Does CBD Help Migraines?

With the rise of CBD use over the last two years now, people have found many different ways to use CBD. From pain relief, anxiety management, and anti-inflammatory uses, it begs the question: does CBD help migraines?

In this article we will review a couple of peer reviewed studies that use CBD for migraine treatments. After, we’ll come to a conclusion for the question, ‘Does CBD help migraines?”

What Causes a Migraine?

To be clear, there is a huge difference between a headache and a migraine. Most people complain they are suffering from a migraine, when in reality, they simply have a headache. I’m not trying to marginalize anyone, but it’s important to know the difference between a migraine and headache.

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Headaches basically feel like some pressure and pain within your head. They can range from very mild, all the way up to severe forms of pain. Most of the common headaches include areas of your head like: upper back potion of your neck, the sides of your temples, and the front of your forehead. Some headaches last very briefly, others can last several days.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the tension headache is the most predominant form of headaches.

Migraines, on the other hand, are usually severely intense and don’t stop with simply head pain. Some of the other symptoms that can join the dreadful migraine are:

  • vomiting or nausea
  • isolated pains behind specific areas, like the ear or eyes
  • pain in the temples
  • intense sensitivity to light or even sound
  • loss of eyesight (temporary)

If you compare a migraine with a headache, the migraine pain is always worse. Interestingly, migraines will normally affect only one side of your head. It’s not impossible for a migraine to affect your entire head, it’s just more common to affect one side.

Furthermore, if you have a migraine, you will be out of commission until the migraine is over.

CBD for migrainesPhoto source: Healthline

Does CBD Help Migraines?

CBD may be able to help manage your migraines. If you are familiar with CBD, you have likely heard about CBD’s use for pain relief. That sounds like it would be a perfect to use CBD for migraine pain, right? Before we conclude anything, let’s review some studies on how to use CBD for migraine pains.

In 2017, a study was conducted on using cannabis derivates (including CBD) for use as a treatment against migraine and headache pains. The Journal of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research stated, “it appears likely that cannabis will emerge as a potential treatment for some headache sufferers.” In this study, the research team did a deep dive into many different studies and reports on using cannabinoids like CBD for migraine pain. They concluded that they are a potential treatment for headaches and migraines.

Eric P. Baron (2015) concluded in a review of cannabinoids, “The literature suggests that the medicinal use of cannabis may have a therapeutic role for a multitude of diseases, particularly chronic pain disorders including headaches.”

I was even able to find an old (Reynolds, 1868) journal that documented the use of hemp for headache pain. Hemp is rich in CBD, and contains very little THC. The results from this study were, “Immediate relief and elimination of headaches for 14 months after treatment. No lasting harm.”

So, does CBD help migraines? According to these studies, yes, it does. These are only three studies mentioned out of over 40 that I read through, too.

Best CBD for Migraines

Now that we know CBD can potentially help with migraine and headache pain, what type of CBD product should you take?

This is an area where it’s going to be up to personal preference. I can give you a few pointers of what to look out for, but ultimately, you need to listen to your body and see which form works best.

You’re going to want to look for sublingual CBD drops to help migraine pain. These are my favorite for one main reason: they work fast. Simply squeeze the CBD drops under your tongue, and hold them there for at least 60 seconds. Your sublingual vein, located under the tongue, will begin to absorb the CBD drops and get them into your bloodstream almost immediately.

CBD for headache pain

Another option for those who do not like CBD drops, is CBD pills, or softgels. Most CBD comes in soft gel form, because it can contain a little bit of carrier oil to keep the CBD-rich hemp extract fresh. Remember, hemp extract is an oil base, so if you can leave it in a concentrated oil form, then put it in a soft gel pill capsule, it’s good to go. These pills are meant to be swallowed with a drink. After swallowing them, they can take anywhere from 20 minutes to kick in, or even longer depending on your body.

Does CBD help migraine pain

Both of these types of CBD products for migraines are sure to work, you just need to decide on which product works best for your body and your conditions. Everyone will process CBD a little bit differently. Do not let anyone tell you that only one form, or one type of CBD is the only way you should use it.

Conclusion | CBD for Migraine Pain

I write a lot of CBD articles, pretty much on a daily basis. The research included in the writing of this article on CBD use for migraine pain was so interesting. To be able to find a study from 1868 on using Indian hemp for headache management was quite the find for me!

The bottom line is, people have been using CBD and other cannabinoids to manage headache pain for a long time. As more studies come out, we can more effectively see just how effective CBD is for headache pain management.

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As usual, please be careful who you purchase your CBD products from. Sure, I would prefer you purchase from New Phase Blends, but as long as you get a quality product from a quality brand you can’t go wrong. Double check reviews, product certifications, and check for money-back guarantees. If you find things like this, you have likely found a great CBD product for headaches and migraines.

Reynolds JR. On some of the therapeutical uses of Indian hempArch Med. 1868;2:154–160 []

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