Migraines are an intense form of reoccurring headache often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines are very common, impacting more than 39 million people in the United States and 1 billion worldwide.55 The most common treatments for migraines are pharmaceutical drugs like triptans, ergots, opioids, betablockers, and antidepressants. As you’re probably aware, these frequently prescribed medications can cause dependency and often result in moderate to severe side effects. It’s important to understand that pharmaceutical drugs are not your only option for dealing with migraines.
In addition to self-care (lifestyle choices), you can incorporate CBD into your treatment regimen for plant-based, natural migraine headache relief.
Not convinced? We’ll show you the evidence from several medical studies conducted over the past two years. These studies evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from various types of headaches—including migraines.
A 2016 study evaluated the efficacy of medical marijuana in treating migraine headaches in 121 adults. The study concluded migraine headache frequency decreased from 10.4 to 4.6 headaches per month with the use of medical marijuana. Most patients used more than one form of marijuana and used it daily for prevention of migraine headache. Positive effects were reported in 48 patients (39.7%), with the most common effects reported being prevention of migraine headache with decreased frequency of migraine headache and aborted migraine headache.
In 2017, the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology reported that the active compounds in cannabis (THC & CBD) are more effective at reducing the frequency of acute migraine headaches than prescription drugs, and cause fewer side effects. The study found that sufferers of chronic migraines given a 200mg dose of a THC/CBD blend each day for three months experienced 55% less pain.
The second part of the study looked at those suffering from chronic acute migraines and those suffering from cluster headaches. Participants were given either the THC/CBD blend or a pharmacetical—antidepressants for migraines and calcium channel blockers for cluster headaches. The study concluded that THC/CBD was better at reducing the frequency of migraine attacks relative to the pharmaceutical alternative. The study also found that the THC/CBD blend resulted in fewer side effects than the pharmaceutical alternative—less stomach aches and muscle pains.
A 2018 study summarized that Cannabinoids – due to their anticonvulsive, analgesic, antiemetic, and anti-inflammatory effects – present a promising class of compounds for both acute and prophylactic treatment of migraine pain.
Interestingly enough, from 1839 to 1937, cannabis was one of the most commonly used migraine remedies advised by physicians.
As indicated by the studies analyzed above, CBD is effective as both a preventative and treatment option for those suffering from migraine headaches.
Migraine Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine/migraine-facts/
Rhyne, D. N., Anderson, S. L., Gedde, M., & Borgelt, L. M. (2016, May). Effects of Medical Marijuana on Migraine Headache Frequency in an Adult Population. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26749285
3rd EAN Congress Amsterdam 2017, Abstract Nicolodi, et al. Therapeutic Use of Cannabinoids – Dose Finding, Effects and Pilot Data of Effects in Chronic Migraine and Cluster Headache. Retrieved from https://www.ean.org/amsterdam2017/fileadmin/user_upload/E-EAN_2017_-_Cannabinoids_in_migraine_-_FINAL.pdf
Leimuranta, P., Khiroug, L., & Giniatullin, R. (2018, April). Emerging Role of (Endo)Cannabinoids in Migraine. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5928495/
Lochte, B. C., Beletsky, A., Samuel, N. K., & Grant, I. (2017, April). The Use of Cannabis for Headache Disorders. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5436334/