Lately, cannabidiol (CBD) has been featured everywhere. The cannabinoid has been in the spotlight because of its impressive list of benefits and the many conditions it can help manage.
You may have heard that CBD can help manage anxiety, treat insomnia and even reduce nausea. You have probably also heard that CBD can be a great treatment for chronic pain. But did you know that this also applies to migraines?
Migraines are awful. For many people, a migraine can prevent them from completing even the simplest of tasks. All light and sounds can cause intense pain. Pain medication may provide temporary relief but often comes with a variety of unpleasant side effects.
This is where CBD comes in.
Many research studies, including this study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, have found that using CBD can help reduce both pain and inflammation. The natural compound is not only very effective at managing pain, but it also has minimal side effects. In fact, many people do not experience any side effects of CBD usage at all.
How CBD Works
Before we can understand how CBD manages the pain in your body, especially in the case of migraines, it’s important to understand how CBD works.
Your body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that is activated by cannabinoids such as CBD or THC (CBD’s psychoactive counterpart). When CBD enters your body, it interacts with the receptors you have in that endocannabinoid system. By interacting with the receptors, it changes them and makes them seem more appealing to the chemicals naturally found in your body that are responsible for making you feel good, such as dopamine. You then have an uptake in those natural feel-good chemicals and experience decreased pain and anxiety.
How CBD Manages Migraine Pain
In addition to causing more natural chemicals to link to your endocannabinoid system, which can help you to feel better when you are experiencing a migraine, CBD also manages pain in other ways. This includes reducing pain-causing inflammation and even keeping certain compounds from linking with your ECS.
As one example, CBD stops your body from absorbing anandamide (a compound that regulates pain). This causes an increase of anandamide in your bloodstream, allowing it to be accessed more readily by your body. This may reduce pain levels and therefore help to keep any migraine pain that you are experiencing at bay.
CBD has also been found to reduce inflammation in the body. A study in the European Journal of Pain used an animal study to see if CBD could help manage arthritis pain. The researchers saw a big drop in pain and inflammation without any noticeable side effects.
Inflammation is responsible for a lot of different types of pain in the body. Although the exact cause of migraine pain is still not completely understood, it is believed that inflammation of the blood vessels near the brain may play a role. CBD may help to mitigate this inflammation.
CBD is a good option to consider if you have migraines because it has been shown to be effective at providing pain relief, it does not cause addiction, and it does not have many notable side effects.
Despite all of the promising findings from various research studies over the years regarding CBD and pain, there is still much more research that needs to be done. More human clinical studies are needed in order to learn more about how CBD can affect migraine pain specifically.
Although more research is needed, many scientists and medical professionals agree that CBD can be a good natural option for managing migraine pain, and possibly even preventing migraines as well.