Migraines go beyond the typical stress- or allergy-related headache. Migraines last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours and even the most mundane activities can amplify your symptoms. This includes being around noise and light and moving.

While painkillers can help alleviate migraine symptoms temporarily, you may be concerned about their side effects. This is where CBD (cannabidiol) oil may come in. CBD is one of the many active compounds found in the cannabis plant. It’s grown in popularity as a way to treat certain medical conditions naturally.

Research on the use of CBD oil for migraines is limited. This is due in part to its regulated nature and obstacles with cannabis legalization. Still, some laboratory studies have suggested that CBD oil may help all forms of chronic and acute pain. This includes migraines.

One 2017 study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research explored the positive effects of oral cannabis. Over the course of six months, 26 people who experienced medication overuse headaches took either ibuprofen or nabilone with oral cannabis to treat their symptoms. Each combination was used for eight weeks at a time. They also took eight weeks off in between the two combinations.

At the end of the study, participants reported more improvements and better quality of life when taking the cannabis-nabilone formula. It’s important to note that researchers assessed the combination of substances used and not cannabis alone.

CBD works by interacting with cells in both the brain and nervous system. These molecules are called cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). Though the relationship between these cells and receptors isn’t fully understood, their interaction is thought to affect the immune system.

For example, CBD may prevent the body from metabolizing anandamide. This is a compound associated with pain regulation. Maintaining high levels of anandamides in your bloodstream may reduce your feelings of pain.

CBD is also thought to limit inflammation within the body, which may also help reduce pain and other immune-system responses.

Although lawmakers in the United States are currently debating the use of cannabis and related products, the plant’s medicinal uses aren’t a new discovery. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), cannabis has been used for nearly 3,000 years in alternative medicine. Some of these uses include the management of pain, neurological symptoms, and inflammation.

CBD oil is taken via vaping or ingestion. Oral CBD is less likely to cause side effects, so beginners may want to start here. You can put a few drops of the oil under your tongue, take CBD capsules, or even eat a CBD-infused treat.

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.

More research is needed before CBD oil is considered a conventional treatment option for migraines, but it’s worth talking to your doctor if you’re interested. 

Excerpt originally published: Healthline

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