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If you get migraines you know the intensity of migraine attacks. Migraines go beyond the typical stress or sinus pressure headaches. It’s generally understood in the migraine community, that the only cure for your migraine pain is a dark, silent room, with the hope that you’ll be able to fall asleep long enough for the pain to subside. Migraines can last anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days and require a complete halt in your daily activities. Besides that dark and quiet room, there is a lack of actual treatments for migraine headaches, and all current pharmaceutical solutions come with their own lists of possible side effects.
Research on the use of CBD for migraine pain is limited. Existing studies look at the combined effects of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a different cannabinoid. There are currently no published studies that examine the effects of CBD as a single ingredient on migraine. This limited research is due, in part, to regulations on CBD and obstacles with cannabis legalization. Still, some laboratory studies have suggested that CBD oil may help all forms of chronic and acute pain, including migraine.
For migraine sufferers you’ll likely want to explore vaping or orally taking CBD. Vaping could be a great way to access migraine relief on the go/vaping allows CBD to enter the bloodstream faster than other methods. Vaping does however come with it’s own stigmas and risks associated with inhalation. Vaping is not recommended for people with asthma or other lung conditions.
Alternatively, taking CBD orally or sublingually for migraine relief offers the same benefits with a slightly longer timeframe for entering your bloodstream.
Orally: You would take this form of CBD in the same way that you would take a vitamin or daily medication, just wash it down with a nice glass of water. Or you could add some CBD oil to your food or drink and consume it that way, many of the oils developed now are virtually tasteless, so no worries there. The one downside to oral consumption of CBD is that it’s not as fast-acting as the other methods. Digesting CBD orally essentially means that the CBD’s pain relieving properties will kick in as soon as your body metabolizes it, which is different for everyone.
Under the Tongue (Sublingually): Administering CBD oil under the tongue is one of the quicker ways to experience relief. The active ingredients are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and will take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, nice and fast acting. Of course when dropping CBD oil under the tongue you will get a taste of the CBD oil, I don’t think it’s bad, but this is very much so personal preference.
For those considering oral consumption for migraine we recommend a sublingual tincture to start, one dropper at a time under the tongue until relieved. As far as figuring out what dosage works for you we advise that you start low, with 25 mg, and then increasing incrementally.
How does it work?
How does CBD fight pain, reduce inflammation, and combat discomfort? Well, the answer lies deep in the science behind what CBD is and how it interacts with your brain and body. As we have previously outlined, CBD works within your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), a cell signaling system that each and every one of us has. In your ECS lives your endocannabinoid receptors, said receptors are key actors in your brain function and immune system. Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells. They receive signals, mostly chemical ones, from different stimuli and help your cells respond. This response creates anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects that help with pain management. So, we know that CBD does play a role in pain relief, and, scientifically speaking, we know how.
Are there side effects when using CBD?
CBD is understood to be a remarkably safe alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals and over the counter medications. Though no serious or life threatening side effects have been found with using CBD there are some side effects to be aware of. The most common side effects of CBD include drowsiness, gastrointestinal issues, dry mouth, reduced appetite, nausea, and interaction with other medications.
Drowsiness: I’m hesitant to list drowsiness as a side effect of CBD because it is often a welcomed and desired effect. CBD has sedative qualities that are not only known to make for better, more restful sleep, but also to combat over stimulation and anxiety. The relaxing and sedating effects of CBD however, could get intense if combined with other sedative drugs. If you’re currently on other medication, make sure you ask your doctor if it’s okay to supplement with CBD.
Gastrointestinal Issues: Nausea and gastrointestinal issues are a pretty common side effect of CBD oil. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and other symptoms associated with a digestive problem (think how you would feel after eating something that disagreed with you). In part, some people simply don't digest CBD oil well. This is not uncommon with oils and supplements.
Dry Mouth / Reduced Appetite: Ironically, perhaps, for a cannabis product, CBD oil has been linked to loss of appetite in some people. (Again, think eating something new that your body didn’t agree with.) Along with dry mouth, a rather non-ironic effect of a cannabis product. CBD can simply leave you feeling unpleasant after ingesting. As with most other side effects, this will pass in time.
Again CBD poses no significant side effects, but does have a few mild ones. Mild side effects will pass with time. It is important to understand CBD as medicine when it comes to adding it to your regimen. That being said, be sure to consult your doctor if you have a pre-existing health condition or take other prescription or OTC medications regularly.