Migraine attacks go beyond the typical anxiety – or allergy-related headache. Migraine attacks last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours. The most mundane activities, like moving or being around noise and light, can amplify your symptoms.

While pain medicines can help temporarily alleviate symptoms of migraine attacks, you might be worried about their side effects. This is the area where cannabidiol (CBD) can arrive in.

CBD is one of many active compounds found in the cannabis plant. It has grown in popularity as a means to naturally treat specific medical problems.

Keep reading to find out:

  • What the current research says about using CBD for migraine
  • How it works
  • Potential side effects and more

What the research says about CBD

Research on using CBD for migraines is limited. Existing studies look at the combined effects of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another cannabinoid. There are no published studies that analyze the consequences of CBD as a single ingredient in migraines.

This limited study is due, in part, to regulations CBD and barriers with cannabis legalization. However, some laboratory studies have implied that CBD oil may help all forms of chronic and severe pain, such as hepatitis.

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Research on CBD and THC

In 2017, at the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN), a group of investigators presented the outcomes of the study on cannabinoids and migraine prevention.

In stage, one of their study, 48 individuals with chronic constipation obtained a blend of two chemicals. 1 compound comprised 19 percent THC, while the other included 9 percentage CBD and virtually no THC. The compounds were administered orally.

Doses under 100 milligrams (mg) had no effect. When doses were increased to 200 mg, acute pain has been reduced by 55 percent.

Phase II of this study looked at individuals with chronic migraine or cluster headaches. The 79 people with chronic migraine received a daily dose of 200 milligrams of this THC-CBD mix from phase I or 25 milligrams of amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant.

The 48 people with cluster headaches received a daily dose of 200 mg of this THC-CBD mix from phase I or 480 milligrams of verapamil, a calcium channel blocker.

The treatment period lasted for 3 months, and a follow-up occurred four weeks after therapy stopped.

The THC-CBD combination reduced migraine attacks by 40.4 percent, while amitriptyline led to some 40.1 percent decrease in migraine attacks. The THC-CBD mix also reduced the intensity of the pain by 43.5 percent.

Participants with cluster headaches just saw a small decline in the frequency and severity of their headaches.

But, some did see their pain intensity drop by 43.5 percent. This drop-in pain intensity was only observed in participants who’d had migraine strikes that started in youth.

The researchers concluded that cannabinoids were only effective against acute cluster headaches when a person had experienced migraine strikes as a child.

Other cannabis studies

Research on other forms of cannabis may offer extra hope for those seeking migraine pain relief.

Research on medical marijuana

In 2016, Pharmacotherapy released research on the use of medical marijuana for migraines. Researchers found that of the 48 people surveyed, 39.7 percent reported fewer migraine attacks entire.

Drowsiness was the biggest complaint, while others had trouble figuring out the ideal dose. People who employed edible marijuana, rather than inhaling it or using other forms, experienced the most side effects.

A 2018 research looked at 2,032 individuals with migraine, headache, arthritis, or chronic pain as a key symptom or illness. Most participants could replace their prescription medications — normally opioids or opiates — together with cannabis.

All of the subgroups favored hybrid strains of cannabis. Individuals in the migraine and headache subgroups preferred OG Shark, a hybrid strain with high levels of THC and reduced levels of CBD.

Study on nabilone

A 2012 Italian research explored the effects of nabilone, a synthetic form of THC, on headache ailments. Twenty-six individuals who underwent medication overuse headaches started by taking oral doses of .50 mg a day of nabilone or 400 milligrams a day of ibuprofen.

After taking one medication for eight months, the research participants went with no medication for one week. Then they switched to another medication for the last eight weeks.

Both medications were shown to succeed. However, at the close of the study, participants reported greater improvements and improved quality of life when shooting nabilone.

Employing nabilone resulted in less intense pain as well as reduced drug addiction. Neither drug had a substantial impact on the frequency of migraine attacks, which the researchers attributed to the brief duration of this study.

The Way CBD works

CBD works by interacting with the human body’s cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). Although the mechanisms are not fully understood, the receptors may impact the immune system.

By way of instance, CBD may prevent the body from metabolizing anandamide. The compound anandamide is associated with pain regulation. Maintaining high levels of anandamide in your bloodstream may reduce your feelings of pain.

CBD is also thought to restrict inflammation within the body, which might also help lessen pain and other immune-system responses.

More study is needed to further understand how CBD may impact the entire body.

How to Utilize CBD

Though lawmakers in the United States are currently debating the merits of cannabis and related goods, the plant’s medicinal uses are not a new discovery.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), cannabis has been used in alternative medicine for more than 3,000 years. Some of the uses include the management of:

  • Pain
  • Neurological symptoms
  • Infection

CBD oil can be:

  • Vaped
  • Ingested
  • Applied topically

Cosmetic CBD is less likely to cause side effects than vaping, so some beginners may want to begin there. You can:

  • Put a couple of drops of this oil under your tongue
  • Take CBD capsules
  • Drink or eat a CBD-infused treat

Vaping CBD oil may be beneficial if you’re experiencing a severe migraine at home and you don’t have to leave and go everywhere.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) clarifies that the inhalation procedure delivers the compounds to your bloodstream considerably quicker than other methods.

Currently, there aren’t any proper guidelines for appropriate dosing to get a migraine attack. Work with your physician to ascertain a proper dosage.

If you’re new to CBD oil, you should begin with the smallest dosage possible. You can gradually work your way around the dose that is recommended. This will allow your body to get accustomed to the oil and lower your chance of unwanted effects.

Potential side effects and risks

Overall, studies reveal that the side effects of CBD and CBD oil are minimal. This is only one of the main reasons why individuals are opting from over-the-counter (OTC) or addictive prescription pain medications.

Still, fatigue, drowsiness, and upset stomach are possible, as well as changes in appetite and weight. Liver toxicity has also been observed in mice who’ve been force-fed extremely massive doses of CBD-rich cannabis extract.

Your risk for side effects may be based on how you use the CBD oil. By way of example, vaping may lead to lung irritation. This can cause:

  • Chronic cough
  • Wheezing
  • Breathing difficulties

If you have asthma or another type of lung disorder, your doctor can advise against vaping CBD oil.

If you’re unsure about the possible side effects or how your body may handle them, speak with your doctor.

If you’re also taking other medications or dietary supplements, be mindful of drug interactions. CBD may interact with a variety of drugs, such as:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Blood thinners

Be extra cautious if you take a medicine or supplement which interacts with grapefruit. CBD and grapefruit both socialize with enzymes — for example cytochromes P450 (CYPs) — which are significant for drug metabolism.

Will CBD get you high?

CBD oils are made from cannabis, but they do not necessarily contain THC. THC is the cannabinoid that makes users feel “high” or “stoned” when smoking cannabis.

Two types of CBD strains are widely available on the market:

  • Dominant
  • Rich

The CBD-dominant breed has little to no THC, while the CBD-rich breed contains both cannabinoids.

CBD with no THC does not have psychoactive properties. Even in the event that you decide on a combination product, the CBD often counteracts the effects of THC, according to the nonprofit Project CBD. This is only one of the many reasons you might select CBD oil over medical marijuana.

Is CBD Legal? Marijuana-derived CBD goods are illegal on the federal level but are legal under certain state laws. Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3% THC) are lawful on the national level but remain prohibited under some state legislation. Check your state’s laws and those of everywhere you travel. Remember that nonprescription CBD products aren’t FDA-approved, and might be inaccurately labeled.


As a result of psychoactive components of traditional bud, cannabis remains outlawed in some parts of the United States.

But an increasing number of countries have voted to approve cannabis for medical use only. Others have legalized cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use.

If you live in a country where marijuana is legal for recreational and medicinal use, you need to have access to CBD oil, too.

But if your state has legalized cannabis for medicinal use only, you’ll want to apply for a bud card via your health care provider before purchasing CBD products. This license is necessary for the consumption of all forms of cannabis, such as CBD.

In some states, all forms of cannabis are illegal. Federally, cannabis remains classified as a dangerous and illegal drug.

It’s essential to be aware of the laws in your country and any other states you may visit. If cannabis-related products are prohibited — or should they require a medical license that you don’t have — you may be subject to punishment for possession.

Talk with Your physician

More research is needed before CBD oil can become a traditional treatment alternative for migraine, but it’s well worth talking to your doctor if you’re interested. They can advise you on the appropriate dosage as well as any legal demands.

In case you choose to attempt CBD oil, treat it like you would any other treatment alternative for migraine. It might require some time to work, and you might need to change your dosage to better suit your requirements.