Chronic headaches and migraines are among the most common condition suffered by people the world over. Nearly an eighth of the world suffers from migraines on a regular basis. While research is still ongoing, evidence suggests that CBD for headaches can offer relief to the millions who suffer from headaches and migraines.
Not sure whether you should believe the hype you hear online? Here’s what scientific research has to say about CBD’s effectiveness at relieving your head pain.
What Causes Headaches and Migraines?
Headaches and migraines are common afflictions that all of us have to deal with at some point in our lives. The exact cause of your headache or migraine and what symptoms you experience depend on the type of headache in question. These are the most common causes:
Tension headaches are most often triggered by stress and muscular tension in your neck and jaw. When suffering this type of headache, you may experience pain and tenderness around the forehead, neck, scalp, or shoulder muscles. CBD, as a natural relaxant, might prove an excellent treatment for tension headaches.
Cluster headaches are a series of burning, piercing headaches that occur within a short, successive cluster. These can cause severe facial congestion and teary eyes on the side where the headache is centered.
Doctors aren’t sure of the exact cause of cluster headaches and prescribe a variety of painkillers to treat them. However, CBD oil could potentially provide more effective pain relief when the clusters strike.
Migraines are characterized by an intense, pulsing pain from deep inside the head. They can last for days, increase your sensitivity to noise and light, and limit your ability to move due to the pain. Migraines often run in family lines, though environmental factors can influence how often you get them.
While you should always examine your environment for potential triggers, you can take CBD for migraines to help improve your symptoms.
Secondary headaches are headaches caused by some other stimulus that must be treated to eliminate the headache. These often include sinus headaches, caffeine headaches, hormone-linked headaches, and headaches caused by blood clots. Headaches may even be caused by underlying mental health conditions like depression or anxiety.
If the underlying cause is not treated, taking medicine to relieve the pain won’t make it go away. However, you can seek temporary relief, such as CBD patches for anxiety, insomnia, and other conditions.
CBD for Headaches and Migraines: What Science Says
So, with the types of headache and migraine established, let’s take a closer look at what science has to say about CBD for headaches and migraines.
Studies dating as far back as 1985 proved CBD’s effectiveness in treating migraines. More recently, a 2016 study of over a hundred patients suffering from migraines and cluster headaches showed that fifty-five percent of those given a dose of CBD showed reduced pain and suffering.
Why CBD Works for Headaches and Migraines
CBD is able to help with headaches and migraines due to its ability to pass as an endocannabinoid. Endocannabinoids are chemicals that our body produces naturally that can help regulate mood, sleep, appetite, and memory. Since cannabis, and by extension, CBD mimics the molecular structure of these compounds, they can bind with the receptors.
This is why they’re so effective at treating migraines; they act in the same way as opiates and other painkillers, binding to the receptors of the endocannabinoid system while matching the structure of the body’s natural hormones. They can treat not only the pain, but nausea, inflammation, and convulsions caused by migraines.
This makes them unique among the hundreds of natural ways to relieve migraines, as they match the body’s own pain-controlling mechanisms without masking them.
What Types of CBD Are There?
There are many different types of CBD you can buy if you suffer from chronic headaches or migraines. However, determining the best CBD for headaches is a bit trickier. Here are some of the most effective types and delivery methods that currently exist on the market:
Full-spectrum CBD contains every aspect of the hemp plant. This also includes small doses of THC and terpenes, compounds otherwise only seen in full-blown marijuana. While the concentration is too small to give you the same high as marijuana, it could still cause a false positive on a drug test. The small amounts of THC, while not providing a high, can increase the relaxing effects of the CBD to provide faster headache relief.
Broad-spectrum CBD, like full-spectrum CBD, contains all aspects of the hemp plant. However, unlike full-spectrum, broad-spectrum has been processed so that any trace of THC has been removed. Since there is no THC remaining, broad-spectrum shouldn’t cause you to fail a drug test, but could still offer the same benefits as full-spectrum CBD.
CBD isolate, as the name would suggest, contains only CBD. The CBD has been isolated from any other aspects of its host plant, making it the purest form of the substance you can purchase. This would make it best suited for oil and droplet forms.
Methods of Delivery
You can take CBD for headaches in a wide variety of ways. Topical and sublingual oils are two of the most common means of delivery, and two of the fastest for pain relief. However, you can also take CBD in pill and gummy form, though these delivery methods will take longer to process through your system.
Let’s Review the Facts
People have seen the beneficial effects of CBD for headaches for many decades, even before it became the latest health craze. Because of CBD’s unique chemical structure that mimics the body’s natural endocannabinoids, it can bind with the receptors in a way that traditional painkillers cannot. This makes them uniquely suited to treat all symptoms of headache and migraine, rather than a select few.
However, if you’re still unconvinced, and would like to read more about the benefits of CBD for migraines and headaches, check out our blog. We update daily with more of the latest and greatest health news.