Can CBD Oils Cause Headaches?
CBD, also called cannabidiol or cannabinoid, has grown in recent years to become the all-natural, go-to home remedy. Many people are attesting to its efficacy to cure certain medical conditions and improve their overall health and well-being. Companies have jumped into creating CBD-infused products like bath salts, coffee, lotions, oils, pet treats, shampoos, and more. There’s no wonder why more and more people are eager to try CBD products and experience their reported benefits.
However, no matter how beneficial and helpful CBD products may be, they may also come with a few undesired side effects – just like most drugs and medical substances. While we’ve cleared up some questions about CBD previously, we’re here to tackle a bigger, highly-debated concern circulating now about CBD oils – can it really cause headaches?
Let’s take a closer look.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is a compound found in cannabis plants. CBD oil contains a certain concentration of CBD but is non-addictive and non-psychoactive. It’s also considered the safer and more reliable alternative to THC. It provides the same therapeutic benefits but without affecting your consciousness, frame of mind, perception, or sensory awareness.
According to research, the human body naturally produces cannabinoids. What CBD does is encourage the body to produce more of it by sending signals to the endocannabinoid system. In effect, it helps regulate your appetite, mood, immune system, sensory processing, and sleep patterns.
Plus, CBD is found to have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects that help maintain the body’s homeostasis.
CBD Uses and Benefits
CBD oil is used in a variety of applications and is claimed to provide a range of health benefits. These include:
- Alleviating arthritis pain
- Improving acne and skin conditions
- Improving sleep quality
- Managing PTSD
- Minimizing anxiety and insomnia
- Reducing drug and nicotine cravings
- Relieving inflammation and pains
- Suppressing seizures
- Treating epilepsy syndromes and other neuropsychiatric disorders
It’s important to note that research and clinical trials on CBD are new and ongoing. While the World Health Organization deems it to be safe (thus far), there is still no guarantee on how effectively it can treat certain illnesses or how beneficial it can be for health conditions.
CBD Risks and Side Effects
Yes, CBD is natural and comes from a plant. But that doesn’t mean it can’t have adverse side effects. And just like any other drug, medication, or consumable substance, CBD oil can impact people differently.
According to cannabis and cannabinoid research, CBD may cause diarrhea, fatigue, fluctuating appetite, and weight issues. Another report posits that it can lead to dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, hypertension, light-headedness, nausea, and psychomotor slowing.
While no study has found any evidence about it to date, some people claim that they have developed headaches specifically from CBD oil. This led to a widely debated question as to whether or not CBD truly causes head pains.
Can CBD Oil Cause Headaches?
If you’re experiencing headaches or migraines as a side effect, it’s possible that you’ve consumed a lower quality CBD product that contains solvents and chemicals. Since the CBD industry remains unregulated, some manufacturers tend to overlook the quality of their products to make them more cost-effective.
And these filler ingredients could be the cause of your headaches. That’s why it’s important to educate yourself on high-quality CBD products and to buy them from legitimate or registered dealers.
Another possible reason for feeling head pain may be the size of your dosage. While there aren’t any conclusive reports on the right dosage for CBD oil just yet, consuming too much of it in one sitting can have adverse effects, especially if you’re new to it. It’s best that you start with a small dose and allow your body to get used to the CBD oil before increasing to the dose size that will help achieve your desired effects.
To be clear, there are still no conclusive reports as to whether or not CBD oils cause headaches for consumers. But to minimize the risk of developing head pain from these products, it’s recommended that you choose high-quality products and use the minimal dosage to start.
The Important Takeaway
Remember that the whole CBD industry is still a work in progress. While there have been significant breakthroughs and promising opportunities recently, more scientific data and evidence are needed to back up CBD as a viable medical treatment. This also means that no one knows just yet the proper dosages, full benefits, effects, and risks of consuming CBD products, especially in the long-term.
As responsible consumers, it’s important that you use CBD oils with caution as people can respond to them differently. Always research the possible effects of the CBD oils you’re using. And be sure to carefully read labels and packaging to verify the authenticity and quality of the products.
Additionally, always consult with your doctors or medical professionals before trying CBD products or adding them into your daily health routine. It’s safer to know ahead that these won’t affect any current medications you’re taking, supplements you’re using, or conditions you may have.
Importantly, remember this: Just because something comes from nature doesn’t mean that it’s safe to consume. This includes CBD and THC. Do your research, find brands that you can trust, start small, and always do this under the guidance of a medical professional.
US Drug Test Centers is here to help you with all of your drug and alcohol testing needs. Order a test online today.
Alternative Migraine Treatments: What’s Real, What’s Not, and What You Should Know
Those who suffer from migraine pain are no strangers to experimentation when it comes to alternative migraine treatments. Sometimes, the pain is so severe that you’ll do just about anything to make it go away—even if the method seems a bit unconventional.
The good news is there are many alternative migraine treatment options available to choose from. The bad news is, it’s not easy to sift through the clutter to find what actually works—and beyond that, there’s the added complication of finding the right treatment for you.
To help demystify your options for we rounded up some of the most popular alternative migraine treatments available to find out what’s real, what’s not, and what you should know.
What are alternative migraine treatments?
First of all, it’s important to define the phrase “alternative migraine treatments” in order to understand how choosing the right one can potentially help. “Alternative migraine treatments” is an umbrella term for the many different forms of possible methods individuals use to treat their migraine beyond medication.
From acupuncture, to piercings, to essential oils, alternative treatments include a variety of practices people use to find relief. Some of the most popular alternative migraine treatments include:
- daith piercings
- migraine headbands
- acupuncture and vitamins
- aromatherapy and essential oils
The treatments vary greatly and can affect individuals differently, so it’s important to know the facts so you can determine what methods may work for you. and which to avoid.
What you should know before seeking complementary treatments
It can be easy to give the side-eye to alternative treatment options, especially ones that may look a little strange (futuristic-looking headbands or poking yourself with needles, anyone?). But just because something sounds unconventional or is unfamiliar doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it, especially if the evidence supports its worth, says Dr. Sara Crystal, a clinical neurologist and Cove Medical Director. However, it’s also important for individuals to realize that someone else’s miracle treatment might not work for them, and vice versa.
“Triggers and symptoms vary from person to person, and some of the alternative treatments target specific symptoms and triggers,” Dr. Crystal says.
To help you figure out the options that will combat your own triggers and work for you, we broke down everything you need to know about the different kinds of complementary treatments.
While there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that suggests a daith piercing—also known as the piercing of the innermost cartilage fold of the ear—can ease migraine symptoms, there’s no hard and fast science to support the claims. Yet that doesn’t stop supporters from celebrating its effectiveness, especially on social media.
While the reasoning behind a daith piercing makes sense—much like acupuncture, an ear piercing at the crus of the helix hits a pressure point associated with your digestive organs—the American Migraine Foundation believes that many results are temporary and/or simply a byproduct of the placebo effect. Studies show that a lack of scientific evidence paired with the associated risks of insertion, like infection, make daith piercings a dubious remedy for chronic migraine. While skepticism continues to prevail, researchers do believe the overwhelming anecdotal evidence calls for it to be studied further.
But for now—unless you feel a daith piercing benefits your overall aesthetic!—there’s no scientific reason to add that stud to your ear.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or the method used within headbands that promise to alleviate migraine pain, is effective for some patients. However, Dr. Crystal warns, over-the-counter magnetic headbands don’t provide the same mechanism and there’s no evidence showing them to be effective for migraine prevention or acute treatment.
What is effective, though, is Cefaly. Approved by the FDA as the first device of its kind to prevent migraine attacks in March 2014, the Cefaly device is a headband-like apparatus powered by batteries and worn on the forehead, just above the eyebrows. Studies reviewed by the FDA support claims that sufferers using the supraorbital nerve stimulator experienced fewer attacks per month than patients using a placebo device, and other research confirms the use of Cefely is consistently beneficial for migraine sufferers.
“[The Cefaly] is available in two versions, one meant for preventive use, and one with settings for preventing and treating acute attacks,” Dr. Crystal explains. “As a preventive device, it’s meant to be used for at least one 20-minute session daily—though many people benefit more from use twice a day.”
Dr. Crystal has found Cefaly to be most helpful for patients who experience headache pain in the forehead (versus those who primarily experience pain in the back of the head). Yet there’s one big problem associated with the otherwise helpful tool: It’s expensive.
“A major disadvantage is that it’s not covered by insurance, though a free trial is available,” Dr. Crystal says. “Approximately half of my patients return it after the free trial ends.”
Those who can afford to spend the $300 the Cefaly costs and its accompanying electrodes ($25 for a set of three) should give it a try, but Dr.Crystal recommends not to waste your time (or money) buying a knock-off version.
Marijuana and CBD
A quick internet search concludes that there’s not much marijuana can’t do. From decreasing stress levels, to soothing achy muscles, to stifling feelings of nausea in patients undergoing chemotherapy, the limits of cannabis seem endless. But can marijuana help alleviate migraine pain?
Preliminary research points to yes, but more research is needed to study the long term effects of using both marijuana and cannabidiol, or CBD, to treat migraine.
However, the reported findings so far are fairly positive: A 2016 study found that 40% of participants who used medical marijuana reported fewer migraine attacks, and a 2017 study confirmed that the active compounds in cannabis are an effective treatment for migraine prevention (but not for acute pain).
Of course, in addition to drawbacks like drowsiness associated with marijuana, limited research of its effects doesn’t only apply to migraine sufferers—so be sure to double check your facts when researching the health benefits of cannabis. There’s also the small matter (OK, it’s a big matter) of whether or not cannabis is legal in your state. Peruse this interactive map and be sure to double check your state cannabis laws.
As for CBD, one of the many active compounds found in the cannabis plant that won’t get you high but claims to have a variety of other therapeutic benefits, there are some blurred lines when it comes to its legality. However, in most states, acquiring CBD oil is legal and relatively easy. Dr. Crystal says CBD can be helpful for pain and nausea associated with migraine. It can even improve sleep, which is often a problem for people with migraine. So while CBD might not necessarily stop an oncoming attack in its tracks, it might be able to help you deal with the inevitable pain.
The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture may seem a little outdated, but sometimes there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel. Studies show that the method—which involves sticking needles in specific areas of the body to alleviate pain—can be a worthy treatment option.
A 2016 systematic review of 22 clinical trials focusing on acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating migraine found that there is evidence that the practice reduces the frequency of headaches within individuals who experience migraine attacks. In fact, there’s even reason to believe that its effect is similar to what preventive medication can do.
The idea of being pricked with needles may sound scary, but it just might be worth it: Research gathered from the 2016 review found that, with acupuncture, the frequency of headaches were dropped by 50% or more in up to 59% of individuals, with effects lasting for six months or longer. According to another study on alternative medicine, those with frequent episodic or chronic tension-type headaches may gain the most value from acupuncture (either in addition to preventive medication or on its own).
Interested in the idea, but want a less, well, needle-y experience? Acupressure, a massage that applies pressure to certain spots on your body, can deliver similar effects, though it’s important to note that there’s less research behind it.
Supplements and vitamins
Most people know that there’s a connection between your diet and migraine, so it makes sense that taking certain supplements could suppress migraine symptoms or help alleviate head pain—especially if food is a trigger for you.
Dr. Crystal recommends several supplements that have demonstrated efficacy in migraine prevention and are generally well-tolerated and safe, including magnesium, CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10), boswellia, and riboflavin, as well as Cove’s unique combination supplements Beam, Super B, and Oasis.
When buying herbal supplements, it’s important to ensure that they are free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), which can be toxic and harmful. Choosing a product with a ‘PA-free’ label will help you steer clear of carcinogens and hepatotoxins.
Certain supplements can, unfortunately, have negative side effects for different individuals, so Dr. Crystal recommends talking to your doctor to see what, if any supplements might be a viable solution for you.
Aromatherapy and essential oils
Aromatherapy entails breathing in essential oils via a diffuser, or rubbing them into your skin, to invite relaxation and alleviate pain. While much of the success of aromatherapy is anecdotal, there is research that reinforces the benefits of particular essential oils and scents. One study suggests that inhaling lavender essential oil can be a safe and effective way to manage migraine headaches.
The American Migraine Foundation recommends using high-quality products such as lavender, peppermint, and tangerine essential oils for comforting and soothing purposes, but reminds individuals there is little to no proof of the effectiveness of aromatherapy to treat headaches.
If you do turn to aromatherapy for migraine relief, remember that pure essential oils (with the exception of lavender) should never be applied to your skin undiluted, as irritation and burning may occur—and if you have a horrible headache, the last thing you need is more pain.
In the ‘easier said than done’ category, one alternative treatment for migraine is finding ways to relieve stress. Perceived stress is one the most common migraine triggers, so finding ways to mitigate said tension, whether through relaxation techniques or other methods like talk therapy, can help reduce the frequency of attacks.
Several studies analyzing the effectiveness of relaxation training have found it to be effective in relieving both migraine and tension-type headaches. On average, 43% to 55% of individuals experienced a 50% decrease in headache frequency. Another study found that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), where a patient and therapist worked together to identify and mitigate personal headache-inducing situations, helped to reduce headache frequency in 40% to 50% of individuals.
To reduce the frequency of stress-related migraine attacks, The American Migraine Foundation recommends prioritizing what’s important in your life to prevent wasting time on non-essentials, staying active, making time for significant relationships, and getting enough sleep.
Since stress is such a common trigger, we wrote a whole guide to stress management for migraine sufferers. You can find it here.
What’s the best alternative treatment for you?
Finding the best alternative treatment for your migraine might require some trial-and-error, but if you’re aware of your triggers, it can be easier to sift through the above and figure out the best options for you. It’s important to remember that you can combine alternative treatments with prescription migraine medications and that you don’t have to choose between the two. And if all this information feels daunting, Dr. Crystal recommends talking to your doctor. Migraine is personal, so finding the right treatment plan isn’t always easy.
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.
Headache After Taking CBD? Can CBD Actually Give You A Headache Or Migraine?
Taking CBD and getting a headache can be frustrating, even though CBD is known to support relaxation, stress reduction, and headache relief — especially if you have a Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CED).
Wrong or high CBD doses can cause drowsiness headaches. Low-quality brands might have toxic ingredients leftover and without proper lab testing. CBD can interact with other drugs causing unwanted side effects. CBD might not be the direct headache cause. Identifying your correct dose.
- Use Our FREE CBD Dosage Calculator here to figure out how much CBD is in each drop of your specific CBD oil.
- Medterra is our favorite trusted CBD brand – view products here.
- The Raw Botanics is our second favorite CBD brand – view products here. makes it simple to understand that you’re taking 10mg of CBD per whole gummy.
Let’s take a look below and see if we can further identify other possible reasons why you might be experiencing headaches after taking CBD. General CBD Dosage Chart For Headaches. Start at the lowest recommended dose and slowly work your way up until you get the results you want.
Does CBD Actually Give Headaches As One Of The Side Effect?
Since everyone has unique body chemistry, there could be some people who react in a way that causes headaches or allergic reactions.
CBD is a cannabinoid that’s naturally found in the cannabis or hemp plant providing nutrients to the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS has a primary function is to regulate balance and homeostasis throughout the entire body.
While there are four basic types of headaches (migraine, tension, sinus, & cluster) there are up to several dozens of different types of headaches and various potential combinations of headaches
The actual cause of headaches might be a little more complex than taking a pure and clean high-quality CBD product from a trusted brand.
If you find yourself consistently getting headaches, directly after taking CBD, it might be several potential other possibilities.
- It’s a contaminated full-spectrum oil and contains the a higher amounts of psychoactive THC molecule than the label says — this is why it’s alway important to double check the lab test results on the Certificate Of Analysis (COA) for the CBD product your about to purchase an regularly use.
- It’s a purified CBD isolate and doesn’t have any other beneficial cannabinoid to trigger the entourage effect.
- You didn’t take enough of a quality CBD oil brand – find the best dosage that work for you by calculating how much CBD is in each drop of CBD here and slowly increasing your dose until you achieve the desired results.
- You took too much of a quality or low quality brand.
- The low quality method the CBD oil was extracted might still contain impurities or left over extraction solvent.
- You’re smoking CBD flower, vape cartridge, or eLiquid and the smoke (or nicotine) is triggering issues.
- CBD is interacting with your other medication you’re taking. Check CBD drug interactions here.
- You’re not drinking enough water after taking CBD and you’re moderately dehydrated.
- You might have an allergy to CBD.
- You’re taking a synthetic CBD.
- CBD wears off and you need to take more.
CBD and other cannabinoids typically don’t cause headaches, nor are headaches a verified side effect.
Although it’s rare, there are people who are allergic to CBD and other cannabinoids.
According to the journal of Cannabis And Cannabinoid Research, a cannabinoid deficiency can be associated with headaches that transform into migraines.
CBD safety and effects research doesn’t specifically list headaches as a side effect of CBD, however, hypertension or lightheadedness might contribute to the reason why you’re getting a headache after taking CBD.
When taking too much CBD during the daytime or at work, higher CBD doses can make you sleepy, thus triggering irritability or even anger.
Can CBD Make Headache Worse?
When taken at the correct dose, CBD is supposed to make headaches better.
Calculate your CBD dosage here.
However, some reports suggest when you take too much CBD, some unpleasant side effects can crop up and potentially cause what appears to be a headache.
After consuming a large dosage of CBD, another set of effects are triggered into action.
Due to the biphasic nature of CBD, at a lower dose, you can expect to have CBD wake you up and smooth out your day.
Whereas, when you take a higher dose, CBD produces more sedative effects.
If you’re taking a larger dose at the beginning of your day, you might not necessarily be experiencing a “headache” so much as you might be experiencing the sedative effects.
Feeling excessively sleeping at the beginning of the day, and then attempting to function at a high level, can cause stress and tension — when you actually are wanting to just roll over and go to sleep.
There is definitely some pain/stress in forcing yourself to stay awake when every part of you is just wanting to lay your head down and go to sleep.
Are Headaches A Side Effect Of CBD?
Depending on the dose, CBD can have seemingly opposite effects.
At lower doses, you typically experience wakefulness and with higher doses you usually experience sleepiness.
- Weight change
- Appetite change
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
- Light headedness
By finding the proper dosage that works for you is the best way to avoid unwanted side effects.
Can You Get A Headache When CBD Wears Off?
Depending on the type of headache you have, when CBD wears off, you might still have the original headache.
If you took CBD to get rid of your initial headache, and your headache came back after CBD wore off, you might need to consume more.
Before taking more CBD, it’s best you take care of the other fundamentals condusive to a healthy body and mind.
To take care of you headache, drink lots of water and continue fine tuning what CBD dosage works best for you.
Can you get a CBD withdrawal headache?
While the research below reports there’s no physical dependence issues with CBD, it’s likely you wont experience headaches from CBD withdrawal.
Although addiction and dependence can have a psychological aspect to it, there’s a possibility you can experience discomfort in transitioning away from using CBD on a regular basis.
According to Harvard and the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD in humans has no signs of abuse or dependence.
In numerous controlled and open trials, CBD is shown to have an general tolerance with a high safety profile.
Results of controlled human CBD studies doesn’t report any potential physical dependence or subsequent effects of dependence.
At this time, there are no reports of CBD abuse or dependence while using pure CBD.
There are also no reports of a public health problem associated with CBD use.
How long does CBD withdrawal last?
Whole plant cannabis withdrawal symptoms can last up to 30 days or more.
Typically, when consuming whole plant cannabis, symptoms can start showing up within 24 hours and can last for about a two week.
Since there are no reports of abuse or dependence on pure CBD alone, if you’re smoking a cannabis hemp CBD flower, you may be exposed to different chemicals that might cause withdrawal symptoms.
According to the Journal Of The American Medical Association (JAMA), cannabinoid withdrawal start developing within seven days.
- Sleep disturbance
- Appetite disturbance
- Weight disturbance
- Somatic symptoms
- Abdominal pain
Although the JAMA doesn’t specifically call out CBD, they study is based on cannabinoids.
If you have at least two of the above listed symptoms, you may have Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD).
Do you need to wean off CBD oil?
Since CBD by itself isn’t reported to have abuse of physical dependence issues, you most likely do not have to wean yourself off.
Due to there being no dependence issues, you can either choose to wean yourself off slowly or stop cold turkey.
By weaning yourself off of CBD, you might be able to observe yourself to see exactly how much CBD has been helping you.
Stopping CBD oil cold turkey, is it safe?
Due to CBD studies reporting no abuse or physical dependence, stopping CBD oil cold turkey should be relatively safe.
If you’ve gotten use to taking CBD regularly for different issues, stopping cold turkey might bring back certain issues you started taking CBD oil for in the first place.
Can any types of CBD give you a headache?
CBD is available to consume in several different methods, with each method of consumption producing different potential reasons for causing a headache.
CBD isolate headache
If CBD isolate is giving you a headache, see the list of ingredients to verify it’s not something else giving you a headache.
Try consuming a broadspectrum CBD oil that has other cannabinoids to help improve the effect of the various cannabinoids — via the entourage effect.
The entourage effect is when a variety of cannabinoids work together to make each function better and more efficiently.
CBD vape pen gives me a headache
Consuming CBD from a vape pen can has several other potential ingredients and base carrier oils.
If you’re CBD vape is giving you a headache, try a different brand that uses a different extraction method.
You can also request a recent lab report to verify there’s no other extra ingredients or toxins that might be causing your headache — such as pesticides, heavy metals, etc.
CBD flower gives me a headache
Smoking CBD flower will still have some THC in it, plus smoke from combusting dried plant matter.
Different strains of hemp/cannabis CBD flower will have different spectrums of cannabinoids.
If you’re experiencing headaches from smoking CBD flower, try smoking less, vaporizing the flower, trying a different strain, or consuming CBD in a different form.
CBD tincture gives me a headache
When people get headaches from taking a CBD tincture, the usual reason is because they’re initally taking too much.
Try lowering your dose significantly until you can find the proper balance that works best for you throughout the day.