How CBD Oil Can Stop Migraines and Headaches

CBD oil for migraines and headaches is increasingly becoming a popular and effective treatment for people who live with debilitating headaches.

How does it work? Is it right for you?

What is a Migraine?

A migraine is an intense form of headache and it affects a specific spot on the head / face. The pain is usually severely crippling and you are left non-functional. Imagine having to leave work / family on a regular basis and sleeping half a day extra just to knock a headache back? Alongside nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sounds. That does not sound fun at all.

The reality is about 10% of New Zealander’s get migraines! And women are three times more likely.

Migraines are often onset by triggers, including stress, insomnia, hormonal changes, bright or flashing light, even certain smells – it depends on the person. One-third of chronic migraine sufferers can predict when a migraine is coming because they see an “aura.” Also unique to the individual, these “auras” can appear as flashing lights, zig-zag lines, or temporary loss of vision.

How is the Endocannbinoid System Involved?

Cannabis use dates back thousands of years to treat various ailments. As a matter of fact, Chinese history makes the first mention of marijuana in 2900BC when Emperor Fu Shi and emperor Shennong documented it’s healing properties for malaria, gout and rheumatism. Cannabis is one of the “50 fundamental herbs” in Chinese medicine and used to treat multiple disorders.

It works, as you may well know, on the endocannabinoid system present in the body.

 
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CBD Oil for migraines

This endocannabinoid system is a multi organ system and responsible for many functions in your body, from pain to appetite. As I have talked about previously, many organ systems in the body contain receptors for cannabinoid chemicals and your body makes it own version of it.

You may be thinking: do migraine sufferers maybe have an imbalance in their body such that it makes them more predisposed to getting them? Maybe.

A 2007 study showed that those who have migraines had a below average level of Anandamide, a type of cannabinoid chemical your body makes naturally. This may be why so many people find relief in using cannabis.

Another study done in Colorado in 2016 had similar results. This study found that regular cannabis use reduced the frequency of migraines from 10.4 headaches each month to only 4.6. What’s more interesting, 11.6 percent of participants reported regular cannabis use stopped their migraines completely.

Dr Ethan Russo, both a neurologist and cannabinoid researcher, has combined years of expertise and research to come up with the “Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency” theory and idea.

It is exactly what it sounds: a deficiency in your body’s own endocannabinoid system may be responsible for many “unexplained” diagnoses, such as migraines, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome.

CBD for Migraines: How Does it Work?

The deficiency I mentioned above is what may make CBD helpful for migraines. If your body is not producing enough of it, why not supplement your endocannabinoid system with an extra boost of CBD to help you? That’s the idea. I suggest you can try a small dose of CBD during your daily routine. This is easiest done by taking it as a capsule or in the form of oil drops.

What sort of results are other people getting? Well, a 2015 survey by Care By Design surveyed medical marijuana patients and their results showed that in 100% of cases, CBD decreased pain!

All patients (100%) with headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and spinal cord injury reported a decrease in pain or discomfort

What about the medications I am on already?

If you get recurrent headaches, you should talk to your doctor about starting preventative medications. However, this is not a decision to take lightly. Let me tell you why.

Let’s look at a commonly used medication, amitriptyline. This medicine is also used as an anti-depressant and for chronic nerve type pain in general. Does it work? Yes. Does it have side effects? Yes. The image below is pulled directly from the New Zealand Formulary:

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That’s a long list of potential side effects.

Let’s have a look at another commonly used migraine preventing medicine: propranolol. This is what is called a beta blocker. It works by binding to beta receptors in your body and is used in those who have had heart attacks and heart problems in the past. Again, look below to see the list of side effects:

Propranolol side effects.jpg

Why do we as a society place more taboo on using a plant based supplement, CBD, compared to taking such strong medications with so many side effects? There is no convincing answer to this! CBD has been shown to be well tolerated with few potential side effects. It is non-addictive and has no potential for abuse. If CBD oil could help with preventing migraines, it presents itself as an excellent option instead of having to take daily conventional medications.

How To Get CBD Oil in NZ

CBD is a prescription-only medicine in NZ. We encourage you to speak to your GP about using CBD, and here at the Cannabis Clinic we welcome new patients who wish to consult with us about using CBD. Please contact us here to see whether CBD is right for you.

Friendly Reminder: The above article is not a substitute for medical advice from a health care professional and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your doctor or other qualified health care professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard medical advice or postpone consultation with your health care professional because of information that you have read on this website.