How CBD Can Help Treat Your Migraines

Unlike headaches, migraines can be hard to treat. The common consensus is usually to lie in a dark room with an ice pack as your only companion. Still, even then, that's not guaranteed to work. Everybody reacts differently to the variety of remedies used to treat migraines — especially since this type of headache is categorized into two types — a "classical migraine," where you experience the sensation of an aura before it comes on, and the "common migraine" which doesn't produce that symptom, according to Web MD.

In recent years, one solution has quickly become a popular remedy for all types of aches, pains, and other disorders (via the New York Times) — including migraines. Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, has become a mainstream hit for those struggling to find treatment for medical issues that usual over-the-counter pain relief can't seem to touch. And yes, that does include migraines, according to research conducted by the American Migraine Foundation.

CBD is a relatively new treatment for migraines

Before jumping into how CBD can help treat your migraine, let's get one thing straight — this remedy won't get you high. Obviously, it's one of many chemical compounds found in cannabis. But unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD lacks the psychoactive components that cause a euphoric feeling when taken. Instead, it's believed that CBD "interacts with receptors in the nervous system" rather than the brain, per Edward-Elmhurst Health, which in turn can result in relief from chronic pain caused by various ailments, including migraines.

As it's a relatively new treatment for migraines, little research has been done to determine the exact benefits CBD oil can have to treating the source within your head. But it can have a beneficial effect on other painful symptoms associated with a migraine. "If you have a lot of neck pain and soreness, it is perfectly reasonable to use CBD oil," Dr. Stephen Silberstein, director of Philadelphia's Headache Center at Jefferson University Hospital, told the American Migraine Foundation. "It may even prevent nausea and vomiting."

One study found that CBD can reduce migraine pain significantly

But as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve any pain relief treatments derived from cannabis (via Medical News Today), the reported benefits of CBD oil for migraine treatment are still up for debate. This is especially pertinent in terms of dosage, as the amount of CBD oil needed to treat a migraine is still unclear. However, there have been studies to determine this, as Healthline notes, with one such study conducted in 2017 by the 23d Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) finding that a 200mg dose of a compound containing 9% of CBD oil and "virtually no THC" reduced pain by 55% in participants with chronic migraines (via the European Medical Journal).

While that may seem promising if you suffer from migraines and are looking for treatment, you should first get in touch with your healthcare provider before conducting your own research. More often than not, migraines can be treated by figuring out what triggers them in the first place, as well as medications that are FDA-approved to combat the pain experienced before, during, and after an episode, as Medical News Today notes.