CBD for Migraines
Imagine a headache so severe that the slightest sound or beam of light causes you substantial pain for hours or even days. This type of headache is known as a migraine, and it affects over 39 million people in the U.S. Migraines affect the sides of your head and cause nausea and disrupted vision. While there are various medications to help alleviate migraines and its symptoms, there is still no cure. Clinical studies are pointing to CBD as a remedy that can limit and deter migraines. Continue to read below to find out why CBD may be the best migraine medication for you.
What Causes a Migraine
Most research indicates that migraines start early, ranging from childhood to early adulthood. Genetic makeup gives insight as to why someone has migraines, but the causes are complex and different for everyone. Hormones, food choices, medical conditions and other circumstances are all possible contributors to migraines. If you have migraines, doctors encourage you to get attuned to your body and recognize the triggers of a potential oncoming migraine.
What are the Symptoms of Migraines?
According to the Mayo Clinic, four phases signal an oncoming migraine:
- Prodrome – The prodrome phase indicates an approaching migraine either a day or two beforehand through mood swings, food cravings, nausea, uncontrollable yawning and increased thirst or urination.
- Aura – The aura phase can either occur before or during a migraine. This phase often causes visual disturbances such as flickers, spots or lines. You may also experience muscle weakness or sensory and motor function troubles.
- Headache – The prodrome and aura phases bring about the migraine, also referred to as “the attack” or headache. This phase can last from hours to days and is characterized by pain on the sides of your head and extreme sensitivity to light, sound, smells and touch.
- Post-drome – After a migraine, the final phase is the post-drome. Post-drome refers to the set of symptoms after a particular condition has passed. This phase can last up to a day and may leave you feeling exhausted, confused and weak.
What are Common Migraine Medications?
Migraine medications are referred to as triptans and are used to help subdue reoccurring headaches. Usually taken orally via a tablet or capsule, triptans work by binding to serotonin receptors in your brain to relieve blood vessel swelling. Besides triptans, common over-the-counter migraine medications are aspirin and ibuprofen. Doctors highly recommend seeking medical advice to decide what will be the right treatment for you. If a doctor doesn’t think over-the-counter migraine medication isn’t sufficient enough for you, they may prescribe a triptan. Triptans do have possible adverse side effects including dizziness, muscle weakness, nausea, chest pain and numbness.
The following are some triptan brands your doctor might prescribe:
- Amerge (naratriptan) – tablet
- Imitrex (sumatriptan) – tablet/nasal spray/injection
- Maxalt (rizatriptan) – tablet
- Axert (almotriptan) – tablet
- Frova (frovatriptan) – tablet
Why Might CBD Be a Better Alternative to Migraine Medications?
CBD is a suitable treatment for preventing and alleviating migraines because of your Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Your ECS is a collection of endocannabinoid receptors located throughout your nervous system. The ECS maintains your body’s internal environment by regulating pain, inflammation, stress, anxiety and much more.
Research shows that when a migraine occurs or is about to happen, your body’s anandamide levels drop severely. Anandamide is the endocannabinoid neurotransmitter in the body responsible for your happiness, mood, memory and sleep. Similar to triptans, CBD influences the anandamide and serotonin levels within your blood vessels. Introducing CBD to your body can help regulate your body chemistry and mood, making it a therapeutic target for migraine pain.
Unlike most migraine medications, CBD is safe to take multiple times daily without any significant side effects. CBD potentially defends against oncoming migraines and might reduce the impact of current migraines. Nature’s Script has a wide variety of CBD products that can decrease your discomfort and also boost your mood. Non-addictive and containing no THC, CBD may potentially be your best bet as a migraine medication.
European Pharmaceutical Review – Cannabinoids Suitable for Migraine Prevention
Mayo Clinic – Migraine
MedlinePlus – Migraine
National Center for Biotechnology Information – Endocannabinoid System and Migraine Pain: An Update