With the legality and awareness of CBD expanding, you might have thought about using CBD oil for migraine. But first, you’re bound to have a lot of questions. There is a ton of information out there! Fortunately, we’re here to help you sort through it all with the fluff-free, no-jargon answers you’re looking for about CBD oil and migraine.
Click on any of the questions below to find our scientifically accurate answers:
- What is CBD oil?
- Can CBD help with migraine?
- How does it work?
- Is there any scientific evidence that it works?
- Is CBD oil legal in 2022?
- Will you get high?
- Is it addictive?
- Are there any side effects?
- What’s the best dosage?
- Which CBD oil is best?
- What’s the difference between CBD and hemp?
- What’s the difference between CBD and marijuana?
What is CBD (Cannabidiol) Oil?
CBD (or cannabidiol) is not the same thing as the marijuana some people smoke. Marijuana is one of about 120 different substances in the Cannabis Sativa plant. But CBD is an isolated extract from a different part of the Cannabis Sativa plant. When people dry the plant and smoke it as marijuana, they are getting a lot more than CBD.
Could CBD Oil Help With Migraines?
Potentially, yes. Studies have shown promising results when evaluating cannabis for chronic pain and inflammation. For example, it has been shown to help those with arthritis and multiple sclerosis, and may help people prescribed opioids to reduce their reliance on pharmaceutical pain relievers.
To date, cannabis oil has not been studied in its isolated state specifically for migraine. However, in clinical studies cannabis combined with THC (marijuana) has shown promise for relieving migraine and other types of pain. A number of studies have examined the use of cannabis for headaches, though most looked at a relatively small number of cases.
There are many stories of positive results from people who have used CBD for migraine. Many say that it helps to ease migraine pain, and even shorten attacks. Perhaps a “study of one” is the best way to find out if it works for you – which simply involves giving it a try.[Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/]
How Does CBD Work?
While studies have shown the promise of CBD in treating epilepsy and some types of chronic pain, we still know very little about how it works.
Initially, CBD was thought to unlock the body’s endocannabinoid system and its receptors. The endocannabinoid system is thought to play a role in immune function, along with other things like memory, anxiety, and mood regulation. Further study has led to this theory being largely dismissed.
It’s still possible that CBD could interact with the endocannabinoid system in some other way, but this is just one of many possibilities, and is still being studied.[Sources: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/cannabidiol#section=Top;
Is There Scientific Evidence That CBD Works for Migraine?
As we mentioned earlier, pure CBD oil hasn’t been studied for migraine specifically, but there is promising clinical data regarding how medical marijuana might affect chronic pain and other conditions. For example:
- Cannabis compounds may be useful in treating pain in long-time users of opioids.
- CBD was found effective at reducing chronic pain and inflammation of arthritis and MS.
- “Medical marijuana” may reduce the frequency of migraine headaches.
- CBD reduced pain by more than 30% when studied for fibromyalgia.
- CBD was reported helpful for pain and quality of life by non-cancer chronic pain patients.
In short, the data we do have seems to bode well for CBD as a migraine treatment. At the very least, its recorded safety makes it seem worth trying for those who want to reduce pharmaceutical drug intake.[Source: Medicinal Properties of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids in Cannabis, and Benefits in Migraine, Headache, and Pain: An Update on Current Evidence and Cannabis Science. Baron EP. Headache. 2018 Jul; 58(7):1139-1186. PMID: 30152161]
New Survey Shows CBD Has Positive Impact on Migraine
For the last couple of years, Axon Relief has been surveying people with migraine before they take Axon’s specific formula of CBD, and again after 30 days of using the oil. One hundred and five people with migraine participated in the 30-day survey.
Using a clinically-validated questionnaire called the Headache Impact Survey (Hit-6™), Axon Relief measured the impact of a headache on a person’s life. The results are showing an overwhelming majority of headache sufferers could benefit from taking CBD oil.
At the end of the 30-day trial period, 86% of respondents reported decreased headache impact, reporting an average of 3.8 fewer headache days compared to before they used the oil, for a 23% reduction.
Perhaps most interesting is that during the trial period:
- Chronic migraine sufferers (people who experience 15 to 29 headache days over a 30-day period) saw a 33% reduction in their headache days.
- The number of participants experiencing daily headaches was reduced from 15 at the beginning of the study to 10 by the end of the study — a 33% drop.
Is CBD Legal in 2022?
There are no longer any states in the U.S. that outright ban the use of CBD. So relax – using it will not get you arrested. In all 50 states, CBD is either completely or conditionally legal. You can read more about it here.
The U.S. Farm Bill passed in late 2018 means that hemp and hemp-derived products (which includes Axon CBD Oil) will be managed like other crops, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (rather than under the Justice Department).
Will CBD Get Me High?
No, CBD is not a psychotropic substance, so it has no psychedelic effects. As discussed in the “What is CBD” portion of this article, the cannabis plant is composed of hundreds of chemical compounds. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD are the two most common of those compounds.
However, CBD and THC could not be more different. THC produces the psychedelic effects present in products offering a psychoactive “high.” CBD is not at all like THC because it contains no psychoactive chemicals and will not make you “high.” So while you might feel good using it due to pain relief, you won’t feel that kind of good.
Is CBD Oil Addictive?
No. CBD oil is non-addictive, and a study conducted by the World Health Organization has proven it in a double-blind, randomized study which found no difference in addiction risk between CBD and the administered placebo, even at a high dose of 600 mg.[Source: http://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/5.2_CBD.pdf]
Are There Any Side Effects?
There are very few known side effects of pure, isolated CBD (unlike CBD combined with THC, which has plenty of side effects). Pure CBD with 0.0% THC has surprisingly few side effects, which most of us would probably consider minor. The possible side effects include:
- Appetite changes
Not everyone will experience these side effects, and how CBD oil effects you may vary.
A 2019 study conducted on mice did raise some concerns about potential liver damage with CBD and its interactions with other medications. If you’re currently taking medication, discuss using CBD with your doctor before trying it.[Source: An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. 2017; 2(1): 139–154. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/] [Source: Hepatotoxicity of a Cannabidiol-Rich Cannabis Extract in the Mouse Model. 2019, 24(9), 1694; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24091694
What’s the Correct Dosage?
While there is no specific recommended dose, CBD has been found to be well tolerated by people, even in doses as high as 1,500mg a day.
For reference, Axon’s CBD Oil is formulated specifically for migraine, and is considered a high concentrate with over 33 mg Cannabidiol per 1ml serving size. Other CBD oils may contain as little as 3mg.
As with most supplements, it is wise to start out with smaller doses to see where relief begins and how your body reacts. Then you may increase your dosage over time to find the right level for you. With CBD or any other supplement, follow the label instructions and take note of how you feel before making any personal adjustments.[Source: Practical Considerations in Medical Cannabis Administration and Dosing. 2018 Mar;49:12-1. PMID: 29307505. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29307505] [Source: Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent. 2011 Sep 1;6(4):237-49. doi: 10.2174/157488611798280924. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22129319/]
Which CBD Oil is Best?
Like many other supplements, where you purchase your CBD oil can make all the difference.
A recent study by the Institute of Research on Cannabinoids analyzed more than 80 CBD products, and found that a whopping 70% of them didn’t match what was on the label, containing either more or less CBD than the label claimed. On top of that startling statistic, 1 in 5 of the CBD samples tested actually contained some level of THC, even though the label claimed there was none.
This study shows why it’s important to use a trustworthy source for any CBD supplement you buy. It’s also why Axon uses an FDA-registered manufacturing facility and 3rd party testing. No matter what CBD oil you choose, you want to be sure what’s in the bottle matches the label, and that your product is as pure as possible.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before buying:[Source: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2661569]
1. Is it clean?
Common CBD additives such as preservatives or flavors can actually trigger migraines in some people.
Make sure your CBD oil is clean, without unnecessary ingredients. Axon’s CBD Oil, for example, includes only CBD extract suspended in hemp oil. Nothing else.
2. Is it strong?
A lot of CBD brands include only small amounts of real CBD — as little as 3 mg. Since CBD has been proven safe even in high doses, it seems like you might as well increase your chances of results by using a stronger dose.
Axon’s CBD Oil offers 33 mg CBD per serving — 11 times stronger than many other brands.
3. Is it pure?
A lot of CBD supplements include “full spectrum” CBD, and on the surface, that might sound like a benefit. But full spectrum means many different parts of the plant are included in the oil. As many migraineurs can attest from personal experience, you can’t always anticipate how those things might affect you and your condition.
That “spectrum” can also change from batch to batch, resulting in inconsistency from bottle to bottle. So along with those additional substances, one bottle might affect you differently than another.
This is why Axon uses only pure, isolated CBD extract. Your CBD will never include other cannabis substances, and you’ll always know what to expect.
In manufacturing, Axon uses C02 extraction, which is one of the cleanest ways to extract CBD for human consumption.
4. Is it 3rd party tested?
The best CBD oil for migraines will offer verified proof that their label is accurate and the product is pure. Mislabeling is actually a big problem in the CBD industry.
As discussed earlier in this section, up to 70% of CBD products tested were found to contain inaccurate amounts of CBD (either too much or too little). And 1 in 5 actually contained THC, when the label said there was none.
Axon uses strict 3rd party testing and an FDA-approved manufacturing facility, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
What’s the Difference Between CBD and Hemp?
Hemp and CBD are different. Both are made from the Cannabis Sativa family of plants, but they come from two different varieties of the species.
Hemp is a long-standing industrial product that people have grown for hundreds of years. As a matter of fact, 3rd President of the United States Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. It’s useful for making all kinds of products, such as clothing, rope, and food.
Manufacturers of CBD products typically use the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant to make their products since hemp plants contain more CBD and almost no THC. This makes it easier to extract pure CBD oil from hemp without getting THC.
What’s the Difference Between CBD Oil and Marijuana?
CBD and marijuana are derived from two different plants that belong to the same species (Cannabis Sativa). Those plants are hemp and marijuana.
Under the 2018 Farm Bill, Cannabis Sativa plants containing less than .3% THC are classified as hemp. CBD Oil is extracted from the hemp plant.
The marijuana plant is what contains THC, which creates the “high” recreational marijuana users are after. Since CBD is extracted from hemp and not marijuana, it can be made without THC.
As mentioned earlier, CBD is an isolated extract of one of over 120 substances in the Cannabis Sativa plant. Not only is it non-psychoactive, it may actually inhibit the psychedelic effect that THC has on the nervous system. So when it comes to getting high, CBD oil is actually more likely to bring you back down.[Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22716160]
The Future of CBD Oil for Migraine
CBD oil is one of many tools migraineurs can use to reduce their pain while reducing their reliance on pharmaceuticals.
Axon Optics has been providing other such tools since 2010, beginning with therapeutic eyewear. Dr. Bradley Katz, co-founder of Axon Optics and neuro-ophthalmologist at the University of Utah’s Moran Eye Center, is optimistic that science will continue to find more natural treatments for migraine pain. “As we understand more about migraine, its triggers, and underlying causes, I think the outlook for natural treatments is very positive. Cannabis oil for migraine could turn out to be one of those treatments that can help people get relief without relying so heavily on traditional painkillers.”
With its track record of safety and non-addictive nature, CBD oil is likely worth a try for many migraine sufferers. Now that you know more about it, you can make an informed decision on whether CBD oil is right for you, and where you can get a pure and tested product.