A migraine is a persistent headache that ranges from moderate to severe pain. It is a common condition for which there are many causes, or triggers. Some people are prone to getting migraines on a regular basis, where as other may just have a migraine occasionally.
Migraines differ from other types of headache in that they tend to feel worse on one side of the head, they last longer and often have a range of accompanying symptoms. This may include:
- feeling nauseous
- sensitive to bright light and sounds
- feeling dizzy
- visual issues such as seeing lights, flashes or spots
- numbness in the hands, arms or face
There are several types of migraine:
- Cluster migraines – where pain is felt to one side of the head and around the eye. The pain often cycles and repeats. This means that a person may experience short but painful headaches, followed by pain-free periods.
- Ocular migraines – these involve disturbances in vision and may include temporary blindness and flashing lights, usually only in one eye. This may occur with or without the pain of a headache. Vision returns to normal after.
- Aura migraines – not to be confused with ocular migraines, an aura migraine is where flashing lights are seen before onset.
- Migraine without aura – a migraine that develops with no warning signs.
- Silent migraines – where aura and other symptoms are experienced, but a headache does not develop.
While some people have migraines occasionally, others suffer with regular, chronic migraines that may come and go for a few days or weeks. A single migraine may last for a few hours, to a few days.
When someone has a migraine, there are temporary changes to the nerves, blood vessels and chemicals in the brain. It is not yet fully understood why this happens, but it is often caused by triggers such as eating some kinds of foods, undergoing stress or strong emotions, lack of sleep, hormonal changes, and the environment. There may also be a genetic link to migraines, in that those who have other family members who experience them are more likely to do so themselves.
Traditional Treatment Options for Migraines
There is no cure for migraines, and treatment typically involves managing the pain until the migraine runs its course. Over-the-counter pain relief medications are often the first treatment to help ease the pain of the headache. If regular painkillers do not work, stronger medications can be prescribed by a doctor. For those with chronic migraines, it can be a worry to continually need pain relief, as over time they can damage the body, have their own side-effects, and sometimes create a dependency. Over-use of painkillers can also make migraines worse.
Other methods to ease the pain of a migraine is to lay down in a dark, quiet room. Sometimes eating something and staying hydrated can help reduce the symptoms.
Recording what the possible triggers may be every time a person has a migraine, such as noting down what they have eaten or drank, what activities they were doing, whether their stress levels were elevated etc., can be effective in managing migraines. This helps people understand the potential reasons why their migraine began, allowing them avoid those triggers.
Other alternative options to reduce migraine symptoms are complimentary therapies such as acupuncture and health supplements such as CBD oil.
CBD Oil for Migraines
CBD is a cannabinoid extracted from hemp sativa plants. Hemp, along with marijuana, are both strains of cannabis, however they are very different in their chemical composition. Hemp is often associated with marijuana use, but the two plants are very different. Marijuana contains high levels of the chemical THC, which makes people feel high. Hemp, on the other hand, is rich in cannabinoids such as CBD and has only trace amounts of THC. The World Health Organisation has stated the CBD oil is safe to use, even at high doses, and more research is being done into its health benefits.
There is no cure for migraines, but early research into CBD and migraines shows promise. CBD oil is effective in treating lots of associated symptoms and is a useful supplement to reduce both frequency and severity of migraines.
A natural and powerful pain reliever, CBD oil helps reduce the pain of headaches. An article in Headache Journal1 says, “there is accumulating evidence for various therapeutic benefits of cannabis/cannabinoids, especially in the treatment of pain, which may also apply to the treatment of migraine and headache.” In addition, by using hemp oil for migraines there may be less reliance on pain medications, which can bring their own detrimental side-effects over time.
The relaxing effects of CBD oil may be useful is controlling some migraines triggers. Tensions in the muscles, particularly the neck, can be a migraine trigger. CBD helps to relax muscles and soothe pain, reducing the chances of migraines developing.
Migraines that are caused by stress, tension and anxiety may be prevented or lessened if a person uses CBD oil to help reduce those feelings. In this study2, CBD is shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety, and therefore may help stress induced migraines.
CBD oil for migraines is beneficial in that cannabinoids have also been shown to be useful in managing nausea and vomiting, which can be other symptoms of migraine.
As with any supplement or medication, accurate dosing brings the best therapeutic results. The best CBD dosage for migraines will depend on many factors. No two people are exactly alike, so that is why one CBD dose will work for one person, but not be effective for another. The best way to find the CBD dosage you need it to use the CBD dosage calculator. By inputting a few details about your weight, height and other physical factors, you can get a CBD dosage that is personalised for you.
There is growing evidence on the beneficial effects of CBD oil for migraines and headaches, and it is an appealing option for those who rely on pain relief medications. For those who suffer with chronic migraines, having a natural alternative such as CBD oil not only helps to reduce the severity of pain, tension and nausea, but it also allows the body time to detox from use of pain medications.
What you need to know about CBD oil, migraines and its treatment
A migraine is a headache that is long-lasting. Pain is usually felt to one side of the head and around an eye. Nausea, vomiting and dizziness may also be symptoms. Before a migraine begins, may people experience auras, which are disturbances in vision such as flashing lights or dots. There may be many reasons why a migraine is triggered, such as food intolerances, hormonal changes, the environment, and stress.
A migraine can last from around four hours to a few days. Longer lasting migraines may be more prevalent in those who have ongoing stress and anxiety, as things like food triggers are fast to leave the system.
CBD oil is beneficial for treating the symptoms of migraine. It is effective pain-reliever, it reduces tension and anxiety, and relieves nausea and vomiting.
The best CBD dosage for migraines will depend on the individual, as factors like weight, height, age and more should be considered. Our CBD oil calculator provides you with a personalised CBD dose in just a few minutes, so you can get started using CBD to relieve migraines and benefit health.