Using CBD for Headache? Here’s What Research Says
Headache is one of the most overlooked yet potentially dangerous medical conditions. Without prompt treatment, headache pain can trigger insomnia and a raft of other symptoms that could affect your overall quality of life.
While conventional pain medications may alleviate headaches temporarily, many of these drugs might also leave you nursing a series of unpleasant side effects. Fortunately, CBD has emerged as one of the most effective natural remedies against various pain types, including headaches.
If you’re encountering this term for the first time, CBD (which is short for cannabidiol) refers to a compound in cannabis that experts believe might help treat many diseases. Cannabidiol is mainly recommended for pain treatment. Incidentally, pain also happens to be the primary symptom of headache. Therefore, CBD can make a huge difference in treating the condition or making it bearable.
Besides easing pain, CBD can also help treat other side effects associated with headaches, such as insomnia. Read on for more insights on how to use CBD for headaches.
How Does CBD Work?
To understand CBD’s analgesic properties, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the endocannabinoid system first. Now, the endocannabinoid system is a system of receptors and neurotransmitters in the body of all mammals, whose primary role is to regulate homeostatic balance. The system plays a crucial role in pain relief.
When you have a headache, your endocannabinoid system registers those aches as a homeostatic abnormality. Immediately, the system embarks on a mechanism to relieve the severity of headache pain. This pain mediation mechanism involves the interaction between certain receptors (known as endocannabinoid receptors) and various neurotransmitters called endogenous cannabinoids or simply endocannabinoids.
Medical researchers believe that cannabidiol might boost the endocannabinoid system’s performance, resulting in faster and more effective pain relief. The exact manner in which CBD affects the endocannabinoid system is unknown. However, marijuana doctors claim that Sunday Scaries CBD gummies or other CBD products from reputable traders might activate specific receptors involved in pain management. For instance, this study showed that CBD could activate vanilloid receptors to help with pain mediation.
Another way CBD might treat headache pain is by increasing the body’s access to certain neurotransmitters associated with pain relief. One such neurotransmitter is anandamide. Anandamide has been shown to help ease aches and pain while also alleviating stress and anxiety.
What Does Research Say?
Research on the effects of cannabidiol against headaches is still a work in progress. However, the findings available so far indicate that CBD might be highly effective against the condition. Many of these studies investigated CBD’s analgesic effects for people with chronic pain diseases, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis. In most instances, cannabidiol proved to be highly effective against pain and other core symptoms of these conditions.
Other studies attempted to examine the potential of CBD for treating migraine, which is considered one of the most severe forms of headache. Again, the findings were inspiring. But perhaps it’s this study that gave the most unambiguous indication ever that cannabidiol might be effective against headaches. While experimenting, researchers administered CBD-based products to a group of 48 participants with chronic migraines. It emerged that CBD had little effect at 100 milligrams (mg). But upon upping the doses to 200 mg, acute pain reduced by an impressive 55%.
Another study conducted in 2018 attempted to examine the effects of cannabis as a whole on 2,032 participants with migraine, headache, and other forms of chronic pain like arthritis pain. By the end of the experiment, most participants demonstrated a willingness to replace their conventional prescription medications with cannabis. Although the study investigated the potential analgesic properties of cannabis as a whole, it’s possible to link those properties to cannabidiol. That’s because CBD accounts for a significant portion of marijuana’s healing abilities.
How to Choose the Best CBD Product for Headache
The first consideration while choosing the best CBD products for headaches is the active ingredients in the product. It’s worth noting that all the above studies examined the effects of cannabidiol in conjunction with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana. The findings might help debunk the common myth that THC has no medically beneficial properties besides its ability to induce euphoria.
On the contrary, tetrahydrocannabinol is highly therapeutic. Many marijuana experts claim that the compound might even contain more healing properties than cannabidiol. So, when looking for the best CBD products for headaches, insist on those containing significant THC levels. These products are usually labeled full-spectrum and contain substantial quantities of CBD, THC, and other medically beneficial compounds in cannabis, including terpenes and flavonoids.
Full-spectrum CBD products are often contrasted from their broad-spectrum counterparts. Broad-spectrum products are CBD products formulated with cannabidiol and various other marijuana extracts, except for THC. There are also CBD isolates, which refer to compounds that contain no other active ingredient but cannabidiol.
Delivery method is another factor to keep in mind while choosing CBD products for headaches. While there are numerous ways to administer cannabidiol, experts recommend CBD edibles. That’s because edibles deliver long-lasting effects compared to other delivery methods like vaping, smoking, or sublingual sprays.
CBD is effective against headaches, and there are numerous studies to back that up. To make the compound work for you, insist on full-spectrum CBD products and choose a suitable delivery method. Also, remember to consume CBD in moderation as an overdose might trigger specific side effects.