Chronic migraines are one of the most common and debilitating long-term medical conditions. Recent estimates suggest about 1 billion people struggle with these throbbing headaches multiple days every month. In addition to intense head pain, migraines can cause many other scary symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and temporary loss of vision. 

Although there’s no cure for migraines, doctors have developed many preventative strategies that can make life more manageable for migraineurs. Typically, migraine patients have the highest success rate if they use these strategies early & often to keep severe pain at bay. 

Interestingly, many natural supplements like CBD oil may play a role in reducing migraine frequency. While CBD on its own probably won’t get rid of a migraine attack, it might decrease the likelihood people will experience these headaches. 

How Could CBD Be Helpful For Migraine Patients? 

The most influential trial examining CBD for migraines took place at Colorado State University in 2018. Although this study wasn’t specific to migraines, it looked at the effect of CBD supplements in a group of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The authors found approximately 67 percent of MS patients reduced or eliminated their migraine prescriptions after starting a CBD regimen. This study strongly suggests CBD’s anti-inflammatory impact reduces migraine severity.

Another study from the company Axon Relief also focuses on using CBD for migraine prevention. After one month of using CBD oil, patients experienced a 23 – 33 percent cut in their total migraine days. 

Since doctors disagree on the biomechanics of CBD and migraines, it’s impossible to say how hemp seems to have these positive results. However, some scientists believe inflammation plays a role in migraine etiology. It’s well known that CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which may explain its positive impact on migraine symptoms. 

It’s also worth mentioning a study from University College London that showed CBD might increase blood flow to the brain. Specifically, this test found CBD increased activity in the hippocampus of healthy adult patients. Nobody knows if this finding has anything to do with CBD’s effect on migraines, but it may be a significant factor. 

When Should Migraine Patients Use CBD Oil?

The latest research into CBD for migraine suggests this cannabinoid may work best as a preventative strategy. Rather than providing acute symptom relief, CBD may lower the odds of experiencing migraines by naturally reducing inflammation and anxiety

Typically, the sooner a migraine patient addresses an upcoming attack, the better chances they will experience less intense symptoms. Many migraine experts claim it’s best to take anti-migraine medications during the “prodrome stage,” which refers to the hours or days leading up to a migraine.

Unfortunately, there’s no clear definition of a “migraine prodrome,” and everyone seems to experience different warning signs that a migraine is coming up. These prodrome signals may include lethargy, changes in mood, slurred speech, or nausea. 

Patients should note any signals they frequently notice before a migraine attack. These symptoms will alert migraine patients on the best time to ramp up their treatment strategy. 

Does this mean migraine patients should increase CBD oil during a prodrome? Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that taking a high dose of hemp-derived CBD can ward off a migraine. At this point, it’s most likely CBD oil may be suitable as a low-to-moderate dose daily supplement to minimize migraine risks.

Consider Stacking CBD With Other Migraine Therapies  

CBD may be an excellent adjunct therapy for migraine patients, but it shouldn’t be the central aspect of your treatment regimen. Anyone who struggles with migraines should speak with their doctor to formulate a comprehensive plan to minimize this long-term condition’s effects. Aside from pharmaceutical medications, there’s some evidence that exercise, therapy dogs, and meditation may help with migraines. Also, please remember that CBD can interact with other medicines, so patients shouldn’t start using it without a doctor’s approval. 

If you need help finding a high-quality lab-verified CBD oil, check out Real Tested CBD’s rankings.

Dr. Igor Bussel, M.D., M.S., M.H.A
Dr. Igor Bussel, M.D., M.S., M.H.A is a clinician-scientist and ophthalmic surgeon. Before attending Chicago Medical School, he worked as a Research Scientist in a Healthspan Pharmacology Laboratory at University of California, Irvine focused on investigating the impact of botanical extracts and dietary supplements that can slow the aging process and add healthy years to human life.

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