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13 March 2020

Can CBD Help Those Living With Migraine?


This is a guest post from John Alois, Digital Editor and Lead Content Creator of DidCBDWork.com.


Can CBD Help Those Living With Migraine?

As many readers, unfortunately, know, migraine is a chronic and often debilitating neurological disease impacting millions around the world.


Migraine attacks are often characterized by severe headaches of varying intensity and frequency. They can also include sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, fatigue, and a host of other potential symptoms.

These attacks can greatly vary in frequency from patient to patient. While some only experience episodes a couple of times a month, an estimated 4 million people suffer from chronic migraine, suffering attacks over 15 days a month.

Migraine is a particularly prevalent type of neurological condition, impacting an estimated 39 million Americans and over a billion people the world over. The condition tends to disproportionately affect women, although people of any sex or age may develop it. Many are unable to function normally during the span of their attacks, significantly impacting their own lives and the lives of their loved ones.

While migraines can be treatable through the use of analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications, these are used as acute treatments and leave the user waiting hours until the drugs take effect. Outside of diet modifications and lifestyle alterations, many of those living with migraine are curious if there are any alternative treatments available that may offer them relief.

What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is the second most common of 113 identified cannabinoids, which are closely related chemical compounds that interact with cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. These interactions make up the body's endocannabinoid system, responsible for the regulation and balance of many biological functions. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the most common cannabinoid, frequently associated with cannabis and notorious due to its potent psychoactive effect.

The key distinction between CBD and THC is that each cannabinoid binds with different cannabinoid receptors, which in turn produce different effects on the mind and body. Another key difference is that CBD is non-psychoactive, which means that users aren't at risk of the intoxication frequently associated with THC and cannabis. CBD also metabolizes in the body differently than THC, which means that users aren't at risk of failing drug screenings.

In addition to a trove of anecdotal evidence noting the incredible effect that CBD has had on their symptoms and over lives, there is also a wealth of scientific evidence repeatedly demonstrating the pharmacological benefits that CBD can provide. There has been a multitude of clinical and preclinical trials demonstrating the ability of CBD to help treat and manage a wide variety of symptoms and conditions, including neurological disorders such as migraines.

Can CBD Help Those Living With Migraine?
As mentioned, there is a wealth of both anecdotal and scientific evidence noting the efficacy of using CBD to treat and manage an exhaustive list of symptoms and conditions. DidCBDWork.com seeks to join the anecdotal and academic evidence together in a simple, easy to use site.

People all over the world have written about the impact CBD has had in managing their migraine, as well as the impact it has made on their overall lives and health. In addition to this collection of anecdotal evidence, they've also compiled an extensive database of peer-reviewed clinical trials and academic research, demonstrating specifically how CBD affects a wide variety of conditions.

For example, a study from the University of Pavia found that endocannabinoid deficiencies may contribute to the development of several debilitating conditions, such as migraine. Their research found that systematic CBD usage can correct these deficiencies, leading to a host of possible benefits such as the alleviation of pain and discomfort. In addition to this, researchers also noted reduced sensitivity to the perception and sensation of pain.

Another critical study from the University of Manchester demonstrated the efficacy of CBD for the treatment of various symptoms directly associated with migraine, such as photophobia, nausea, and general pain. In their research, the team found that supplementation with CBD was shown to provide notable and sustained relief for all three symptoms. While a clear demonstration of the promise that CBD can provide, the authors of the study recommend additional research to fully understand the underlying mechanisms behind these interactions.

In an academic review of currently available scientific data by GW Pharmaceuticals, researchers found that the introduction of CBD is effective in correcting chronic endocannabinoid deficiency, which may be responsible for a variety of symptoms associated with migraine. Systemic CBD supplementation was demonstrated to block spinal, peripheral, and gastrointestinal pain and discomfort. The authors of the study believe this relief is achieved through a combination of anti-inflammatory properties and dopamine regulation.

Likewise, a review conducted by a team of researchers at the IRCCS Neurological Institute found that exogenous CBD supplementation was effective at regulating the endogenous cannabinoid system. This process is known to have a central and peripheral effect on the ability to handle pain. Experimental and clinical data strongly suggest that CBD is a promising tool for the reduction and regulation of physiological and inflammatory pain commonly associated with migraine.

An assessment of research by the Boston University School of Medicine, on behalf of the American Headache Society, note the long and storied history of the use of cannabis and cannabinoids in traditional and modern medicine. Cannabinoids had been used to treat migraine, cluster headaches, and other neurological disorders long before the enactment and repeal of prohibition, which had effectively undone millenniums of traditional research regarding the efficacy of cannabis in the modern age. The authors conclude that cannabis' schedule I status effectively impedes additional and critical investigation into the effectiveness of cannabinoids in treating a myriad of conditions, such as migraine. Rescheduling cannabis may be hugely beneficial toward neurological research in the future.

Does CBD Work?
As previously mentioned, there is a vast collection of peer-reviewed academic research, scientific data, and anecdotal evidence that highlight the promise and potential CBD can provide to those currently living with migraine and similar neurological conditions. Neurologists and healthcare professionals the world over have advocated the use of a supervised CBD regimen to help treat and manage a wide variety of symptoms and conditions associated with migraine.
As with starting any healthcare or lifestyle regiment, consult with your healthcare provider to ensure there aren't any conflicts with any other current treatments or medications. Additionally, they may be able to answer any questions you have about CBD, as well as help you create an effective treatment plan to manage your specific symptoms.

Have you or someone you know used CBD to help treat and manage their migraine? DidCBDWork.com is currently gathering experiences from millions of people, just like you, who have used CBD to help treat and manage symptoms of their migraine. No matter if it worked for you or not, DidCBDWork would love to hear from you about your experience; these stories help those suffering see that there may be a solution out there for them to grant them relief.

John Mace Alois is the Digital Editor and Lead Content Creator of DidCBDWork.com, a crowdsourcing project looking to reach 1 million CBD users. A lifelong advocate for CBD and cannabis products, this Empire State native has spent the last several years using advocacy to sharpen his writing skills. He has written professionally for years and looks forward to using that skill to educate others.

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