structured experiments on using CBD oil specifically for migraines.

In addition to the lack of CBD-specific research, migraine patients have different responses to existing modes of treatment (27) . The complex nature of migraines challenges researchers to define the exact criteria for future clinical assessments.

Although CBD has a good safety profile according to the WHO, CBD usage has shown potential side effects. Some of which include dry mouth, liver damage, changes in alertness, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal problems, mood swings, drowsiness, diarrhea, and fatigue (28) .

A 2017 research noted CBD’s potential to interact with other drugs that people with migraines may already be taking. Potential interactions with prescription medications may alter the body’s capacity to metabolize certain medications (29) .

Before turning to CBD to treat your migraine, you should also beware of getting scammed by unreliable CBD brands. Unlike some of the best CBD oil for migraines we have listed here, a 2017 review exposed inaccurate labeling in some CBD products.

Upon conducting laboratory analyses, the researchers noted that some product labels listed CBD contents that exceeded the actual amounts (30) .

Other risks include the presence of pesticides or other harmful substances. This finding highlights the need for CBD brands to be transparent with their CBD products’ third-party lab tests, including the item’s manufacturing processes to prove that it is pesticide – or GMO-free.

With these precautions, you can rest assured that you are investing in quality products.

How Soon Can CBD’s Effects in Migraines Be Felt?

Individuals with migraine may turn to CBD oil as a natural alternative to the over-the-counter (OTC) drugs they take to relieve headaches . However, currently, there is no substantial evidence of CBD as a migraine treatment.

Paracetamol, ibuprofen, and aspirin are common OTC painkillers and pharmaceuticals that reduce migraine symptoms. Meanwhile, you may seek a doctor’s recommendation to use triptans, which were developed specifically to treat acute migraine headaches (31) .

Paracetamol may need up to an hour upon ingestion to take effect (32) . Meanwhile, the time it takes for CBD to take effect may depend on the application method of your preferred CBD product format . There are multiple ways to use CBD oil for migraines.

CBD oil products may come in tincture (dropper) form, which patients can take sublingually . This method involves applying CBD oil under the tongue and waiting for about 90 seconds before swallowing the product.

The body absorbs CBD through the mucous membranes, so CBD avoids passing through the liver (33) .

Sublingual administration of CBD oil may take between 30 minutes to an hour before the user feels its effects. Once CBD takes effect after 60 minutes, you may continue to feel the results up to four to six hours after administration.

A 2010 study showed that peak blood levels, or the highest concentration of drugs in your bloodstream , of most substances taken sublingually are achieved within 10 to 15 minutes. Additionally, the sublingual application allows the body to absorb a more significant percentage of the dose compared to oral ingestion (34) .

Other ingestible forms of CBD include edibles, gummies, pills, and capsules. CBD food and drink products also come in different flavors, which people might prefer over the natural, earthy flavor of pure CBD oil.

A study noted that CBD remained in effect three to four hours after CBD was taken in capsule form (35) .

In 2018, authors of a study published in the Frontiers in Pharmacology journal suggested that consuming CBD orally after meals allow s for more efficient absorption of the compound (36) . They hypothesized that CBD’s highly lipophilic nature (state of being soluble in fats or lipids) enable s it to be easily dissolved in food’s fat content.

While such methods may be convenient for migraine patients turning to CBD for the first time, ingestible formats may take longer for patients to feel the purported pain relief effects of CBD as the body must digest the compound first.

CBD oil products also come in vape form, which you can inhale to avoid having the product go through the digestive system. Vaping may be the fastest method to get CBD into the body as the product enters the bloodstream through the lungs.

However, individuals who are considering vape for the first time must consult with a medical practitioner first . Vaping poses possible health issues, including chemical irritation or allergic reactions to various substances in the inhaled products (37) .

Meanwhile, topical CBD exists in the forms of lotions, salves, creams, transdermal patches, or massage oil. Topical administration of CBD is ideal for the effective treatment of inflammation in a specific body area. You can apply topicals directly to your painful body parts during a migraine attack.

Transdermal CBD with proper formulation may work instantly upon application, relieving patients of their pain within 15 minutes (38) . CBD topicals target localized cannabinoid clusters through the skin, meaning it does not have to interact with the ECS as a whole .

A 2016 study using a rat model noted the positive effects of CBD’s transdermal application in reducing inflammation and pain-related behaviors of arthritis (39) .

Some CBD brands may claim that their CBD products’ effects last up to 12 hours, which is questionable because of the current lack of longitudinal clinical trials to support CBD’s effects .

What Is the Dosage for Migraines?

Currently, there is no official recommended CBD dosing for migraines, high blood pressure, or any medical condition. Doctors with experience in cannabis use may offer medical advice and recommend that patients start with low doses to get the body acclimated to the substance slowly.

Users may then gradually increase their dosage until they experience the desired results. Still, determining the appropriate amount of CBD to take for migraines might be a trial-and-error process.

Other factors affecting CBD dosage may include the frequency of migraine attacks, the severity of migraine symptoms, age, and body chemistry. The CBD format may also affect the dosage.

For example, gummies or capsules may be easier to ingest as CBD comes in pre-measured doses . In contrast, CBD oil tinctures usually come with a dropper, which people can use to adjust the amount they intend to take.

Patients who live in a state where CBD products are legally available as OTC drugs in licensed dispensaries may look at the instructions listed on a CBD product’s label.

CBD manufacturers and brands are likely to have guidelines for doses printed on the product label, the accompanying paperwork, or the brand’s website.

Legality of CBD

Only 47 out of the 50 states in the USA (United States of America) have allowed the federally legal use of CBD with varying degrees of regulation per state (40) . Per federal laws, people may travel through the states with CBD, granted that the state they are coming from and traveling to have placed similar policies on CBD usage.

CBD’s legality in the US is typically associated with the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 or the 2018 Farm Bill (41) . This law declassified hemp plants as marijuana plants, thus removing them from the Schedule I category of the 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act (42) .

Before the 2018 Farm Bill’s passage, both hemp and marijuana plants belonged under the Schedule I drugs category, which consist s of potentially addictive or abusive substances without any accepted health benefits.

The 2018 Farm Bill redefined hemp plants as cannabis plant varieties that contain less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis, while marijuana plants contain more THC than the established limit. CBD and THC may come from cannabis plant species, like Cannabis sativa .

Apart from the redefinition of hemp-based on its THC content, the 2018 Farm Bill granted the FDA permission to regulate CBD’s circulation on the market (43) . The agency reserves the right to penalize CBD companies that make unproven claims about the health benefits of CBD products.

CBD and THC are the most abundant cannabinoids in cannabis plants, meaning both compounds are present in both hemp and marijuana. The difference in THC concentrations implies that CBD oil from hemp does not have psychoactive effects.

THC’s psychoactive properties make people experience euphoria or get them high. Thus, this phenomenon plays a significant role in the legality of CBD products.

CBD oil within the legal limit of 0.3% THC does not produce a high in users and allows them to get the purported benefits of cannabis plants.

Since marijuana contains more than 0.3% THC, it remains in the Schedule I category of drugs with a high potential for abuse (44) . For this reason, CBD oil derived from marijuana plants is federally illegal in the US.

Only qualified patients with certifications from licensed healthcare providers may purchase CBD oil that exceeds the federal THC limit. These patients may apply for a medical marijuana card, which has varying qualifications depending on the state of their residence.

Despite federal laws, US states have their local laws on CBD and marijuana use.

While the 2018 Farm Bill removed legal restrictions on owning hemp-derived CBD products, local laws may supersede federal regulation s since the state is the primary enforcement authority for drug-related offenses (45) .

Best CBD Oil for Migraines & Headaches: Benefits, Dosage, & Side-Effects

Migraines can turn an otherwise normal day into a complete write-off — and they’re notoriously hard to treat.

CBD may help by regulating serotonin release, fighting inflammation, controlling vascular spasm, and more.

Article By

Migraine headaches are the most common neurological disorder in the Western world . They affect roughly 6% of males and 18 % of females every year.

Most of the treatments for migraines involve prophylactic and/or symptomatic support rather than addressing the underlying cause.

One of the best candidates as a new, effective treatment for migraine headaches is cannabidiol (CBD) from the hemp plant.

In this article, you’ll learn how CBD can help with migraines, how much CBD oil to use, and where to find the best CBD oils for cluster headaches and migraines.

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY

Carlos G. Aguirre, M.D., Pediatric Neurologist

Updated on November 13, 2021

Table of Contents
Recommended products
$49 – $229
Royal CBD
Royal CBD Oil 30 mL

5 / 5

Total CBD: 250 – 2500 mg
Potency: 8.3 – 83.3 mg/mL
Cost per mg CBD: $0.09 – $0.20
Extract Type: Full-spectrum
THC Content: <0.3%

Best CBD Oils For Migraines

    — Best CBD Oil For Migraine Headaches— Best Organic CBD Oil— Best CBD Oil For Migraines (Europe)

Can CBD Oil Help With Migraines?

One of the most common traditional the cannabis plant is for treating headaches.

Over the past few years there’s been a lot of research exploring the impact of CBD and other cannabis-derivatives for treating migraines and other forms of headaches.

Hemp extracts have so far been proven effective for chronic headaches [18], migraine headaches [6], headaches resulting from medications [19], cluster headaches [20], intracranial hypertension [21], and multiple sclerosis neuropathic head pain (trigeminal neuralgia) [23].

CBD (cannabidiol) is the primary compound responsible for the painkilling benefits of the plant and the most relevant compound for the anti-migraine effects.

Other related compounds (called cannabinoids) offer additional support. The best CBD oils for migraine headaches are made from a full-spectrum extract that contains a variety of active ingredients — such as CBG (cannabigerol), CBC (cannabichromene), THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and several hemp-derived terpenes.

All of these compounds work alongside CBD to support the painkilling effects of CBD and provide other anti-migraine benefits.

Some of these compounds prevent the release of serotonin from platelet cells (one of the main causes for migraine attacks), others regulate inflammation and blood flow to the brain.

The benefits of CBD oil for migraines include:

  • May prevent serotonin-related causses
  • Inhibits brain inflammation
  • Prevents or alleviates vascular spasms
  • Alleviates head pain

1. May Prevent Serotonin-Release (Cause For Migraines)

We’ve long known about the ability for cannabis to inhibit the release of serotonin from the platelets [4].

This effect could help prevent and treat migraines caused by excessive serotonin release from platelets — which is one of the predominant theories for the underlying cause of migrane attacks (more on this later).

Interestingly, this same effect on serotonin release is also considered one of the primary ways CBD can be used to treat nausea and vomiting, which are also common symptoms associated with migraine headaches.

2. Inhibits Brain Inflammation

One of the ways marijuana was used in the past to treat headaches, was by wrapping its wet leaves around the head and neck for several hours at a time [6]. This practice, mainly documented among the Sumerians, is most likely a direct result of these anti-inflammatory effects.

Modern treatments of migraines often involve anti-inflammatories such as Aspirin or Tylenol.

CBD exerts its effects through a number of different anti-inflammatory mechanisms including adenosine [8] and NF-kB [9]. Both of these inflammatory channels are considered the primary causes of migraine headaches.

3. Reduces Vascular Spasms

The trigeminal nerve is responsible for causing the vascular system in the brain to spasm out of control — causing cluster headaches and migraines.

One of the main reasons this happens is hyperactivity involving the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)/glutamate system. This system is responsible for causing many of the stimulating activities in the brain.

It’s like the gas pedal in the car. Once activated, RPM increases and the car goes faster.

In the brain, it’s very similar — when NMDA is active, your neurons fire faster and faster.

Much like a car, the brain also has a brake pedal. We call this Gamma-aminobutyric acid – or GABA. It slows us down and helps us relax, directly opposing the effects of NMDA.

In some cases, NMDA activity can go out of control, causing the trigeminal nerve controlling the vascular system in the brain to go haywire and spasm. This results in severe migraine headaches, which can last hours on end.

CBD slows this process down by stepping on the brake pedal (GABA) [10], similar to Valproic Acid, slowing everything down, and stopping the arterial system spasm.

4. Alleviates Head Pain

CBD is a master modulator. This means that it doesn’t work on any single pathway, forcing it in one direction or another.

This effect allows CBD to help regulate how much pain we perceive. Like playing with the volume control on your speaker system it can help “turn down” the volume on pain.

When we experience migraine headaches, the pain volume is cranked all the way up.

CBD helps promote the processes that are meant to control this by telling some of the responsible receptors (such as the TRPV1 and opioid receptors) to step up and turn the volume back down to an appropriate level.

There are 10 times as many CB1 receptors as there are mu-opioid receptors in our central nervous system and pain pathways [16,17]. This means the CB1 endocannabinoid receptors are likely a key regulator of pain sensation within the brain, and intimately involved with the regulation of migraine or cluster headache-related pain.

What’s the Dose of CBD Oil for Migraine Headaches?

Dosing CBD can be a challenge, especially since it tends to react differently in everybody.

For some people, a small dose is all that’s needed to produce effects, while others need much larger doses. This can make dosing difficult at first, but once you understand how it works in your body, it’s very straightforward.

There are some general CBD dosage guidelines you can follow for figuring out the right dose to start with, and how to dial it effectively.

With that said, it’s important to note that many people who are prone to migraines tend to be more sensitive to chemicals. For this reason, we recommend starting slightly below the lowest recommended dosage for your weight and build up slowly from there.

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How Long Should I Use CBD Oil for Migraines?

The key to using CBD oil effectively for migraines is to use it regularly over long periods of time, in addition to your routine prescriptions.

By taking small doses of the oil throughout the day – usually once in the morning and once in the evening — you’ll be able to improve your body’s natural ability to maintain neurovascular balance and avoid spiraling out of control into a debilitating migraine attack.

Many people taking CBD oil for this will increase the dose when they feel a migraine attack coming on to stop it in its tracks or reduce its overall severity.

For example, a migraine sufferer might take 5 mg worth of CBD in the morning and 5 mg in the evenings most days. When they feel a migraine coming on, they take another 5 mg every 2 or 3 hours until it subsides. However, you should also keep taking your prescription medications for prevention and treatment.

What are Migraines?

Migraines are a type of severe, recurring headache accompanied by at least one, or various, physical symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound.

In many cases, these headaches only affect one side of the head and cause throbbing pain. They may also be agitated by movement, and are of enough intensity to interfere with daily function.

Migraines typically last 4-8 hours (typically all day), but can last as long as three days (72 hours).

Along with headaches, migraine sufferers also commonly experience other symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light, sound, and smells, as well as visual disturbances.

Four Phases of Migraine Headaches

Migraines tend to have distinct phases. These aren’t always present, and they can vary a lot from one episode to the next.

Phase 1: Prodromal Phase

This phase can begin either days, hours, or minutes before a migraine attack — it’s a common warning sign that a migraine is soon to ensue.

It may involve a wide variety of symptoms that appear before the actual headache. People with chronic migraines tend to learn what their triggers and early symptoms usually are. These feelings should prompt people to take their preventive medications.

Some common symptoms of the prodromal phase include:

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Euphoria
  • Muscle aches and stiffness
  • Constipation OR diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Food cravings
  • Sensitivity to stimuli (light, sound, smell, taste, touch)
Phase 2: Aura Phase

During the aura phase, people experience strange changes in their vision and/or perception. It can change the way colors look, how we interpret smell and taste and can alter our mood dramatically.

The aura phase typically lasts about 1 to 2 hours.

For most people who experience regular migraines, this is the most reliable indication that they are about to have an episode. Some people can even estimate how severe their migraine will be from the severity of the aura phase.

Symptoms of the aura phase can include:

  • Vision disturbances
  • Changes in perception of taste, light, smell, sound, and touch
  • Speech or language problems
  • A spinning sensation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Fatigue
Phase 3: Pain (Headache) Phase

This is the main phase we think of when we talk about migraines.

This phase can vary a lot in severity and is usually very unpredictable, even in people who have regular episodes of migraine headaches.

In most cases, migraine headaches only affect one side of the head but can affect both sides equally as well. Some people feel the pain at the front of the head, others at the back, and some in the center.

However, if you suddenly experience the worst headache of your life that feels like a clap of thunder all over your head, or have had a migraine for over 72 hours, please go to your nearest emergency department right away.

Symptoms of the pain phase include:

  • Severe throbbing head pain
  • Sensitivity to sensory information (light, sound, taste, smell, touch, and movement)
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Spinning sensation
  • Frequent urination
  • Pale skin
  • Sweating
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Neck pain
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
Phase 4: Postdrome Phase

The postdrome phase happens after a migraine has settled.

Many people who experience these say they resemble a hangover but can last for several days. Some will even feel pressure or low-grade pain in the places where most of their migraine affected.

It can leave people feeling fatigued and depressed for a few days after the event.

In some cases, people may find that during this phase they feel unusually refreshed and clear-headed. Some reports even suggest a euphoric state for as long as a week after the event.

What Causes Migraine Headaches?

Migraine headaches tend to be very elusive to researchers. They’re hard to predict and even harder to trace back to any particular cause. Migraine headaches tend to be very elusive, however, researchers today have a better understanding of the basis of migraines.

From stress and hormone levels to allergies and chemical exposure — these are all considered factors and potential causes for migraines but can vary a lot from one person to the next.

Common Migraine Triggers
  1. Mental — Stress, emotional upset
  2. Endogenous — Hormonal changes, fasting, fatigue, sleep disturbances
  3. Exogenous — Certain foods (chocolate, wine, aged cheese, etc.), alcohol, smoke, allergens, nitrates, oral contraceptives, glutamate, tyramine
  4. Other — Weather, bright colors, odors, temperature changes, altitude

One of the main factors new research is investigating is hormone levels.

This is because migraines are more common in young boys just before puberty and 2 or 3 times more likely in women than men. Additionally, migraines tend to decrease during pregnancy and menopause.

All of these factors can be traced back to fluctuations in hormone levels, though scientists still don’t know exactly how this works, but there are several strong theories as we’ve listed below.

There are several prominent theories at play [14] which are most likely the actual causes of hormone-related migraines including:

  1. Serotonin/platelet theory
  2. Sensitization of peripheral and central brain areas from inflammation
  3. Muscular spasms of the veins and arteries

Let’s cover some of the main ones now and how they’re correlated with CBD.

1. Serotonin & Platelet Theory

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and has many roles in the body. It regulates much of our emotion, sexual function, hormone balance, and memory.

One of the leading theories for the cause of migraines is an excessive release of serotonin from platelet triggers.

What does this mean?

A platelet is a type of cell that floats around in the bloodstream and plays an important role in the way we monitor and control coagulation and inflammation in the body — among other things. One of the ways we do this is by releasing small amounts of serotonin.

In some cases, these platelets can overreact to the situation and dump large amounts of serotonin into the bloodstream, causing blood vessels to widen and lose pressure. This essentially causes regions located near the area to go into shock [1].

When this happens in the blood vessels of the brain, it can cause the widening of blood vessels and release of inflammatory signals causing symptoms such as severe pain, disorientation, and hypersensitivity to stimuli like sight and smell.

What this means: If we can stop the excessive release of serotonin from the platelet cells, we may be able to stop or prevent migraine headaches.

2. Inflammation (Sensitization)

We need inflammation to stay healthy.

It’s our bodies’ way to trap and destroy invading bacteria and viruses. Inflammation promotes healing and prevents further damage to the body by causing pain and redness which reminds us to be careful with that part of the body.

Unfortunately, inflammation can go out of control causing many different health problems for the body.

One such problem is migraine headaches.

A protein found inside the cells, known as nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB for short) is responsible for regulating the creation of inflammatory compounds in the cells.

NF-kB is a major driving factor behind migraine headaches. When this protein goes out of balance, it can cause an overabundance of inflammatory messengers called cytokines (IL-1B, IL-6, and TNF-a). These messengers then trigger a wave of inflammation and pain in the nervous system. [2].

Since these messengers are short-lived, the problem usually subsides within several hours, causing the migraine to typically last all day, and before gradually disappearing.

This cause is especially common in people who tend to be over-reactive to foods and other allergens. People who suffer from asthma and hay fever are also at a higher risk for migraines caused by this effect.

What this means: If we can stop the overactivation of NF-kB, we may be able to prevent migraines.

3. Muscular Spasms of the Veins and Arteries

All of our arteries have a thin layer of muscle lining them.

These muscles are designed to expand and contract to control our blood pressure and to allow us to shunt blood into vital organs such as the brain when need be.

A good example of when do this is when we’re out in the cold.

To preserve the core body temperature, the blood vessels in our hands, feet, and nose will tighten to slow blood flow in the area. This helps to keep the warm blood closer to the internal organs.

There are other reasons for shunting blood as well, such as after a meal when we need more blood flow to the digestive organs or after a traumatic injury where we need to bring fresh oxygen and nutrients to the damaged site.

This system is especially sensitive in the delicate regions of the brain.

When the trigeminal ganglion is activated by the cortical spreading depression, it releases pro-inflammatory molecules onto] the muscles controlling its blood vessels that can widen and spasm, causing severe migraine headaches.

What this means: If we can stop excessive vascular spasms among the arteries feeding the brain, we can stop migraines.

How Are Migraine Headaches Treated?

Treating migraines focuses on both prevention as well as treatment, but still involves a lot of trial and error, as well as time due to everyone’s unique chemistry.

This is because the medications used to address any of the three causes of migraines are different, and it takes up to 6 weeks for a medication to build up enough to have any effect.

Most of the drugs for migraines have about a >50% chance of working after several weeks. If one medication doesn’t work, doctors will usually move on to another one. If your migraines happen 15 or more days per month, then scalp botox injections are also an effective new, insurance-covered prevention option.

Most people who suffer migraines will use [their preventive medications and prescriptions. However, milder migraine sufferers may use] over the counter pain medications such as Excedrin, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Aspirin, however, this only helps curb the intensity of mild episodes. They do little for actually clearing up a migraine and are rarely strong enough to completely alleviate symptoms. Most often they’re used in conjunction with routine prescription medication.

Treatment Options for Migraine Headaches:

  • Caffeine
  • Onabotulinum toxin(Botox)
  • NSAIDs
  • Ergot alkaloids
  • Divalproex/Sodium Valproate
  • Eletriptan
  • Frovatriptan
  • Almotriptan
  • Metoprolol
  • Naratriptan
  • Propranolol
  • Rizatriptan
  • Sumatriptan
  • Topiramate
  • Zolmitriptan

Most of these medications come with a long list of negative side effects such as ulcers, heart vessel spasms, kidney damage. Unfortunately for some people, there is only minimal relief available from migraine headaches.

For this reason, many people who suffer recurrent migraines are turning for help from a different source of medicine. It’s important to note that many medications interact with CBD and other alternative treatments.

Herbal Medicine for Migraines

There are obvious benefits to conventional medicine over plant-based medicine. However, this is not the case for migraine headaches.

There are many herbs with well-established benefits of treating and preventing migraine headaches.

Feverfew, for example, is a small plant in the daisy family that offers direct improvements on all three processes thought to be causing migraine headaches [15].

Another plant that has shown significant potential in addressing the causes and symptoms of migraine headaches is the cannabis plant.

Plants such as these often contain dozens, if not hundreds of different chemicals. Unlike pharmaceuticals, this makes it difficult to characterize each compound’s precise effects, giving them the added benefit of providing what we could call a multifaceted approach to treatment.

This means that the series of chemicals contained in cannabis may possibly offer similar benefits for a medical condition, but do it through different mechanisms.

For example, the cannabis plant contains as many as 80 different cannabinoids and well over 100 different terpenes in its leaves and resin.

Some of these cannabinoids help to stop arterial spasms, others stabilize immune cells and more.

By providing multiple therapeutic avenues for a particular condition, and by sharing many common underlying mechanisms, cannabis could potentially stand a better chance of fixing the problem.

This is a common technique oncologists use to fight cancer. By using a cocktail of chemotherapeutic drugs, each with slightly different modes of action, they get a far greater chance of choosing the right one and curing their patient’s cancer.

Key Takeaways: Can CBD Oil Help With Migraines?

Migraines are many things— common, debilitating, and mysterious.

Doctors and neuroscientists still don’t have a definitive explanation for what causes them or how to stop them.

There are, however, a lot of promising theories that we can start with when looking for treatments for the condition. From what is known, there are common pathways that CBD may also act upon to help.

CBD oil has recently been on the rise as a new and potentially effective migraine treatment and prevention method. It works through several different yet related pathways to resist the processes driving migraine headaches.

It’s likely that we’ll see this use of CBD and CBD oil become a standard adjunctive treatment for the condition in the next few years as more research sheds light on the incredible benefits of this humble plant extract.

CBD Oil for Migraines – February 2022

People with migraines are willing to try nearly any type of medication for relief, which may explain the growing interest in CBD for migraines.

Migraines may cause excruciating and throbbing pain, or a pulsing sensation, often on one side of the head. It usually comes with vomiting, nausea, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound (5 ) .

Migraine attacks may persist from a few hours to several days. The pain may be so severe that it may interfere with an individual’s daily routines.

With the purported benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) to humans and animals, many people with migraine are curious whether or not the compound may help with their medical condition.

CBD’s potential therapeutic benefits, including as an anti-inflammatory , antiemetic (prevents vomiting), and antipsychotic (calms nerves) agent, were highlighted in a study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology in 2018 (6 ) .

At the same time, as a neuroprotective substance, CBD was shown to help protect nerve cells against damage, regression, or impairment of function. Headaches are considered neurologic conditions.

All of these properties may be beneficial for individuals experiencing migraine symptoms, like pain and light and sound sensitivity.

The authors also reported that CBD is safe, as it does not affect heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Neither does CBD negatively impact psychomotor and psychological functions.

Benefits of CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is present in cannabis trichomes of cannabis plants . CBD is non-psychoactive and is usually derived from the hemp variety of cannabis .

While CBD is usually sourced from the cannabis plant ‘s indica strain, small traces of CBD may also be discovered in the Cannabis sativa strain.

Most CBD brands offer CBD in the form of CBD oil , which is CBD-infused tincture . Some companies use hempseed oil, while some use medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil as their tincture carrier oils.

Aside from CBD oils , CBD may also be taken in the forms of topicals , gummies, teas , vape juices, or capsules.

CBD is sold as a CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD, or full-spectrum CBD.

A CBD isolate has no other cannabinoids except CBD. It is created by removing all non-CBD compounds from a hemp plant, including THC.

Meanwhile, broad-spectrum CBD has all cannabinoids from raw hemp, except THC. Products with broad-spectrum CBD have no detectable traces of THC.

CBD isolates and broad-spectrum CBD products are recommended for users who want to use CBD while keeping their bodies THC-free.

Lastly, full-spectrum CBD or whole plant CBD products have high concentrations of CBD, other cannabinoids, and terpenes. Full-spectrum CBD also contains low levels of THC.

Some CBD users opt for full-spectrum CBD oils because of the product’s “entourage effect,” which maximizes the therapeutic effects of CBD.

CBD has gained popularity over the recent years because of its potential health benefits. Below are some of the published research about how CBD might help treat migraines:

CBD for Migraine-Associated Pain Relief

The National Headache Foundation approximates that nearly 12% of the population experience migraine headaches (7 ) .

Migraine headache pain is a result of signals interacting among blood vessels, the brain, and surrounding nerves.

During a headache, certain nerves of blood vessels are activated, and they send pain signals to the brain.

There is a migraine pain center, also called a generator, in the midbrain area. Migraines begin when overactive nerve cells send impulses to blood vessels, causing the release of prostaglandins and serotonin .

Prostaglandins are lipids that control processes such as inflammation and blood flow. Serotonin is a chemical that the body produces for nerve cells and the brain to function.

As these substances are released, the blood vessels in the vicinity of the nerve endings swell, resulting in pain (8 ) .

CBD’s status as a potent analgesic or pain reliever is among the strongest points in favor of this type of use.

With nausea and vomiting that many people experience during migraines, CBD’s antiemetic properties, which prevent nausea and vomiting, are also beneficial.

In an article published by the American Migraine Foundation, Dr. Stephen Silberstein outlined what patients should know about CBD oil as a treatment for migraines (9 ) .

According to Dr. Silberstein, the director of the Headache Center at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, the United States, CBD may be a viable topical option for individuals with muscle and joint pain linked to migraines (10 ) .

He says it is perfectly reasonable for those with neck pain or soreness to use CBD oil . He added that the compound might even prevent nausea and vomiting.

Several studies that demonstrate CBD’s antiemetic qualities seem to support Dr. Silberstein’s advice.

A study in the British Journal of Pharmacology revealed the anti-vomiting effects of cannabinoids in response to a toxic challenge.

Research indicated that cannabinoids , including CBD, may be useful for treating both nausea and vomiting produced by chemotherapy or other treatments (11 ) .

In a review in the European Journal of Pharmacology, the potential of cannabinoids to control nausea and vomiting from several causes was established (12 ) .

CBD for Reduced Inflammation Associated With Migraines

A study published in Neurology in 2005 looked into a migraine as an inflammatory disorder (13 ) .

The authors said that although pain and inflammation usually go hand in hand, migraine has not classically been considered an inflammatory disease. The reason could be because it is not associated with heat, redness, and swelling.

However, a study published in Physiological Reviews in 2017 showed that the pain of migraine headaches might be at least partially caused by intense sensory nerve stimulation.

This stimulation is the result of the release of inflammatory agents during a migraine attack (14 ) .

If this is the case, the properties of CBD may help counter inflammation, helping to relieve that pain.

One study showed how CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain (15 ) .

CBD’s potent anti-inflammatory characteristics were also shown in a 2018 study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (16 ) .

Risks of CBD

In a review of studies published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in 2017, researchers saw a useful and practical role for medical cannabis in treating migraine (17 ) . However, there are not enough studies on using CBD oil specifically yet.

The multifaceted nature of migraine makes it challenging to define the exact criteria for clinical assessment. Also, migraine patients vary in their response to existing modes of treatment (18 ) .

Other risks to consider are the possible side effects of CBD use. CBD’s potential side effects include dry mouth, drowsiness , diarrhea, fatigue, and reduced appetite (19 ) .

CBD interacts with other drugs, which may alter how the body metabolizes certain medications, as a 2017 research noted (20 ) .

A 2017 review revealed labeling inaccuracies in some CBD products . Some products had less CBD than stated on the label, while others had more (21 ) .

Cannabis products and CBD do not have approval from the US Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) for migraine relief or cure. There is no regulation over the potency of CBD oil before marketing and sale in the United States for most uses.

Despite the health benefits of CBD, it is essential to note that using it may entail some risks, primarily since the US Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) has not regulated the use of CBD.

The following are some of the potential risks of CBD use according to the FDA (22 ) :

  • Lack of appetite
  • Interactions with other medications
  • Interactions with other drugs and alcohol
  • Liver injury
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Mood changes

The FDA also warned that several unknown factors make using CBD potentially harmful. Bellow are some unanswered questions on CBD (23 ) :

  • How much CBD is required to trigger the known risks associated with it?
  • What are the effects of long-term use of CBD?
  • Do different routes of administration alter the effect of CBD?
  • How does CBD affect developing brain functions in children?
  • How does CBD affect developing fetuses or newborns?
  • How does CBD interact with other medicinal plants?
  • Is CBD harmful to the male reproductive system?

According to the FDA , more research may prove CBD’s effectiveness in treating various medical conditions and other illnesses. However, the FDA still advises people not to depend on CBD as an alternative to proper medical care.

How CBD Works

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is responsible for regulating several body functions, including pain sensation, anxiety, sleep, mood, appetite, immune response, metabolism, and memory.

CB1 and CB2 are the two primary types of receptors found in different parts of the body. These receptors each have specialized roles in the ECS.

Various studies have reported that natural and synthetic cannabinoids are useful in the attenuation of acute and chronic pain , including neuropathic (nerve) pain (24 ) .

Disruptions in the supply or functionality of endocannabinoids have been linked to several mental state disturbances and, particularly, to migraine (25 ) .

Studies have shown that cannabinoid receptors are distributed in many critical sites of pain pathways in the central (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS).

The abundance of CB1 receptors in the brain makes them an attractive target for the treatment of migraines via the blocking of pain pathways (26 ) .

Some studies suggest the less-explored CB2 receptors possess anti-inflammatory potential (27 ) . These receptors represent a promising new way to counteract migraine (28 ) .

CBD provides its benefits via interactions with the endocannabinoid system . This system’s receptors bind to the cannabinoids in CBD, affecting their functionality.

As the ECS controls pain, the immune system , mood regulation, muscle spasms, and anxiety, among other things, consuming CBD oil may help with all of these functions. In the case of migraines, it is the ability to assist with pain that becomes helpful.

A 2011 study published in the Journal of Headache and Pain examined, using an animal model, the effects of anandamide in migraine (29 ) .

Anandamide is a cannabinoid naturally produced by the body, which interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors .

The study confirmed that a dysfunction of the endocannabinoid system might contribute to the development of migraine attacks . Also, they indicated that the regulation of cannabinoid receptors might be useful for treating migraine pain .

The authors of a 2017 study, meanwhile, believe that there is evidence that patients with migraine have deficient levels of the anandamide . It is not known, however, if this is a localized or generalized phenomenon (30 ) .

What Research Says About CBD and THC

Cannabidiol (CBD)

According to several pharmacotherapy studies, CBD has anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), analgesic (pain-relieving), neuroprotective (protects nerve cell functions), hypoxia-ischemia (proper blood flow to organs), anti-inflammatory , anti-asthmatic, antipsychotic, and antitumor properties (31 ) .

However, there are also studies that recorded instances when CBD failed to improve symptoms of experimentally-induced anxiety and chronic pain in kidney transplant (32 ) .

Medical researchers also studied the potential of CBD to cure drug addiction. A systematic review showed that some preclinical studies suggest that CBD might help individuals with cocaine, opioid , and psychostimulant addiction (33 ) .

Preliminary data showed that CBD might help treat tobacco and cannabis addiction in humans (34 ) .

In a World Health Organization (WHO) report published in November 2017, WHO discussed CBD’s analgesic properties in patients suffering from treatment-resistant neuropathic pain (35 ) .

The report also noted that pre-review human studies showed that CBD possessed neuroprotective properties useful in patients with inflammatory and Alzheimer’s diseases. WHO also discussed CBD’s potential to reduce social anxiety in patients (36 ) .

According to the WHO, the medical use of CBD is most advanced in epilepsy treatment. The FDA approved a CBD-based drug called Epidiolex to treat seizures associated with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (37 ) .

Meanwhile, a 2014 study noted that cannabinoids might help block peripheral, gastrointestinal, and spinal mechanisms that may cause muscle spasms, headache, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome (38 ) .

A 2017 study also noted that CBD might help patients with rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorders (39 ) .

Five-month long research indicated that CBD oil might reduce insomnia and anxiety secondary to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Colorado -based research discussed that CBD might reduce scores on anxiety and sleep scales (40 ) .

Meanwhile, a study about Sativex, a drug containing 15mg of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ), showed that the medicine might help patients suffering from various pain conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, intractable cancer pain, and peripheral neuropathic pain (41 ) .

Another study suggested that CBD may also help prevent movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. The study discussed CBD’s potential to alleviate primary and secondary dystonic movements effectively (42 ) .

Researchers also found that CBD has antidepressant properties. In a recent study, researchers discovered that CBD might play a role in creating new therapeutic strategies in mental illnesses, including anxiety and schizophrenia (43 ) .

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ) is the main psychoactive compound of marijuana plants.

Over the years, medical researchers have conducted studies about the medicinal properties of the psychoactive cannabinoid in humans.

A 2014 study noted that THC might help alleviate pain. The study also suggested that medical marijuana may help patients with anxiety, insomnia, nausea, depression, and lack of appetite (44 ) .

Subject patients noted that cannabis helped them cut down or discontinue prescription medications for pain, insomnia, and anxiety (45 ) .

Another cannabis science study discussed the adverse side effects of taking THC . According to the 2019 study, adverse side effects of THC use include psychosis, urinary tract infection (UTI), dysphoria (unease), drowsiness , dry mouth, dizziness, and nausea (46 ) .

The side effects were observed in patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), movement disorders, and rheumatic disease (47 ) .

Hemp vs. Marijuana

Some people incorrectly refer to the cannabis plant in general as marijuana, which may cause confusion in some CBD customers. This belief is incorrect because various products may be extracted from cannabis ; not all of them are marijuana.

Marijuana pertains to the flowers of female cannabis plants that are derived from strains high in cannabinoids , especially THC .

Meanwhile, hemp plants are fibrous, seed-bearing plants with high amounts of CBD. Hemp plants are also cultivated for their copious seeds and fibers.

Marijuana and hemp plants appear to be very similar in nature. However, the two plants have significant differences.

Both hemp and marijuana are cannabis derivatives. Most cannabinoids from hemp and marijuana are extracted from cannabis flowers.

However, unlike hemp, marijuana is under the Schedule I drugs of the Controlled Substance Act because of its high potential for abuse. The high potential for abuse may be attributed to marijuana’s psychoactive properties.

Meanwhile, hemp has been removed from the list of controlled substances as long as they have less than 0.3% THC content.

CBD Dosage and Administration Routes

There are still no officially recommended CBD doses for any specific medical conditions. Determining the appropriate amount of CBD to take for migraines is going to be a trial and error process.

The CBD dose depends on age, body chemistry, frequency of migraine attacks , and severity of migraine symptoms.

It is recommended to follow the instructions on the product label that come with a particular CBD oil .

CBD manufacturers are likely to have guidelines for dosages found on the product itself, the accompanying paperwork, or their website.

Still, experts agree that one should start with a low dosage of CBD or even err on the side of underdosing. Then, gradually increase the dosage as needed until the desired results are achieved.

A topical CBD cream, transdermal patch, or massage oil is ideal when dealing with inflammation or pain in a specific area of the body.

CBD topicals may target localized clusters of cannabinoid receptors rather than interacting with the entire ECS. If properly formulated, they work instantly after skin contact, and relief may be felt in about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, CBD oil capsules and edibles, such as gummies, brownies, and lozenges, are a straightforward and convenient way to take CBD oil , especially for beginners.

CBD in these forms comes in pre-dosed versions, which may easily be consumed at one’s convenience.

However, the downside is that these forms do not allow for as much flexibility with doses as one cannot easily cut a gummy or capsule in half.

Meanwhile, CBD oil tinctures or drops are a practical option for those who seek fast results and maximum dosage control after a migraine attack .

A syringe, dropper, or easily-calculated number of drops is used for consistent and accurate dosing .

Sublingual application of CBD tincture allows for results to be experienced within 30 to 60 minutes after its use. The effects are felt for four to six hours.

Vaping CBD is one of the fastest strategies for getting the compound into the body. With this method, CBD enters the bloodstream through the lungs without going through the digestive system.

However, the effects of vaping last only for 30 minutes to one or two hours. Also, it is difficult to determine precisely how much CBD is in each draw.

A 2018 study published in Molecules noted that the primary limitations of inhaling are the variability in individual inhalation techniques and respiratory tract irritation during inhalation (48 ) .

Although labels for CBD oil vape products usually indicate the amount per inhale, the amount may vary in individuals. Thus, getting the right dose requires a bit of experimentation at first.

Vaping may not be for everyone. There might be problems that may arise from vaping , including chemical irritation or allergic reactions to various substances in the inhaled vapors (49 ) .

Individuals contemplating vaping CBD for the first time must proceed with caution and first consult with a doctor experienced in cannabis use.

Alternative Treatments for Migraines

There is currently no cure for migraines, although several treatments are available to help ease the symptoms.

However, some people who have migraines find that over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers , such as paracetamol, aspirin, and ibuprofen, may reduce their symptoms.

In some cases, triptans , which are specific painkillers for migraines, or anti-sickness medicines, may be prescribed by a general practitioner.

Like most pharmaceuticals, however, these medicines cause side effects . Thus, people are turning to natural and holistic treatments for relief.

Complementary and integrative treatment options may be beneficial for migraine sufferers , says Dr. Deena Kuruvilla, Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Yale School of Medicine (50 ) .

Unfortunately, there is currently not enough scientific evidence for doctors to recommend them as a primary form of treatment.

Still, research shows that up to 80% of patients living with chronic migraine and headache disorders tried alternative treatments (51 ) .

Many turn to holistic therapy because mainstream treatments have not been effective, have adverse effects, or have not yet been tried.

Alternative migraine treatments that have shown some proven efficacy include meditation and mindfulness training, essential oils and nutraceuticals (food with health benefits), or vitamins and minerals thought to have medicinal advantages.

Holistic treatments are to be used in combination with mainstream therapies, not serve as an individual remedy to migraine, Dr. Kuruvilla says. There is no substitute for conventional medicine (52 ) .

Meanwhile, the nutritional value of CBD may be an excellent alternative treatment for migraine symptoms.

Hemp ( Cannabis sativa L. ), cultivated for making health products, like CBD oil , contains a variety of essential nutrients. The whole plant, from flower to seeds, is useful.

Many CBD oil products contain hemp seed oil as a carrier oil. Hemp seeds contain a high concentration of soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 (53 ) .

Full-spectrum CBD contains a complete range of cannabinoids , terpenes , flavonoids, and other compounds naturally present in cannabis . These include other compounds and minerals, like fatty acids and fiber.

Terpenes are natural compounds in cannabis that give it distinctive aromas and flavors. Flavonoids give plants their vivid colors.

Combining all these compounds creates a synergy known as the “entourage effect,” where all of the constituents working together are more efficient than their isolated elements (54 ) .

CBD may be useful during mediation as well because of its calming effects. CBD has great psychiatric potential, including uses as an anxiolytic-like and an antidepressant -like compound, as a 2014 study published in CNS and Neurological Disorders – Drug Targets suggested (55 ) .

In one study in Neuropharmacology, results showed that CBD might induce rapid-acting antidepressant -like effects and enhance neurotransmission (56 ) . Neurotransmission is the process by which nerve cells communicate.

Coconut oil is another potential alternative treatment for migraine symptoms, specifically for fighting inflammation.

According to an article in PainPathways, the official magazine of the World Institute of Pain (WIP), coconut oil has the potential ability to lessen inflammation in joints and muscles (57 ) .

A study published in Pharmaceutical Biology in 2010 showed that virgin coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties (58 ) .

Coconut oil’s high levels of lauric acid help reduce inflammation, which directly impacts pain.

Many CBD oil manufacturers take advantage of coconut oil’s benefits by using medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil as a carrier oil in their tinctures . MCTs are fatty acids that are naturally present in coconut oil.

With its pain-relieving characteristics, CBD oil with MCT oil may be an excellent natural alternative for dealing with pain caused by inflammation or swelling.

Not to be overlooked as a potential alternative treatment for migraines is ginger. In a randomized controlled trial published in Phytotherapy Research in 2013, the effectiveness of ginger powder in the treatment of frequent migraine attacks was statistically comparable to that of sumatriptan (59 ) .

Sumatriptan is a prescription drug commonly used to treat acute attacks of cluster headaches (60 ) .

Cluster headaches , a type of migraine, are so severe that they are sometimes referred to as suicide headaches (61 ) .

It is worth noting, however, that the 2013 study found that ginger also posed a better side effect profile than sumatriptan. Compared to that of sumatriptan, the clinical adverse effects of ginger powder were less (62 ) .

Like ginger, curcumin has also been found to be useful for migraine headaches . Curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, is known to possess potent anti-inflammatory characteristics (63 ) .

A 2017 study in BioMed Research International used rat models to show that pretreatment with curcumin might be useful in reducing nociception, or the ability to feel pain (64 ) .

CBD consumers may use the benefits of ginger and curcumin for migraines. Many CBD oils and tinctures contain ginger and curcumin to provide pain relief for those with migraine headaches .

CBD Legality and Accessibility

In the US, it is legal at the federal level to purchase hemp-derived CBD after former President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law. The law marked the legalization of hemp and removed hemp from the list of Schedule I controlled substances (65 ) .

However, hemp or other hemp-derived products may only be considered legal if they have a THC content of less than 0.3% (66 ) .

It is still recommended to research CBD laws before buying CBD products since state laws have varying levels of restrictions. Buying CBD products is legal in some US states, except in Hawaii and South Dakota (67 ) .

Is CBD Safe?

Although several CBD users deem CBD as safe and effective, CBD still has potential side effects . Side effects of CBD include tiredness, reduced appetite, dry mouth, diarrhea, and sleepiness (68 ) .

The FDA also warns CBD users that CBD products may interact with other drugs in the human body.

It is recommended that first-time users of CBD products should consult their physicians before taking CBD. Consulting a medical professional is crucial, especially if CBD users are also taking medications for serious medical conditions.

What Is the Endocannabinoid System?

First discovered in 1988, the ECS is a biological system made up of lipid-based neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids.

According to a 2013 research, cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system might be helpful in treating chemotherapy’s adverse effects. The receptors also played an essential role in stimulating appetite in weakened patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) (69 ) .

Conclusion

Studies have shown that CBD might help with migraine symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, pain, and inflammation (70 ) .

CBD has been well-received by the World Health Organization (WHO) that said, CBD “is generally well-tolerated with a good safety profile (71 ) .”

CBD is also non-addictive, says Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in an article in 2015. This quality makes CBD safe for daily intake (72 ) .

There are several different subtypes of migraines, including migraines with aura (called complicated migraines) and some without (common migraines) (73 ) .

An aura is a series of sensory and visual changes. It ranges from seeing black dots and zig zags to tingling numbness on one side of the body. The experience may also be characterized by an inability to speak clearly.

The complexity of migraine makes it challenging to treat with any given medications. Adding to the challenge are the adverse side effects of pharmaceuticals.

These are only some of the reasons why people turn to holistic treatments, including CBD, for migraine pain relief .

Dr. Silberstein spoke with the American Headache Society, a professional society for healthcare professionals specializing in headache and migraine treatments, at the 60th Annual Scientific Meeting in San Francisco (74 ) .

According to Dr. Silberstein, theoretically, CBD should not interact with migraine medications at all. It works on an entirely different mechanism. He also believes that CBD may even prevent nausea and vomiting.

Like most over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and supplements, CBD oil may be purchased without a medical prescription in locations where they are legally available.

The 2018 Farm Bill has made CBD products derived from hemp legal. However, individual states in the United States have specific state laws (75 ) .

Although studies have shown that CBD might help with most symptoms linked to migraines, it is not a cure-all.

To date, the healthcare industry still has no scientific evidence on CBD as an effective treatment for migraines, primarily because it has not been formally studied.

Hopefully, more longitudinal research may help experts understand precisely how CBD works alone or with other cannabinoids to address migraines and other specific medical conditions.

Until CBD’s impact on migraine and its symptoms is fully understood, people with migraines should proceed with caution should they decide to use CBD as a supplementary therapy.

A consultation with a doctor experienced in cannabis use is ideal before deciding to try CBD oil for migraines .