Manage Your Migraines with CBD Oil.

If you suffer from migraines, you’ll know exactly how debilitating the condition can be. In recent years CBD oil and medicinal cannabis products have become one possible form of treatment for the condition. Here’s what you need to know about using cannabis oil for migraines.

What are migraines?

There are many misconceptions about migraines. The most common myth is that a migraine is just a bad headache. In fact, migraines can have a devastating effect on those who suffer from them regularly. In New Zealand, around 10% of people are affected by migraines, with women three times more susceptible than men.

Migraines usually appear with intense, throbbing pain, often on one side of the head. This pain and pulsing sensation is a lot worse than a normal headache and is usually accompanied by some other nasty symptoms, including nausea, vomiting and also severe sensitivity to light and sound.

While some people experience warning signs, such as flashes of light, problems with vision or a tingling sensation, the effects can still be quite extreme. Most people who suffer from migraines are left feeling completely wiped out, unable to work or do much of anything at all. A common reaction is to isolate yourself, away from light and sound, and your body feels completely drained of energy for the entire day.

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How does cannabis work for migraines?

Manage Your Migraines with CBD Oil

What many people don’t know is that the body already has its own endocannabinoid system that helps to keep our bodies healthy and in balance. This system is made up of three main components:

These are chemicals produced by the human body, helping to regulate certain processes such as pain, memory, immunity, mood and much more.

Commonly known as CB1 and CB2 receptors, these receptors are found on the surface of cells, and bond with the endocannabinoids your body produces.

Once the endocannabinoids have done their job, the enzymes help to break them down and clear them from our body.

The endocannabinoids in our body share many structural similarities to the cannabinoids found in cannabis. This is why properly regulated, carefully researched cannabis products can have medicinal qualities.

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Treating Migraines with CBD – What Does the Research Say?

Many studies have found that the endocannabinoid system in the human body interacts with several processes that contribute to migraines. Let’s take a look at some of the studies in this area.

  • Studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system can reduce the release of serotonin by platelets in the blood. The study also found that migraine sufferers had low levels of anandamide in their system.
  • Two additional studies have linked the endocannabinoid system with the trigeminovascular system, a part of the brain that is widely known to play a role in migraines. Endocannabinoids help to regulate this system through the CB1 receptors. Because anandamide can inhibit trigeminal neurons, it was determined that endocannabinoids can prevent migraines.
  • Another study in 2015 conducted on mice with migraine-like headaches, found that the FAAH enzyme in the body can break down anandamide, and as a result, put the body more at risk of migraines. By removing the FAAH enzyme that attacks anandamide, migraine pain was almost completely relieved.

Ultimately, much of the research in this area has led scientists to believe that a dysfunctional endocannabinoid system may be the root cause of migraines. Essentially, the theory proposed by Dr. Ethan B. Russo suggests that increasing endocannabinoid levels in the body may help with a range of conditions such as migraines, fibromyalgia and inflammatory bowel syndrome.

What Dose of CBD Oil is Effective for Migraines?

The dosage is important and it will vary for everybody. That’s why consultation with an experienced doctor is recommended, to ensure you start with lower dosages to check not only the effectiveness but also your tolerance to the products. Start low and glow slow is the best way to increase your CBD dosing.

For CBD oil to be effective in preventing migraines or lessening their severity, it needs to be taken daily, and in some cases, multiple times per day. Your dosing regimen should be decided by you and your doctor, when formulating your presonalised treatment plan.

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Manage Your Migraines with CBD Oil

Want to try CBD for migraines?

Our doctors can prescribe a wide range of medicinal CBD products (if suitable), and we’d love consult with you regarding your health requirements. 

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Questions about Medical Cannabis? Look here.

Manage Your Migraines with CBD Oil

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees. CBD oil is a great natural plant-based treatment that can provide relief for many conditions. Much of the research conducted in this area has involved pre-clinical trials. However, our own real-world experience suggests migraine sufferers can experience varying levels of relief.

There are possible side effects of using cannabis-based THC products, however, when compared to other types of treatment for migraines such as amitriptyline and propranolol, the effects are relatively mild. Unfortunately, there is always a risk of side effects with any type of medication, however being a plant-based supplement, the possible adverse effects are usually far less severe than many medicines. Please talk to you doctor about possible side-effects during your consult.

The important thing to remember about medicinal cannabis is that it can take a while to find the right products for your condition. With so many varieties out there, all with different THC, CBD levels and terpenes, the research is ongoing into what levels work best for which medical conditions. This is why you’ll likely want to consult with your doctor before trying CBD oil or other medicinal cannabis products.

Most recent studies suggest that cannabis products with high THC and low CBD levels are more effective for dealing with migraines. But a lot depends on the terpenes found in the cannabis products you choose. Dr. Russo has suggested that BCP and pinene are potential terpenes that could assist with migraines, mainly due to their anti-inflammatory properties.

When using THC products, the dosage is extremely important. Everyone reacts differently, however, the general consensus is that 2.5mg THC is a threshold dose for those who are just starting with medicinal cannabis. 5mg is a moderate dose and 10mg would be considered a high dose.

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