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Can Cannabidiol Help With Migraines?

Migraines are much more than the typical stress or allergy headaches that one may experience. They can last from four hours to three days, and with migraine symptoms, you may find it difficult to go through your day-to-day tasks. Further, noise, light, and movement can aggravate your symptoms.

Although painkillers may help to a certain extent, they can cause unnecessary side effects, and are not a cure for the condition. This is when Cannabidiol (CBD) may help you.

CBD is an active compound present in the Cannabis sativa plant (also known as marijuana). It has recently grown in popularity due to its ability to treat certain conditions naturally.

There are over 80 chemicals, referred to as 'cannabinoids' in the Cannabis plant, but CBD constitutes 40 per cent of cannabis extracts, and has been studied for various uses.

Medicinal Value Of CBD

CBD is basically one of the several compounds known as Cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant. Researchers have been working on the possible therapeutic uses of CBD. There are also CBD oils that contain concentrations of CBD, but the uses of these oils vary. Here are some proven medicinal uses of CBD:


Relieves inflammation and pain

Rather than using prescription over-the-counter drugs to relieve inflammation and chronic pain, some people consider CBD as a natural alternative. In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, it was mentioned that CBD considerably reduced chronic inflammation and pain in an experiment conducted in mice. According to the researchers, the non-psychoactive compounds in marijuana, such as CBD, may be a new treatment option for chronic pain.


Helps quit smoking and addictive behaviours

While there has been some promising evidence to prove that CBD helps people quit smoking, a pilot study published in Addictive Behaviours revealed that smokers who used inhalers containing CBD, smoked fewer cigarettes than usual, and did not crave for nicotine. A similar review, published in Neurotherapeutics also showed that CBD may be a promising treatment for people addicted to drugs. However, more research is necessary to confirm its ability to reduce withdrawal symptoms.


Treats epilepsy

The FDA has approved the use of CBD as a therapy for two rare conditions characterized by epileptic seizures in June 2018. The FDA has now approved a purified form of the drug CBD, and is one of the more than 80 active chemicals in marijuana. The new product was approved to treat seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy in patients two years of age and older.


Prevents spread of cancer

A review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology showed evidence that CBD helps considerably in preventing the spread of cancer. The researchers said that the compound tends to suppress the growth of cancer cells and helps in their destruction. Further, CBD has low levels of toxicity too, and hence can be accompanied in standard cancer treatments.


Anxiety disorders

A review from Neurotherapeutics mentions that CBD may help in reducing anxiety and associated behaviours such as general anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc.


Type 1 diabetes

A research study published in Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation reveals that CBD helps in easing pancreatic inflammation, and this may be the first step in finding a CBD-based treatment for type 1 diabetes. It further points out that CBD may also protect against or delay the onset of type 1 diabetes.



Some early research suggests that a dose of 160 mg of CBD at bedtime can improve sleep time in people suffering from insomnia. But, lower doses have not shown this effect.


Alzheimer’s disease

Initial research published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease showed that CBD prevents the development of social recognition deficit in participants, which indicates that it can help in slowing down the progression of Alzheimer's disease.


Parkinson’s disease

Early research also shows that taking CBD daily for 4 weeks improves psychotic symptoms in people with Parkinson's disease, but it does not appear to improve the involuntary muscle movements caused by the disease.


How Does Cannabidiol Help With Migraine?

Some studies have suggested that CBD oil may help in treating all types of acute and chronic pain, including migraines. A study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in 2017 mentioned the positive effects of oral cannabis. People who used oral cannabis to treat their migraine symptom for eight weeks reported improvement and better quality of life.

In 2016, Pharmacotherapy published a study using medical marijuana for migraines. Out of 48 people who were surveyed, 40 per cent of them reported fewer migraines overall. However, due to incorrect dosage, some people reported drowsiness as a complaint. Additional research is necessary to truly assess the effect of pure CBD on migraines.


How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?

The effect of CBD will be only for about 3 to 4 hours, but lasts for 3 to 5 days in your system. Starting with the smallest dosage possible is the best way to go, as it will allow the body to get used to CBD and reduce side effects.

What Are The Side Effects Of CBD?

Overall, the side effects of CBD oil are minimal. This is one of the major reasons for people to consider CBD oil for pain management. However, drowsiness, tiredness, appetite changes, upset stomach, lung irritation, and cough are all potential side effects. Therefore, if you are concerned about the potential side effects, talk to your doctor before using.

Read more about: migraine pain killer
Story first published: Monday, September 3, 2018, 13:00 [IST]
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