Headaches are an occasional issue for most of us. They always haunt us at the worst possible time and quickly spoil our day. However, we can console ourselves that the pain will disappear as quickly as it came.
However, many people see it very differently. Every fourth American suffers from regular headaches. For about 25%, it is an everyday ordeal. Women and city dwellers are particularly often affected.
Migraines are also not uncommon. About 10% of the population has to deal with migraine attacks, which can last between 4 and 72 hours.
There are different opinions about CBD oil for headaches and migraines. Many claim that it can relieve and even prevent headaches. But there are also fears that it could trigger a headache.
WHY DO WE HAVE A HEADACHE?
From a medical point of view, headache is not a disease, but rather a symptom of the disease. On average, each of us has a headache at least once a year. However, the causes behind this can be very different.
While there are secondary headaches that are a warning signal to the body about illnesses, they are rare. We are more often plagued by primary headaches – pain that doesn’t have a direct cause.
In fact, we know more than 200 different types of headaches. You can get it suddenly or insidiously. They also differ in their intensity. While we perceive some headaches as just a slight pull, others can be paralyzing.
The most common types are migraines and tension headaches. However, men most often suffer from cluster headaches (Horton syndrome).
Medicines as a Cause
Pain patients who take pain relievers regularly can sometimes experience an unpleasant side effect. Many medicines that are supposed to alleviate the headache can even trigger them if they are taken frequently.
Other medications can also cause headaches, especially those that lower blood pressure.
Patients often get caught in a vicious cycle. They take painkillers every day to relieve headaches that are actually caused by the tablets.
Although it is much more often the case that there is no direct cause, some factors can contribute to the development of headaches.
Tension headaches in particular can have the following causes:
- Stress, mental stress
- Lack of sleep
- Impure air
- Alcohol and nicotine consumption
- Hormone fluctuations in women
- Weather change
CBD FOR HEADACHE – WHAT DO THE STUDIES SAY?
The use of cannabinoids to treat pain effectively has a long history. A study of patients in Colorado (USA) who were prescribed medical marijuana for their migraines came to the following conclusion: “The frequency of pain due to migraine reduced from to 5 from 10 headaches each month by using medical cannabis.”
Due to the THC content of the consumed preparations, however, there were unfortunately also unpleasant side effects, such as drowsiness, in 11.6% of the patients.
CBD oil vs. Medical Cannabis
CBD is often preferred over THC because it doesn’t get you high. Over-the-counter CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC.
So, the advantage is that you can take CBD daily without feeling negatively affected. You can enjoy many of the possible benefits of medical cannabis without the intoxicating effects.
An investigation by the Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences in Finland commented on the use of cannabis in migraines as follows:
“To sum up, cannabinoids – due to their anti-inflammatory, antiemetic, analgesic, and anticonvulsant effects – represent an effective class of active substances for both prophylactic and acute treatment for migraine.”
The authors see CBD as an alternative to THC-containing medical cannabis: “In contrast to THC, CBD has no intoxicating and psychoactive effects that are associated with CB1 receptor activation.”
ENDOCANNABINOID DEFICIENCY AS THE CAUSE
Did you know that your body also produces cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) that are similar to those in the hemp plant? In fact, we all have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that affects many important body processes and keeps the body in balance.
However, there are also hypotheses that diseases such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and migraines could possibly be the result of a clinical cannabinoid deficiency. According to experts, this is a condition in which the body itself does not produce enough endocannabinoids.
If you take cannabinoids, such as CBD oil, and experience a relief or reduction in the frequency of your headache, you could actually be affected by the endocannabinoid deficiency.
Can I get a headache from CBD?
Headaches are usually not mentioned as a possible CBD side effect, but they can occur in some very rare cases. Fortunately, it is easy to prevent this.
Avoid starting with high doses. If you tend to have a headache, you should start with a lower dose and only gradually increase it. The body prefers to be in balance. If you start with a high dose of CBD oil right away, this balance could be disturbed.
You and your doctor should also rule out other possible causes. Also, look out for the possible side effects of other medications you are taking and consult your doctor or pharmacist.
It also doesn’t hurt to measure your blood pressure regularly, because CBD can lower blood pressure.
Which CBD oil dosage helps against headaches?
Users who take CBD for headaches most often choose to start with a 10% CBD oil. The dosage can be approached differently.
Some choose to start with just 2 drops twice a day, morning and evening. Others start with 5 to 8 drops twice a day because they hope for a faster effect.