The first scientific study on CBD’s effectiveness against migraines was published decades ago in 1985. In that study, researchers showed that a THC/CBD combination inhibited the release of the chemical serotonin that contributes to migraine symptoms. More recent studies shed more light on CBD’s potential effectiveness against headaches and migraines. A study in the European Journal of Neurology showed that CBD was more effective than the standard prescription migraine medications, and best of all, CBD had fewer side effects.
CBD comes in creams, oils, salves, and balms, to name just a few forms. Topicals are frequently used to relieve joint pain and sore muscles. There are many cannabinoid receptors in the skin, so this form of CBD is generally fast-acting.
What we know
There are many factors to consider when trying to determine the form of CBD that will work best for you. First and foremost, you want to consider what you’re using CBD for, and always make sure you get a quality product.
Some doctors suspect that migraines are caused by a deficiency in one of the human body’s endocannabinoids. Humans recognize CBD as “one of its own” and the plant cannabinoid binds to the body’s endocannabinoid receptor. This is why researchers think CBD may be very effective for migraines. In fact, some research indicates that CBD works in the same manner as the triptan or opiate medications, activating the same pathways in the brain. CBD may be just as effective for some people as prescription triptans or opiates.
Oral CBD in the form of drops, sprays, and capsules represent another ingestion method. They’re easy to use. Capsules are quickly digested, and drops or sprays of CBD under the tongue are very fast-acting. Many oils and oral sprays are flavored to mask the earthiness of natural CBD.
If peppermint oil rubbed onto the forehead, neck or temples can provide headache relief, couldn’t a cannabis topical go the extra mile and dissolve the pain altogether?
Kuprowsky suggests that a cannabis ingredient might enhance other medicinal ingredients present, so you wouldn’t feel the cannabinoids per se, but could theoretically benefit from their ability to strengthen everything else. “If you combine CBD [with other ingredients], then you may have a synergistic effect. And if the CBD isn’t helping on its own, it’s complementing the other herbs.”
Headaches are more than skin-deep
Cannabis has a well-documented entourage effect, meaning the cannabinoids in the plant work synergistically with each other, and with the plant’s terpenes, flavonoids, and other botanical components. Cannabis can boost active compounds in other ingredients, too, as when mixed into an ointment or cream.
Not all headaches are created equal.
“Right now, topicals are most useful for joint-type pain, muscle pain and skin rashes such as eczema, acne and psoriasis,” he says. By extension, a cannabis product could also be helpful for headaches, which are often inflammatory in nature.
Chronic migraine sufferers have high CGRP levels and low endocannabinoid levels. Here’s where CBD comes in to save the day. A research published by the European Journal of Pain showed that topical CBD in animals with arthritis decreased CGRP, inflammation, swelling and pain. CBD does the same thing as the most effective migraine drugs, but it is safe and safer in a natural way. We need to look at the big picture to understand how CBD prevents migraines.
At worst I think a cannabinoid cream ‘s powerful pain relief can make migraines more manageable. At best, the nerves that trigger migraines can be soothed by a cannabinoid cream and acutely stop a migraine or prevent migraine from occurring at first. You can also use a topical cream in combination with the CBD absorption sublingual or vapor method while attempting to stop a migraine or an approaching migraine.
8 Things You Should Know About Topical CBD for Migraine Relief
With topical hemp or marijuana creams you don’t need to think about side effects, because THC doesn’t touch the bloodstream. The benefit of topical cannabis creams is a humongous — gargantuan if you wish. If you are extremely sensitive to THC, have moral concerns or just don’t like the idea of THC, topical creams are a great alternative. You can confidently tell people, “I use cannabis cream (hemp or marijuana) with CBD and THC for migraine relief and it does not enter the bloodstream or impair me in any way.”
You may want to use a cannabinoid cream several times a day but you should always follow the recommendations of the manufacturer and, above all, consult with your doctor before using any therapy.
Oxidative stress activates migraine nerves, and by reducing oxidative stress, CBD cream directly soothes the same nerves. To summarize this complex work, I wrote a whole novel, but that’s the gist of it. The enemy of migraine sufferers is the oxidative stress. CBD is the antioxidant which helps people with migraine.