With the rapid rise of medicinal uses regarding cannabidiol, we thought it necessary to highlight the broad range of benefits; especially regarding using CBD oil for migraines. With over 6 million in the UK and approx. 36 million in the US suffering from migraines, these treatments couldn’t come sooner. Generally, most conventional treatments rely on over the counter medicines such as Excedrin. Use of these medications clearly work, however can come with unwanted side-affects and dependencies. Furthermore, although safe when taken irregularly, they can still cause kidney damage, ulcers and even heart attacks from chronic use.
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What causes migraines?
Whilst exact causes of migraines remains unknown, they’re suspected as the result of temporary changes in chemicals, blood vessels & nerves in the brain. Furthermore, studies show that approx. half of all people experiencing migraines have close relatives with the condition; implying that genes could play a role. Those suffering from this ailment may find certain triggers are associated with attacks, which includes:
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Those who suspect specific triggers of causing migraines, such as stress or food; we recommend avoiding these to aid in reducing your risk of experiencing an attack. Also, it may help to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including general fitness, regular exercise, sleep and balanced meals; alongside limiting your intake of coffee and alcohol. If you avoid these triggers and are still suffering, we recommend contacting your doctor for possible treatments. Typically, medicines such as topiramate (anti-seizure) and propranolol (high blood pressure) are used to prevent future attacks. Lastly, medical professionals state that it may still take several weeks before these symptoms undergo improvement.
Typically, doctors will prescribe over-the-counter medicines such as triptans, a class of drugs like Imitrex or Treximet. Whilst these drugs do work, they can still cause adverse side-affects and dependencies. For example, Excedrin is a mixture of acetaminophen, caffeine and aspirin. Whilst safe when taken sporadically, they do cause kidney damage, ulcers and even heart attacks after heavy sustained usage. Furthermore, these triptans (Imitrex/Treximet) can cause dizziness, nausea, chest tightness and/or extreme drowsiness. However, these drugs are still very effective, working through increasing seratonin levels and constricting blood vessels located in the brain.
Mild opioids like morphine and Oxycontin are also commonly prescribed for those suffering from acute migraines. These opioids also come with some shocking side effects. Since 1999, opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled, with medicines such as Migranal & Ergomar proven to promote strokes, heart attacks and even toxicosis. Furthermore, pregnant women taking these medications are also under risk of their child suffering from birth defects.
Preventative treatment options also remain an option, featuring drugs such as verapmil (calcium channel blocker), anticonvulsants and amitriptyline (antidepressant); all working to calm overactive nerves in the brain. Whilst safer than opioids, these preventative treatments also come with their own set of side effects; ranging from low blood pressure and nuesea to increased weight. Instead of these potentially harmful drugs, using CBD oil for migraines offers a much safer and less intrusive solution. Of course, these treatments affect everyone differently and may not result in such effective results as medicines; however they do cut out potentially negative side-effects caused by conventional drugs.
Evidence & Benefits of CBD Oil for Migraines
Our body contains cannabiniod receptors, of which they would normally interact with naturally occuring endocannabinoids to influence pain sensation, memory, immune response, appetite and more. In the event of an endocannabinoid deficiency, these receptors will be unable to carry out chemical pathways required for healthy bodily function. The addition of CBD oils have resulted in an excellent supplement for endocannabinoid deficiency. This deficiency can affect a particular region in the brain and has been linked to causing migraines in certain cases. Whilst very little data is available regarding the effectiveness of using CBD oil for migraines, we were able to find a some studies and articles highlighting its uses.
For example, Forbes published an article regarding a recent study from the European Academy of Neurology; showing that active compounds in cannabidiol are more effective when reducing acute migraine pain, as opposed to prescription medicines. Furthermore, using CBD oil for migraines results in far fewer side affects than conventional medicines, such as amitriptyline or verapamil; both of which often incur dizziness, nausea and dependency issues. A number of studies and research further attests these claims, showing remarkably similar results, based from testing on 121 adults recommended migraine treatment or prophylaxis by a physician. A daily dosage of CBD oil for migraines has proven to decrease the frequency of attacks per month down from 10.4 to 4.6.
Recent studies from 2018 further suggest the benefits of using CBD oil for migraines; citing that due to their anti-convulsive, analgesic, anti-emetic, and anti-inflammatory effects, they “present a promising class of compounds for both acute and prophylactic treatment of migraine pain.” Whilst these studies certainly show promise for cannabidiol as a viable medicine, these publications remain few and far between; requiring many more studies for cannabidiol to become a first-choice treatment option.
Whilst studies show clear benefits in using CBD oil for migraines, for both treatment and prevention; very few studies remain public, with limited data to conclude from. Furthermore, these treatments affect everyone differently; therefore, we always recommend visiting your doctor and ensuring these treatments are right for you. We also recommend checking over your local laws & regulations to ensure these treatments are legal in your region. Lastly, feel free to check out the rest of our CBD reviews for more information & benefits. As always, thanks for reading, we hope we were able to answer all your questions regarding using CBD oil for migraines.