The Migraine Research Foundation estimates that approximately one billion people around the world are affected by migraines.1 A migraine tends to be worse than your typical headache, and can be triggered by many different factors. Some people find stress or anxiety can lead to migraines, whereas for others they are caused by a lack of sleep or poor diet. CBD can potentially help ease these triggers, due to its calming properties and ability to improve sleep and stress levels. Migraines are extremely painful and can also lead to dizziness, nausea and sensitivity to sound and light. Most people use strong painkillers to try and relieve their symptoms but these can be expensive and often have unpleasant side effects. As a result, many are turning to more natural remedies to treat their migraines, and in recent years, CBD has emerged as such a treatment.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive, natural derivative of the hemp plant. There has been an increasing volume of research in recent years to try and understand if CBD can help with migraines. Unlike THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis which produces a ‘high’, CBD is legal to use in the UK, and does not produce any of the psychoactive side effects that cannabis users experience.
Does CBD have any Side Effects?
CBD is a plant-based product and that helps reduce its side effects. The most common side effects of CBD are a dry mouth and a change in appetite. These are generally mild and pass in a few days. Painkillers tend to have many more side effects. Some people report having a mild upset stomach after taking CBD but this is normally due to the way they take CBD. If you take CBD oil, there is another carrier oil present to dilute it, typically sunflower or coconut oil, and this is what can cause an upset stomach.
At Mee CBD, our products are not sold in oil. They are water soluble. This means you can just add a sachet or a few drops to a glass of water and you don’t have to take anything else to experience the benefits of CBD. Another benefit of water soluble CBD is that your body is able to absorb much more CBD into your bloodstream compared with taking CBD oil.
How does CBD help migraines?
Researchers think that CBD may effectively relieve migraines because of its ability to reduce pain. This is because CBD interacts with cannabinoids in the human body, found in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is closely connected to our central nervous system. When CBD enters the bloodstream, it attaches to receptors in the brain, including the CB2 receptor. This receptor is responsible for managing pain and inflammation. CBD works to regulate this receptor and reduce the amount of pain you feel, providing a natural anti-inflammatory to the brain. A 2016 study found that painful conditions, such as migraines, could be caused by a deficiency in endocannabinoids.2 Taking CBD can help the ECS system function as it should, returning the body back to its natural biological balance, or homeostasis.
Axon Relief conducted a study where people who experience migraines took CBD oil for 30 days. At the end of the trial, 86% of the people taking part reported that their headaches had decreased. They reported an average of 3.8 fewer headache days compared to before they started taking CBD. Those who suffer from chronic migraines – defined as experiencing 15-29 headache days in 30 days – reported a 33% reduction in their headache days.3 This study provides promising evidence of the positive effects CBD may have on migraine sufferers, highlighting that further research needs to take place to continue to understand the medical benefits of CBD.
Migraines are very unpleasant and can often affect daily life for regular sufferers. Finding a natural way to manage migraines to let you get on with your life is very important. If you’re taking any prescription medication for your migraines, it’s important to consult your doctor before you start taking CBD. Taking a regular dose of CBD offers a natural alternative to opioids or strong painkillers without making you feel drowsy, and can easily be incorporated into daily life as a plant-based supplement to keep you in good health.
Summary: CBD and Migraines
The evidence for CBD’s help with migraine relief is very positive. Scientific studies demonstrate the effectiveness of CBD in clinical trials. More research will enable scientists to make definite conclusions about CBD and migraines. The lack of side effects of CBD means that it can be taken every day as a plant-based supplement to prevent migraines and other pain related issues to keep you feeling your best.