CBD Gummies For Migraine

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Many people with Migraine medicate with cannabis.This guide is a complete look at marijuana's evidence, risks, legality, and more. Data from a clinically validated survey showed that 86% of respondents reported a decrease in headache impact after using a cannabidiol (CBD) formulation for a 30-day trial period.

Curious About Marijuana for Migraine? What You Need to Know

Your Guide to Research, Risks, and How to Get Started

Medical cannabis for Migraine has received increasing attention in recent years, but the drug’s relationship to pain dates back thousands of years. The loosening of cannabis laws finally made research a bit easier. Hence, scientists wasted no time exploring marijuana’s potential for treating several conditions — Migraine being only one of them.

Still, our knowledge is far from complete. If you’re looking to try medical marijuana for Migraine, there are a few things you need to know.

1 – Research Marijuana Laws and Restrictions

Before you consider using marijuana, you need to know the laws in your state. Marijuana is still federally illegal, but over half of the U.S. allows it for medical use, and some have legalized it for recreational use.

If you are looking for a medical marijuana prescription, only three states list Migraine individually as a qualifying condition

Medical marijuana laws in the United States. Leafly.com.

  • California
  • New Jersey
  • Missouri

However, several other states mention “chronic pain,” which is a broad term that could include Migraine. If you do not live in the above locations, you might still qualify in the following ones:

  • Arizona
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • West Virginia

Another thing to keep in mind is that you are not allowed to cross state lines with marijuana products, as per federal law. The rule applies even if traveling from one legal cannabis state to another.

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2 – Know the Best Marijuana Consumption Methods for Migraine

You need to consider consumption methods when using marijuana for Migraine. There are a lot of excellent options, but they boil down to inhalation and ingestion. Each offers advantages and disadvantages.

More than 100 cannabinoids have been identified in the cannabis plant. Keep in mind that here we are strictly addressing the cannabinoid referred to as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Our use of the term “cannabis” in this context refers specifically to marijuana, not low-THC hemp.

Smoking Marijuana for Migraine: Pros

Smoking — of things such as joints, pipes, water pipes (“bongs”), and vaporizers — is the best-known way to use marijuana.

Its effects begin after just a few minutes, making this ideal for immediately addressing a Migraine episode. Aside from pain, it directly addresses other symptoms that might accompany the headache, such as anxiety or nausea.

Smoked marijuana’s effects peak within 30 minutes and last two to four hours, depending on potency and individual tolerance.

Smoking Marijuana for Migraine: Cons

Unfortunately, there are drawbacks. Smoking dry herb involves combustion. Although the smoke from cannabis is not as toxic as tobacco, it can lead to issues like chronic bronchitis or lung inflammation.

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The only exception is vaporization. Rather than light the herb on fire, a vaporizer heats the marijuana in a small chamber, boiling the compounds into a vapor. Not only does this preserve more of the cannabinoids and terpenes, but it also lessens the issue of toxins or irritants associated with smoke — to a certain extent.

Keep in mind, even when vaping, there are risks. For instance, vaping cannabis at a higher temperature than 401°F (205°C) releases benzyne, a known carcinogen.

Cannabis smoke and vapor also can cause coughing. The violent jerking motions from a cough may make a headache or Migraine attack worse — at least until the THC takes effect.

Ingesting Marijuana for Migraine: Pros

There are plenty of ingestible cannabis options, like oils, tinctures, baked goods, gummies, chocolates, and drinks — to name just a few.

Unlike smoking, THC reaches the bloodstream through the digestive tract, making it less harmful to overall health. The effects also last longer — up to 12 hours in some cases — with the high peaking between two to four hours.

Ingesting Marijuana for Migraine: Cons

However, edibles need to be processed by the body first, so onset takes an average of 30 to 90 minutes, sometimes more

Barrus DG, Capogrossi KL, Cates SC, et al. Tasty THC: Promises and Challenges of Cannabis Edibles. Methods Rep RTI Press. 2016.

. Consequently, edibles are impractical for immediate Migraine relief but are excellent for regular preventative dosing.

Another problem is that it is a lot easier to overdose or “green out” when using edibles. Many beginners expect to feel the effects quickly, causing them to ingest more. Taking in more THC than needed can lead to symptoms like anxiety, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and even hallucinations.

When using edible marijuana for Migraine, remember the rule of “start low and go slow.” Begin with a low dose (2 to 5 mg) and gradually increase every 90 minutes as needed.

3 – Marijuana Strains Have Different Effects

There are thousands of marijuana strains, each with their associated good and adverse effects. Although some were involved in studies, most information about their benefits comes from anecdotes.

However, one study examining self-treatment with marijuana in Migraine patients found over 40 commonly-preferred chemotypes (cannabis varieties). “OG Shark” — a high-THC hybrid strain with unknown origins — was the best-liked, mainly due to its excellent ability to handle symptoms like nausea and chronic pain

Baron, E.P., Lucas, P., Eades, J. et al. Patterns of medicinal cannabis use, strain analysis, and substitution effect among patients with migraine, headache, arthritis, and chronic pain in a medicinal cannabis cohort. J Headache Pain 19, 37 (2018)

Also on the list were other famous strains, like Afghani, Alien OG, Cannatonic (high CBD), Bubba Kush, Jack Herer, OG Kush, Purple Kush, Rockstar, Skywalker OG, Warlock CBD, and White Widow.

CBD vs. THC

Most of the 40 strains were primarily THC, which typically sit in the 15-25% potency range. But some, like Cannatonic, contain virtually no THC and high CBD. Others fell into a more balanced THC-to-CBD ratio.

Researchers in the study, as mentioned above, found that Migraine patients who took 200 mg of oral cannabis containing 0.4% THC and 9% CBD experienced a 55% drop in pain severity when consumed during an attack. Patients who used that same dose daily experienced 40.4% fewer headaches as compared to the 40.1% reduction seen with amitriptyline.

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This is good news since CBD is non-intoxicating. A THC level of 0.4% at 200 mg may still cause impairment in rare cases, such as among THC-sensitive individuals. But any psychotropic effects fade as individuals become used to the cannabinoid.

Also, keep in mind that the side effects of opioids or prescription Migraine drugs can also cause drowsiness, dizziness, and other symptoms similar to the effects of marijuana — often to a higher degree.

4 – Side Effects

All medications have side effects, and marijuana is no exception. A single study found CBD worked well as the primary therapeutic cannabinoid. However, most seem to prefer high-THC strains — which dominate the list above.

THC does have a long history as an analgesic, but it’s also well-known for many effects that severely limit a patient’s ability to function. Some of these include:

  • Impaired motor/cognitive skills
  • Drowsiness
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Rapid heart rate (problematic for those with cardiovascular issues)
  • Dizziness

Consequently, people with Migraine can’t use THC and still perform daily tasks, like driving or working. It puts them in the same position as an untreated Migraine attack. The only difference is symptom relief (when used correctly).

CBD, on the other hand, has fewer side effects, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Light-headedness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability

Liver damage is also a concern, which we’ll touch on shortly.

The real problem isn’t necessarily CBD’s potential side effects but rather the source. It’s always safer to get CBD from a licensed marijuana producer. Unfortunately, not all states offer this option. Thanks to the new federal legalization of industrial hemp, CBD oil supplements are now legal in all 50 states (infused edibles and other CBD products are technically still illegal).

The supplement industry is unregulated, and therefore it can be challenging to find a reputable supplier. Always strive to get CBD from a licensed producer and legal retailer.

5 – Cannabis Can Affect Some Health Conditions

Before trying marijuana for Migraine, it’s important to discuss any existing health conditions with your doctor. Not all medical situations conflict with THC or CBD, but it’s essential to know which ones do.

Anxiety

If you suffer from anxiety, you need to find a delicate balance when using cannabis.

According to a report by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute,[5] studies on anxiety patients found low doses of THC (7.5mg) eased anxiety while “high” doses (12.5mg) made it worse

Study Finds CBD Is An Effective Treatment For Migraine

An overwhelming majority of migraine sufferers found relief with the use of CBD oil, according to the results of a recent study. Data from a clinically validated survey showed that 86% of respondents reported a decrease in headache impact after using a cannabidiol (CBD) formulation for a 30-day trial period.

The survey was taken by customers using a CBD oil product designed by Axon Relief, a company that creates supplements specifically for migraine sufferers. Known as the Headache Impact Test (Hit-6), the clinically validated survey measures the impact that headaches have on a respondent’s daily life and ability to function.

As many as 39 million Americans experience migraine.

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Data On CBD And Migraine Lacking

Although some research has shown that migraine sufferers report more relief from cannabis than they do from prescription medications, clinical studies that focus specifically on the effect that CBD can have on migraine are yet to be conducted. However, a 2018 study found that CBD, a non-intoxicating constituent of cannabis, has several pharmacological properties including acting as an anti-inflammatory, and anecdotal accounts of CBD oil successfully being used for migraine show promise.

“Our goal is to explore if our CBD isolate can help people who suffer from chronic headaches, like migraine. The results of the survey are promising,” Ben Rollins, the founder of Axon Relief, said in a press release.

Participants completed the Hit-6 survey both before and after using the CBD oil. During the 30-day trial period, respondents experienced an average of 3.8 fewer headache days than before using Axon’s CBD oil, a reduction of 23%. Chronic migraine sufferers, defined as people who experience 15 to 29 headache days over a 30-day period, saw a 33% reduction in their headache days.

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One Billion Migraine Sufferers Worldwide

Migraine is one of the world’s most prevalent neurological diseases, according to information from the Migraine Research Foundation, affecting approximately 39 million people in the U.S. and about one billion globally. Symptoms, which are often disabling, can include severe headache, dizziness, nausea, visual disturbances and severe sensitivity to light or sound. Migraine disease is commonly treated with strong pharmaceutical drugs, although with varying results.

“Since the ’90s I’ve been on constant high doses of carbamazepine and gabapentin. The periodic pain breakthroughs were only controlled by hydrocodone, which always made me feel. uncomfortable,” wrote Glen, a participant in Axon’s informal study. “What a change CBD oil has made: no more carbamazepine or hydrocodone, and only half the gabapentin—and far better pain control. Pain breakthroughs still happen, but another squirt of Axon CBD, and the pain is gone within 15 minutes. I have no side effects.”

The Axon CBD oil used in the migraine study.

Photo courtesy of Axon Relief

Another participant in the study said that the CBD formulation “has significantly helped with my chronic migraines. If taken at onset, I can rely on it to take the edge off relatively quickly.”

Of the 105 people who participated in the trial for Axon, 15 reported that they were experiencing daily headaches at the beginning of the study. By the end of the 30-day trial period, the number had dropped to 10, a reduction of 33%.

More Research Necessary

Although Axon’s study was conducted without the scientific rigor of gold-standard clinical trials, the results of the Hit-6 survey underscore the need for more research into CBD as a possible treatment for migraine sufferers around the world.

“While there is an abundance of anecdotal accounts of people using CBD oil with good results for migraine, there is very little in the way of standardized results,” the company wrote.

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