Cannabidiol oil, commonly called CBD has a potential for pain relief and reduce inflammation. The users call it highly promising to treat pain especially migraines.
Firstly you need to know that Cannabidiol is not the only component of cannabis. There are more or less 120 different substances in cannabis. (Read a detailed research on it by clicking here)
CBD oil is obtained from the controversial marijuana or cannabis plant. But this is only found in trace amounts. You must understand that not CBD but another compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) gives a high feeling.
It suggests that CBD oil has no psychoactive effects on the user. Hence it is safe to use for medical reasons.
Many users believe that CBD works best for a headache. But there is little evidence on its effect to be safe and helpful for a headache particularly migraines. Still, for people who have no other alternative, CBD oil is worth trying.
Anyhow, if someone wishes to use CBD oil, he must consult a doctor before it. He must discuss his case and also check the product to be real and authentic. To ensure safety, it is better to buy it from an authentic source.
Many people question the legal status of CBD oil. The reason that it comes from cannabis, a controversial plant makes it suspicious to many. But the legal status is quickly changing and promotion of CBD oil as a medical treatment is on its way.
In some states of the USA, healthcare providers are free to suggest cannabis and cannabis products. But people need to have a prescription to purchase these products.
If you are not sure about the legal status of cannabis and its products in your state, you may ask your doctor about it. All those who want to use CBD oil to treat a migraine should verify its availability in their area.
Moreover, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not clearly regulated many products that are made of a cannabis plant. It is difficult to ensure the status, purity, and strength of cannabis ingredients.
How is CBD oil helpful in migraines?
The use of CBD oil to treat a headache has a long history comprising of hundreds of years. It is even before when it was made illegal. But the lack of scientific support for its safety and effective usage has made it a contentious product.
Yet many researchers suggest that many substances in cannabis have high therapeutic benefit especially for headaches, including migraines. It is necessary that every research that you may find online be on cannabis plant as a whole. There are only a few researches on its independent ingredients such as CBD oil or THC.
There is research to highlight the effective role of CBD oil on inflammation and pain caused by arthritis. That is why researchers believe it to be helpful in migraines too.
In one review of studies on cannabis, marijuana is proven as a helpful aid for a migraine. Note that these research evidence are on cannabis and not particularly on CBD oil. Some states of the USA allow specific conditions for which CBD oil is suitable. Surprisingly, migraine is not one of these conditions yet. (Here is a link to this review if you want to read details)
For examining the effectiveness and possible risks of CBD oil, more research and changes in the law are recommended.
The question of legal status
Cannabis and its products are not legal in the USA to use and purchase. But for medical reasons, some states have legalized it. The rules on different products, where to get them and how to use them are different in different states.
Just to add here, a purified CBD oil (with no THC) has been approved to treat two rare and severe types of epilepsy. However, needs a prescription for it. (Here is a link to this notification on FDA’s website)
For other products, no clear information is available. It means the user can not be always sure on what products he may buy or use, in different states. Generally, many CBD oil products are allowed to use with minimum or no THC content. Amazingly, in some situations, CBD oil is legal to use but not the medical marijuana.
Laws on marijuana in the USA vary widely. You can get information on the official website of every state on its status. Alternatively, talk to your doctor about CBD and its legal status in your area.
How to use CBD oil?
There are many ways to use CBD oil, such as:
- An added ingredient in food
- Added ingredient in drinks
- Direct topical application to the skin
There are absolutely no studies involving humans to know the effects of CBD oil on migraines. That’s why there is no standard dosage or method to use CBD oil. For the safe side, your doctor will explain the safest way and dosage to use CBD oil. The best suggestion is to start from a low dose to see how it affects your body. Gradually increase the dosage if required.
Potential risks of using CBD oil
Major thing that adds to the possible risks of CBD products is lack of its regulation. For migraine treatment, CBD and its products don’t have an approval from FDA. That’s why there is no control on the CBD products each one of which offers high promises to treat a migraine. Many of these products are available online and are often misleading.
It is even proven by research that many CBD products have incorrect or misleading labeling. (Here is a link to this research letter). It means many CBD products will have less or high amount of psychoactive agent i.e. THC in it.
Alternate remedies for migraines
Like many other health conditions, there are many alternate remedies available to treat migraines. You are much likely to find over the counter products to treat migraines, that sometimes work equally good as CBD oil.
It is necessary to identify and avoid migraine triggers. It will reduce the occurrence of a migraine. Other strategies that may help a patient are as follows.
- Stress management
- Pain management
- Avoiding bright colours/lights
- Avoid allergens/irritants
- Sleep enhancing aids
Not every treatment works for everyone, but thee are some medications that reduce the frequency of migraine attack. In severe cases of a migraine, considering using a specific medicine for it. some of the best medicines for migraines are
- over-the-counter (OTC) pain killers (example- acetaminophen)
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (example- ibuprofen)
- A combination of medicines
- Prescription medications (suggested by doctor i.e. triptans and ergots)
- Medicines to prevent migraines (example- beta blockers antidepressants)
The chances to find the best medicines that suit you are very low. Many people try a few treatments in order to select the best one for them. Most of the times, a combinational therapy helps. Keep a track of all your medicines or treatments tried and discuss it with your doctor to find the most suitable treatment for a migraine.
When should you see a doctor?
Anyone who is suffering from migraines should immediately talk to a doctor for the best treatment options. It is necessary to consult a doctor before trying CBD oil or any supplement that uses CBD in any concentration.
Many herbal medications, including cannabis and CBD oil, may show health risks while interacting with drugs. That is why it is recommended to use both as an independent treatment. Never combine or use medicines when you are using cannabis or any product of cannabis i.e. CBD oil.