Up until about a few months ago, I was one of those people who scoffed at the idea of using cannabidiol (CBD) oil for migraines.
That was before I truly became desperate and would have given anything to get me out of a life that involved an almost constant battle with debilitating headaches.
The pain got to the point where I told myself that there was no way I’m going to live out the rest of my life alongside the agony that I have endured since my childhood days.
Only those who have felt my pain would understand that a migraine is something that can seriously hamper your daily routine. I’ve somehow learned to live with it for the past 20 years or so.
However, I am here to share my experiences and realizations about CBD oil in the hopes of providing comfort to those who are at the mercy of their excruciating head pains.
My name is Matthew, and I am here to help you understand how CBD oil can help in the management of your migraine woes.
The Reason I Started Using CBD Oil for My Migraines
I am now almost in my 40’s, but my chronic migraines began when I was still a kid. I can still clearly remember the onset of my first migraine attack. It was summer, and I was home reading. Out of nowhere, there were “spots” that appeared in my vision. I tried to focus on reading words in the book but realized to my dismay that the spots were getting in the way.
Curiously enough, it seemed that there was nothing wrong with my vision whenever I shifted my view to objects in the room. The spots were only prominent as soon as I tried reading words off the book. I remember just giving up on my book, and instead just deciding to lie down for a while. It wasn’t until about a few minutes later that I started to feel a kind of pressure building up behind my right eye.
The pain was only a minor discomfort at first. Little did I know that it would soon develop to a full-blown painful, throbbing feeling that had me vomiting. I wasn’t able to take any medication since I dreaded having to throw up, and because no one was really sure what brought on the pain. My mother just attributed the episode to the summer heat and the glare from the blazing sun outside.
Unfortunately, that was only the start of my misery. It’s been more or less the same for years afterwards. My usual trigger is bright lights, but I eventually added stress and lack of sleep to the list. I was pretty much useless as soon as the pain sets in, and this could last for hours. Still, I considered myself lucky since the crippling migraine attacks would occur at times when I’m home, or I am at a place where I can sleep it off until I am fit enough to go home.
However, about two months ago, I was driving when the spots started swimming across my vision. I started to panic since I was still a long way from home, and I know there was no way I would be able to reach the house in my condition. Unfortunately, I had no choice but to try and reach the house since I was nowhere near any place I could spend hours trying to sleep off my migraine. By sheer willpower or luck, I managed to get home in one piece, although I did throw up in a plastic bag I had with me.
It was then that I decided enough is enough. Who knows when or where my next migraine attack will strike? It could very possibly be where home is again a long way off, or when I had an important meeting or appointment, I couldn’t cancel. I felt frustrated that I will forever be completely in the clutches of my debilitating migraine, and I dismayed at the thought that I am becoming too dependent on painkillers. I even tried switching to a healthier lifestyle, but my stubborn migraine still persisted.
And, I Started my Research on CBD.
What Is CBD Oil and How Does It Ease Migraines?
CBD oil is extracted either from a hemp plant or a marijuana plant. It is only one of almost a hundred compounds that you can find in the cannabis plant. The oil that is extracted from the marijuana plant is the only one that is deemed illegal in all states, but the oil that is obtained from the hemp plant is considered legal for medical use.
Contrary to what most may believe, CBD is not the component that causes that “high” feeling. The compound that does that is called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and it is capable of producing an altered mental state. CBD that is extracted from the hemp plant does contain trace amounts of THC but are very low. After some people discovered how CBD oil could be used to alleviate symptoms of a number of medical conditions, interest began to develop in the scientific and general community. Soon, CBD oil for migraines began circulating, and users started to attest to the effectiveness of the product.
Unlike regular headaches, migraines can persist for more than a day and will not be eased by ordinary medications. Migraines also hinder sufferers from carrying on with ordinary tasks and can interrupt regular routines. Some symptoms that accompany migraines are nausea, dizziness, vomiting, seeing spots, sensitivity to lights and sounds, and temporary loss of sight. According to migraine.com, about 38 million Americans suffer from migraines. Two to three million of them are chronic sufferers.
Most over-the-counter medications for migraines are not advisable to be used for more than 10 days. Needless to say, it isn’t very safe to use them in the long run. Although most of the information about CBD oil for migraines is purely from personal testimonies, some studies show that cannabinoids are capable of blocking brain receptors responsible for causing pain and nausea. Additionally, it is believed that people who suffer from migraine lack endocannabinoids which are tasked with calming parts of the brain that could set off migraine attacks.
A deficiency in endocannabinoids could turn factors such as smells, sounds, bright lights, and hormones into migraine triggers. Therefore, it is only logical to conclude that CBD is needed to fill the endocannabinoids deficiency since it is comprised of cannabinoids. This would cause a decrease in migraine symptoms and frequency. Furthermore, CBD is said to be connected with improved sleep patterns that greatly help migraine sufferers who have lack of sleep as a trigger.
What You Need to Know Before Trying Out CBD Oil?
It should be said that taking any kind of alternative medicine will require the consent of your doctor. Studies have revealed that CBD oil for migraines can have drug interactions with medications that may be currently prescribed to you. Although it is again worth mentioning that CBD oil extracted from hemp has a very little amount of THC, it could still show up on a drug test.
Your CBD oil source must also be reputable, as there have been some cases of CBD oil products not containing the stated or recommended amount of CBD. This would prevent you from enjoying the benefits that CBD oil is supposed to provide.
Since CBD oil for migraines is relatively new in the market, there is still room for more research and studies to be done. Fortunately, few users are reporting negative side effects from using the product, and more clinical research is being done to authenticate the results that migraine patients are reporting.
So far, some of the reported side effects have included upset stomach, drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, increase in appetite, change in perception, and euphoria. Using CBD oil for vaping can also cause lung irritation which can lead to breathing difficulties and chronic cough. Those with asthma and other lung diseases may be instructed by their doctors not to use CBD oil for vaping.
Since the side effects of taking CBD oil are minimal, people suffering from migraine are starting to do away with medicated painkillers. Also, there has never been a reported death caused by overdosing on CBD oil. In case you experience side effects with your intake of the oil, it is worth looking into the quality of the product you purchased and consider switching to another brand.
Best CBD Oil for Migraines?
Although the best kind of CBD oil is highly dependent on the user, it cannot be stressed enough that it is important to purchase the kind that came from a reputable manufacturer. I had read about patients who initially thought that CBD oil was not for them when they started exhibiting side effects caused by their product. However, it later became apparent that the quality of their CBD oil was to blame. Some brands also incorporate harsh chemicals, so always check the ingredients of your product.
Here are some brands that I have tried that worked wonderfully for me. They may not produce the same results for you, but I’m hoping this would be a good guide for those who feel intimidated by the number of CBD oil brands out there.
1. Fab CBD
Fab CBD Oil Drops are said to be made from Colorado hemp that is grown organically. The company assures its users of their high-quality products, thanks to state-of-the-art equipment in growing and extracting their products. Processing the hemp is done via the CO2 extraction method, guaranteeing the preservation of everything that is good in the hemp. Also, there are no traces of pesticides and other chemicals in the oil, resulting in a non-GMO product that contains negligible amounts of THC.
I got to try the Fab CBD oil first because I want the most potent form first. The oils are flavored, and even the natural one tasted great for me. The citrus and mint flavors were equally pleasant, and I’m sure many will have a hard time deciding between the two.
Fab CBD recommends that users start with 150 mg. I could feel its efficacy slightly, although it didn’t give me the relief I was hoping for. The 300-mg dosage was more to my liking, but others can go as high as 600 mg.
All in all, Fab CBD oil made me feel stress-free and got the job done without the side effect of sleepiness or exhaustion.
Based in Colorado, CBDistillery is again another brand that claims to use only organic practices. THC traces are also said to be non-existent, which is always a great thing. This CBD oil comes mixed with coconut MCT oil, ensuring better absorption by the body.
As usual, I went for the most potent type, so I ended up buying the CBD tincture. This involved releasing 10 drops of the tincture under the tongue and keeping it there for about 1 to 2 minutes. In case you cannot feel the results right away, you may repeat this process. It is safe to apply the tincture up to three times daily, with approximately only 1.66 mg of cannabinoids contained in one drop.
CBDistillery is definitely one of the best one there for me as it is a very effective CBD oil for my cluster headaches. I can’t really say I felt any side effects, so that’s a very big plus in my book. I would advise though that you start with the minimum dosage, and just increase it as needed.
3. NuLeaf Naturals
NuLeaf Naturals has been highly recommended by many CBD oil users and rightly so. Likewise boasting of using organic farming practices, NuLeaf Naturals doesn’t use solvents and heating in its extraction process. The CO2 extraction method is used, and there is said to be no traces of synthetic chemicals.
This brand took its time endearing itself to me, but it did work wonderfully about a week into regular use. Some people might be turned off by the bitter taste and pungent smell, but it’s a good sign that the product indeed uses organic hemp oil. So for me, this brand is worth investing your time and money in.
HempBombs is relatively new in the market, but it is already making a big splash. The company prides itself on using strict extraction processes that produce only the highest quality of CBD oil. The strength of the oil is worth mentioning, with each ml containing about 130 mg of CBD. Only 1 to 2 drops are needed to be released under the tongue for the effects to be felt. Chronic pains will be a thing of the past with this potency.
The best flavor for me is mint, and combined with the effectiveness in numbing the pain, HempBombs is surely on top of people’s lists. The results are amazing and provided relief for quite a number of hours. I didn’t feel any side effects, making this one of the brands I could see myself staying loyal to. Again, it is best to start with the recommended dosage and go up as you see fit.
CBDPure’s hemp oil is comprised of cannabinoids, cannabidiol, and terpenes that are naturally occurring. The company maintains that they follow only a strict production standard and stringent quality control practices.
CBDPure is classified as a health supplement, so a doctor’s advice is recommended. The natural hemp flavor is always agreeable for me, so no complaints there. The results started to kick in quicker than I expected, which was truly a pleasant surprise. However, there is no recommended dosage, so it is up to you to try out what will work best. You could try one serving per day of the 3.3 mg product and go from there.
I have to mention that I have yet to try Charlotte’s Web CBD, although it is one of the more popular brands out there. It is also being marketed as a health supplement. I have read that Charlotte’s Web was initially hailed for its anti-epileptic properties, but is now known to use as a treatment for a number of other ailments. In general, it diminishes aches and pains while providing a relaxing sensation. Perhaps one of these days I will be trying this one out.
What Are the Different Ways to Use CBD Oil for Migraines?
Some of the more popular ways to absorb CBD oil are swallowing the pure oil, sublingual absorption, vaping, taking it in the form of gummies, chewing it as a piece of gum, mixing with food and drinks, rubbing into the skin, and using it to wash your hair. Out of these, the three most common methods to utilize CBD oil are via sublingual absorption, vaping, and taking in the gummy form.
Oral CBD is discovered to less likely produce side effects, so those just starting out might want to try this one first. You just put around one to two drops of the CBD oil under your tongue, and wait and see if this does the job for you. If not, you may repeat the process or increase the drops up to three. There are also sublingual sprays that can provide a more discreet way of administering the medication.
Vaping is ideal if you are crippled by a severe migraine, and you want a quicker way of absorbing CBD oil. However, this is only advisable if you are just staying home and if you don’t have any lung diseases. A CBD oil that is specifically made for vaping pens must be purchased, along with the pen itself.
CBD gummies are quickly becoming popular because they provide a fun way for you to take in your daily supplement. Gummies are easier to swallow, and even kids and pets who need CBD will have no trouble completing their dosages. There is a wide range of flavors and shapes for you to enjoy. Just make sure the vendor is reputable, and the gummies are organic.
Currently, there aren’t any formal guidelines for proper dosing for a migraine. CBD Oil Review recommends using between 2.5 and 20 milligrams (mg) per day for chronic pain.
If you’re new to CBD oil, you should start with the smallest dosage possible. You can gradually work your way up to the full recommended dose. This will allow your body to get used to the oil and reduce your risk of side effects.
What is the Recommended CBD Oil Dosage for Migraines
To be truthful, there isn’t actually a formal guideline in the dosage for migraines. This is understandable as physicians are still unsure of what dosage to prescribe to patients. I only followed the most commonly suggested initial dosage of one to two drops of oil in the morning and evening.
Everyone is different, so the dosage will vary greatly for each person. Just start with a low dose and gradually increase it until you achieve your desired results. If you are still hesitant about the dosage, you could also research about the specific CBD oil that you are planning to use.
Conclusion: Would I recommend CBD oil for migraines?
So, there you go. I can’t stress enough how CBD oil for migraines works for me. I am aware that more and more people are now willing to try alternative medications to stop migraines from devastating their lives. Even if there is still no conclusive evidence that supports the safety and effectiveness of CBD oil, I for one stand with those who swear by the liberating effects of this product. If you are willing to learn more, take the time to read forums and posts about other people who are going through the same thing as you are, and decide for yourself which is the best option for you.