Clinical Studies About CBD for Migraines

by | Apr 13, 2023 | Latest News | 0 comments

Migraine headaches are a neurological disorder causing headaches that vary in intensity and can be debilitating for some people. Migraines are typically accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. It’s estimated that more than 38 million Americans and 1 billion people around the world suffer from migraine headaches. Hundreds of clinical trials going on right now around the country are testing new migraine therapies.  But many people are asking, can you use CBD for migraines?

One or more of these treatments could revolutionize the way doctors care for patients afflicted with migraine headaches. Migraine headaches, unfortunately, affect around 10% of the population worldwide and are three times more common for females than males. In a study conducted in the United States, 17.1% of women reported having migraines, while only 5.6% of men reported symptoms. Migraine headaches most commonly affect people aged 20 years to 50 years old.

Different Types Of Migraines

There are several different types of migraine headaches with varying symptoms, including:

  • Migraine without aura.
  • Migraine with aura.
  • Chronic migraine.
  • Abdominal migraine.
  • Acephalgic/silent migraine.
  • Migraine with brainstem aura (basilar-type migraine).
  • Hemiplegic migraine.
  • Retinal migraine.
  • Status migrainosus.

Migraine Without Aura

75% of people who experience headache disorders suffer from migraines without aura. Those experiencing migraines without aura typically deal with intense pulsating headaches on one side of the head. In addition to pulsating headaches, they can also experience sensitivity to light and sound.

Migraine With Aura

Around 30% of migraine sufferers suffer from migraines with aura. The aura can begin about 30 minutes before the onset of the migraine and can cause severe vision impairment. The aura may be visible as flashes of light, wavy lines, and even specks floating around.

People who experience migraines with aura occasionally lose the ability to speak and have trouble with essential motor functions. Migraines with aura become more common for people as they get older.

Chronic Migraines

Once a person experiences migraines for over 15 days out of the month for three months, the condition becomes a chronic migraine. The chronic pain associated with migraines can be uncomfortable and debilitating for some people.

This condition, unfortunately, can become less responsive to medication as time goes on, and the chronic pain increases. Only about 2% of people who experience migraines live with chronic migraines.

Abdominal Migraine

Abdominal migraines most commonly occur in children aged 5 years to 9 years old but can also affect adults. While abdominal migraines don’t always include headaches, symptoms can still be uncomfortable.

Common symptoms of abdominal migraines include nausea, vomiting, and moderate to severe abdominal pain. It is very likely for children who experience abdominal migraine to develop migraines involving headaches as they get older.

Trying CBD for Migraines


Silent Migraines

An acephalgic or “silent” migraine can affect a person with all the classic migraine symptoms without a headache. People with silent migraines often report issues with vision and color perception. Most commonly, silent migraines affect people who are over 50 years old. Silent migraines are occasionally confused with strokes. This type of migraine affects roughly 3% of migraine sufferers.

Migraine With Brainstem Aura

Migraine with brainstem aura, unfortunately, occurs most commonly in adolescent girls. About 10% of all people with migraines experience brainstem aura. The symptoms often come on gradually and are confused with stroke symptoms.

Many people experience slurred speech, vertigo, and numbness with these types of migraines. Migraine with brainstem aura was originally referred to as basilar-type migraines.

Hemiplegic Migraine

Hemiplegic migraines are extremely rare – affecting only about 0.01% of all migraine sufferers. This type of migraine comes with weakness or numbness on one side of the body, slurred speech, and general confusion. Similar to migraines with brainstem aura, the symptoms of hemiplegic migraines are often confused with those of a stroke.

Retinal Migraine

Retinal migraines are scary and rare – affecting only about 0.5% of people with migraines. The symptoms of a retinal migraine are total or partial temporary blindness in one eye. In addition to blindness, many people with retinal migraines also experience light flashes and floaty particles in their eyes.

The eyes are affected roughly one hour before the headache begins. Retinal headaches can last up to three days. To be diagnosed with retinal migraines, your physician must rule out several other reasons for potential blindness.

Status Migrainous

This type of migraine can be excruciating and debilitating. Status migrainous often lasts for 72 hours or more. If you are experiencing severe migrainous pain for more than 72 hours without relief, please dial 911 and seek emergency services. About 1% of migraine sufferers experience status migraines.

It is important to consider the life-altering effects of migraines. If you are experiencing migraines consistently, you may consider seeking a professional assessment from a neurologist or physician specializing in migraine headaches.

Migraine CBD


How Are Migraines Diagnosed?

Receiving a proper diagnosis for migraines can be very difficult as there is no specific test that diagnoses migraines. Migraine headache frequency can be unpredictable and offer different symptoms as they come on.

Most commonly, a physician will need to assess the patterns associated with a person’s migraine headaches. Your physician may conduct a neurological exam to determine your vision, mental strength, depth of chronic pain, and reflexes in your head, neck, and shoulders. The neurological exam is essential to rule out the possibility of brain tumors or blood clots.

A physician may also order an MRI or an MRA. MRIs use magnetic waves to create 2D or 3D images of the inside of your head and neck. This test is also necessary to rule out tumors, abscesses, or blood clots. MRIs can also determine if the migraine issue stems from any problems with the bones in your neck and determine a course of action to relieve pain.

MRA stands for magnetic resonance angiogram, another imaging technique to search for abnormalities. An MRA scan will allow the physician to view any blood vessels caused by a blood clot, resulting in migraines.

Warning Signs That A Migraine May Be Coming

Many people experience warning signs before a migraine headache is about to begin. These warning signs can be acute pain, nausea, impaired vision, neck stiffness, frequent urination, mood changes, and even increased yawning. While the symptoms for different migraines vary, almost every migraine sufferer experiences some discomfort during a migraine attack.

If you notice a migraine beginning, it is best to lie down in a cool and dark environment. Some people benefit from heat or ice on their necks. Additionally, some people also benefit from sipping on caffeinated beverages. Caffeine may aid in relieving some of the symptoms of the migraine if consumed at the start of symptoms occurring.

Triggers For Migraines

Many factors can trigger migraines. Most commonly, migraines are triggered by stress, hormonal changes, exercise, and certain foods or drinks. Additionally, migraines can also be triggered by sleep changes, medication changes, and also weather changes. Unfortunately, the exact cause of migraines is currently unknown. It is thought to result from abnormal brain activity that affects nerve signals and blood vessels in the brain.

Using CBD for Migraines

Clinical studies have begun in hopes of finding meaningful links between CBD products and the relief of migraines. While data is limited, here’s what we already know:

A clinical study was presented in 2017 at the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) to assess a group of researchers’ findings on the link between cannabinoids and migraine prevention. Phase 1 of their study included 48 participants who suffer from chronic migraines. The 48 participants were given two compounds orally, containing 19% THC and 9% CBD. It was revealed that doses of the THC/CBD compound under 100 mg did not affect a person’s migraines. However, when doses of 200 mg were administered, participants reported up to 55% of their acute migraine pain was reduced.

Phase 2 of the study included 79 participants with cluster headaches. These participants received 200 mgs of the THC/CBD compound or 25 mgs of a tricyclic antidepressant. Migraine treatments lasted three months and included a follow-up exam four weeks after treatment ended. The control group who received the CBD and THC compound reported reduced migraines by 40.4%. The control group that received the tricyclic antidepressant reported a 40.1% reduction in migraines. It is also noted that the THC/CBD compound reduced migraine pain by 43.5%. However, this reduction in pain intensity was only reported by participants who have been experiencing migraines since childhood.

Migraine Headaches and Cannabidiol CBD


Cannabinoids and Migraine Symptoms

A different study conducted in 2016 by Pharmacotherapy found that medical marijuana reduced migraine attacks overall. In a control group of 121 adults diagnosed with migraines, 39.7% reported a decrease in migraines throughout the duration of the study, thanks to medical cannabis. 11.6% of the control group reported adverse effects during the study, including drowsiness/sleepiness.

Furthermore, a 2018 study stated that 2,032 participants with either migraines, headaches, chronic pain, or arthritis were able to replace their prescription medications with cannabis. Medical cannabis offers anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which are believed to reduce migraine symptoms.

Further research needs to be conducted to show the genuine direct link between how CBD may reduce migraines. While the effects of CBD on migraines seem promising, we still have a lot to learn about the connections. The data suggest that CBD may reduce symptoms for minor migraines, but there is limited data on how it affects very severe migraine pain.

Talk to Your Doctor About Using CBD for Migraine Headaches

If you are considering taking CBD for migraine relief, discussing the pros and cons with your healthcare provider is best. They may suggest pausing prescription migraine medication, depending on your current treatment plan and how effective it is.  However, many people use cannabidiol (CBD) supplements in conjunction with other therapies to help reduce the debilitating symptoms of migraine headaches.

If a person chooses to cut out their prescription migraine treatment cold turkey, they may experience withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Worsening headache.
  • Nausea.
  • Poor sleep.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Debilitating pain

It is much easier to wean off a daily CBD supplement. While withdrawal symptoms from CBD are often extremely minor, they may discomfort some users. CBD withdrawals can include symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, restlessness, and decreased mood.

Standard Pharmaceutical Treatment For Migraines

Migraines are a long-standing neurological disorder that has been affecting people for decades. Treatment varies depending on the severity of the migraine headache. For some, over-the-counter pain relievers such as Motrin, Advil, and Ibuprofen combat the migraine discomfort well enough on their own. Over-the-counter medications are not an effective treatment for others and won’t even touch their migraine attacks.

Many patients require prescription medications to fight off migraines. Certain drugs called triptans may be necessary for more severe migraines. Imitrex and Tosymra are two prescription drugs blocking brain pain pathways. These prescription drugs come in pills, shots, and nasal sprays. This is not an effective treatment for those at risk of stroke or heart attack.

There is an effective drug known as Dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal). This prescription drug is effective for those who experience migraines lasting longer than 24 hours. This drug is available as a nasal spray or injection and is most effective when taken as early as possible when migraine symptoms start. Side effects of Dihydroergotamine include worsening of vomiting and nausea.

Another prescription drug that has recently hit the migraine market is Lasmiditan. This is an oral tablet that can aid in relieving the symptoms of migraines with and without aura. Clinical trials suggested that this drug significantly improves headache pain. Lasmiditan is a sedative that can provide dizziness, so it is important not to drive or operate heavy machinery for 8-10 hours after consuming it.

How Can I Prevent Future Migraines?

There are several preventative medications available in hopes of preventing future migraine attacks. If you are experiencing long-lasting migraines that are resistant to standard medications, your doctor may offer preventive medications such as:

  • Blood pressure-lowering medications.
  • Anti-seizure drugs.
  • Antidepressants.
  • Botox injections.

These treatment options are available to migraine sufferers and offer different relieving aids. Blood pressure-lowering medications often contain beta blockers which are beneficial to those experiencing migraines with aura. Anti-seizure medications can block certain channels in the body that deliver electric signals to nerve, muscle, and brain cells. Antidepressants may benefit in preventing migraines by targeting serotonin, which plays a role in your mood and pain. Botox can be injected to block the release of chemicals involved in pain transmission.

DocCBD Products That May Help

DocCBD may be able to help you find relief with our quality CBD products. With seven different products, we encourage you to try them all to find the right one for you. Our products include:

  • 25 MG Broad Spectrum CBD Capsules.
  • CBD Sleep Gummies with CBG and CBN.
  • Fast Acting CBD Pain Roller.
  • Mint Flavored CBD Calm Tincture.
  • 25 MG CBD Softgel Capsules.
  • CBD Pain Relief Cream.
  • 12.5 MG CBD Softgel Capsules.

All DocCBD products are domestically sourced from American agricultural hemp and are complete with COAs. Our supplements are formulated using patented bio-enhanced technology to optimize bioavailability and absorption. This allows for the maximum benefit from natural cannabinoids that survive the digestive process to provide the best value for wellness.

At DocCBD, we’re excited to announce our new monthly subscription option! Get your quality CBD products shipped right to your door every month. When you sign up for the monthly subscription, you can access discounted rates on CBD products.  If you are thinking about trying clinical-grade CBD for migraines, shipping is always free with DocCBD.

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Bioavailable Cannabidiol Supplements

Our products offer higher bioavailability than other CBD products available for purchase. DocCBD products contain all-natural ingredients and are complete with a certificate of analysis for every product.  The DocCBD CBD sleep gummies contain both CBG and CBN and melatonin. This product can offer pain relief and a better night’s sleep. See why they have quickly become our patient’s favorite product!

Our patented CBD supplements are gluten-free and lactose-free, and other ingredients are identified as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) per the FDA’s standards. Our supplements are also free of artificial flavors, coloring, or fragrances. Every DocCBD product is third-party tested for quality and safety.

It is important to ensure you are purchasing quality CBD products. Because CBD oil is not regulated and not FDA-approved at this time, it is common for stores to sell poor-quality CBD products. Be wary of cheap CBD or any cannabis products labeled as “legal weed” in stores that are not cannabis dispensaries. Be extra cautious about using products labeled as “synthetic cannabis” as they can contain carcinogens and harmful chemicals.

We look forward to assisting you in achieving total wellness. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office at (888)-316-6659 or email us at [email protected].

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