Thanks to those of you who have been submitting questions to Headache and Migraine News – keep them coming!
Today I have a question from Stacey in the United States. She had heard about someone who had tried many things for her migraine disease, but finally found almost complete relief using CBD oil.
There is a lot of talk about CBD oil for migraine, but here’s one example from Ireland – Migraine sufferer finds relief in cannabis-derived oil
If you do a search online, you’ll find a whole lot of information about CBD oil – some of it good, some of it bad. Just looking at the title of this article, which describes CBD oil as “cannabis-derived”, you can imagine there is a lot of politics an money going into various points of view on this issue. Emotions run high on every side.
CBD oil is generally take under your tongue (drops or spray) for conditions like migraine, or in a capsule. Some people use it as a preventative, some as an abortive.
I’m not going to repeat all the information here, but I will try to give you a few highlights to help you navigate information in your own research.
- First, CBD oil does not necessarily have a “psychotropic” effect, because it doesn’t necessarily contain the psychotropic chemical, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). There are actually various types of CBD oil with different percentages of THC and CBD (cannabidiol). CBD oil with very little or no THC may have an anti-migraine effect, as may oils with a mix of CBD and THC. But to answer a question you may be asking, no, you don’t need to “get high” for this to “work”.
- But does it work? Many people are reporting that it does help them, with migraine and chronic pain conditions. There is enough information to make us hopeful about the future use of CBD oil. But there is very, very little information from clinical trials to give us solid evidence and to assure us of safety.
- You’ll see contradictory, and what appears to be contradictory, information about legality. Legality depends not only on what country you’re in, but also on how the laws of that country are interpreted. So I’ll leave that one for now!
- If you want to purchase CBD oil online, you are probably going to buy it from a travelling salesman in the wild west. And you won’t be able to look him in the eye to see how honest he is. In other words, there are a lot of slick, professional looking websites selling CBD oil. But some of that oil, contrary to what they tell you, has hardly any CBD in it. It may even contain harmful chemicals. So you will need to do a lot of research, and even then there may be a lot of experimentation to see what works for you.
So let me give a perspective as someone who has researched migraine treatments for many years. Although cannabis in general has been used throughout history, CBD oil is one of many, many treatments that are in the very early stages of clinical trial research. There are likely dozens of treatments and combinations that have good evidence behind them that you should probably try first.
That is not to say that CBD oil and other cannabis/marijuana/hemp related treatments are not good treatments. They are a valid area of study, but that study has just begun. So you need to be aware that there is risk associated with these treatments.
I’m not even saying you can’t find reputable companies to sell you good products – but that there are various risks naturally associated with something with little clinical trial evidence behind it and little or no regulation.
If you want to try CBD oil, talk to your doctor, and be aware of the risks. Do careful research before you give your money to someone.
Here is some information to get you started:
- CBD oil: Uses, health benefits, and risks
- Migraines: How I Got off Pain Meds and Found Relief with Cannabis
- 5 Facts About CBD Oil For Migraine Headaches