Got Headaches? CBD May Provide Some Relief
Did you know that 1 in every 6 adult Americans suffers from severe headaches (1)? Headaches and migraines are important public health problems that should not be overlooked. The sheer number of people who deal with recurring headaches is a worrying statistic.
Oftentimes, to ease headaches, people rely on prescription or over the counter painkillers. However, over-reliance makes some people at risk of developing painkiller dependence (2). Many prefer to use an all-natural alternative to medication instead. One option that has been shown to potentially help relieve headache pain is CBD (3).
Read on to learn more about how using CBD for headaches may be a great all-natural option to consider.
How does CBD work?
Before we dive into how CBD can manage headaches, lets quickly discuss CBD and how it works.
CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid derived from hemp plants. It is an all-natural compound that has greatly increased in popularity lately because of the calming and restorative effects if may have on the body. The compound interacts with an important system in your body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to promote homeostasis among various bodily procedures.
CBD affects two receptors found in the ECS, they’re called CB1 and CB2 (4). CB1 receptors are responsible for governing pain, mood, coordination, and other functions. CB2 receptors primarily influence pain and inflammation.
Researchers believe that CBD works by altering those receptors (CB1 and CB2) and preventing endocannabinoids from being broken down (5). This allows CBD to have more of a positive effect on your body. CBD has been linked with several health benefits, including relieving pain, easing nausea, and reducing inflammation. However, although scientists have discovered a lot of promising results from using CBD, more studies must be completed before we have a full picture.
CBD and Headaches: What Researchers Say
Extensive research on the efficiency of using cannabidiol (CBD) for headaches continues to be carried out. A 2017 research study (6) shed light on the effectiveness of cannabis in treating headache disorders. The study found that 85.1 percent of the 121 patients suffering from frequent migraines reported a reduction in their migraine frequency after continuous use of medical cannabis.
A 2020 medical review highlighted CBD’s effectiveness in relieving chronic pain, reducing inflammation and improving sleep. The review discussed how cannabidiol “has gained traction as a potential treatment for intractable chronic pain in many conditions.” (7) They go on to discuss how CBD has increased in popularity because it doesn’t have any psychoactive effects and may hold the potential to alleviate some forms of pain.
There has been talk of CBD helping with migraines as well. A study published in 2016 (8) suggests that medical cannabis use does help control the frequency in which people experience migraines. Out of the 127 patients who received a CBD/THC combination (with a high concentration of CBD, and low concentration of THC) 55 percent reported a reduction in the frequency of their migraines.
Further research has been intensified, and we will get updates on the issue soon enough. But what we know now is that using CBD for headaches may be a good option to consider.
Types of CBD
There are many different types of CBD products available on the market today. This makes it hard for some people to choose the type that is ideal for their headaches. While most prefer to use a tincture with CBD oil, some prefer taking CBD in a capsule form or using a topical salve. Here are just a few of the most common CBD products:
Sublingual CBD tinctures are one of the most popular forms for taking CBD.
A CBD oil tincture can be used by placing a few drops of the oil under your tongue. This is referred to as the sublingual method. Because of the abundance of capillaries underneath your tongue, the CBD is rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream. This also allows you to achieve higher levels of CBD potency, and you’re likely to feel the calming effects much faster than if you simply swallowed the CBD.
You can also consume CBD oil by swallowing it directly or adding it to food or drinks. Although it will take longer to experience the effects because it must first be processed by your stomach, you can still expect to enjoy the many benefits of CBD this way.
Each tincture on the market has a different concentration of CBD. Be sure to keep this in mind when selecting a CBD tincture to try. You should also pay attention to appropriate dosage as well. We’ll discuss this more below.
Topical CBD products
Topical CBD products include items like salves, lotions, creams, and even sunscreens! Although some are designed for skincare or joint pain relief, many are also effective for headaches and migraines as well. Not only are they fast-acting, but they can also carry calming effects through their scent as well.
Topical CBD products are made from base oils or carrier oils, which helps them to be easily absorbed by the body through the skin. For example, our Calming & Anxiety Relief Salve is made from a mixture of sweet almond oil, naturally refined white beeswax, CBD, and a variety of all-natural essential oils and herbs. Because of the high potency of CBD and the kava kava root powder in this product, you are likely to feel the calming effects quickly after use.
Plus, many topical CBD products also include essential oils that can provide relaxing benefits by simply being breathed in after application. Our Calming & Anxiety Relief Salve contains both ylang ylang and Melissa leaf (also known as lemon balm) essential oils which provide great aroma-therapeutic benefits.
When selecting a topical product, make sure that it only contains natural and skin-safe ingredients, and use only as directed.
How to Choose the Best CBD Products for Headaches
As mentioned, there are a lot of different CBD products on the market. It can be overwhelming to choose between so many different brands -- each with their own selection of different CBD products.
It’s important to keep several things in mind when shopping for CBD for headaches so that you only purchase safe products that are both effective and healthy.
Since CBD was legalized, there has been a huge influx of businesses selling the cannabinoid. Some produce top quality products while others produce products of questionable quality. There are a few ways that you can make sure you only purchase CBD that is safe:
Check the label
Labeling is crucial in the CBD industry.
It needs to highlight the concentration of CBD and any other compounds that are in the product. Also, it must be clearly stated whether there is any THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis) present in the product. To be sold legally throughout the United States, CBD products must contain less than 0.3 percent THC. However, some states have legalized THC, so it’s important to be aware of exactly what ingredients are in each product.
Note: All of our Wellness Garden Medicinals CBD products contain zero THC. You do not need to worry about experiencing any type of psychoactive effects, as all of our CBD is completely non-psychoactive.
Reputable brands will always mention the extraction method used to separate CBD from hemp. C02 is generally thought to be the "cleanest" extraction method (which is why we use it for all of our products). Mentioning the methods used gives the company additional credibility.
Plus, it’s also good to look at where the hemp is grown. U.S.-grown hemp is typically best because of the strict guidelines in place for U.S. hemp farmers.
Look for third-party testing
Third party testing is an evaluation of the CBD product by an unbiased lab. The lab assesses the product to determine efficacy, purity, and safety. It’s important to only purchase CBD products that have been evaluated by independent labs. Visit the company’s website to see if they have current third-party test results for each of their products.
How much CBD should I take for my headache?
There have been several studies conducted to determine the amount of CBD that is effective for headaches and migraines. Ultimately, most research has concluded that the recommended dosage varies depending on each person’s level of pain and their body weight. Heavier individuals may need to take more CBD than those who weigh less.
The amount of CBD you should take can also depend on the specific product you use. Each product has a different concentration of CBD, so it’s important to follow the dosing instructions stated by the company. Most dosage information is clearly stated on the bottle.
Using CBD for migraines may help you to manage the pain you experience from chronic headaches/migraines. Many different research studies have been conducted to determine just how effective the cannabinoid is at treating pain. Although many studies have shown that CBD holds a lot of potential for decreasing pain, more research must be done before we have a clearer picture.
If you experience frequent headaches, you may want to consider giving CBD a try. Although using a CBD tincture is the most popular method for taking CBD for headache relief, you could also try out a CBD salve as well.
Of course, it’s always best to speak with your health care provider before taking any new supplement, including CBD. This is especially the case if you currently take any prescription medications, as CBD may interact with certain drugs. Chat with your doctor about taking CBD for your head pain, and then give it a try. You may find that it provides you with some relief.