A migraine is more than a severe headache; it’s a chronic, potentially debilitating neurological disorder that affects at least 12 percent of our population. While migraines statistically affect women more often than men, this chronic pain condition does not discriminate by age, gender, or ethnicity.
Migraine sufferers typically rely on over-the-counter pain relievers, lifestyle modifications, and prescription medications to alleviate their symptoms. While these treatment options are effective for some, they are not beneficial for everyone. Many doctors today believe that the over-use of prescription pain medications contributes to the frequency and severity of migraine symptoms.
When medication and lifestyle changes are ineffective, or the side effects become prohibitive, many people living with migraine pain begin their search for natural pain relief options. The search for a safe, natural pain-relieving alternative leads many migraine sufferers to investigate the numerous potential health and wellness benefits of hemp CBD.
The Multiple Symptoms Associated with Chronic Migraines
A migraine episode can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Migraines are considered a chronic health condition when experienced 15 or more days per month.Researchers commonly believe that migraine headaches result from changes in brain chemistry and blood flow. Whether migraines are episodic or chronic, those living with migraine pain commonly experience some or all of the following symptoms:
• Moderate to severe head pain (one or both sides)
• Sensitivity to light or sound
• Sensitivity to smells or touch
• Visual disturbances (such as bright spots or flashing light)
• Blurred vision
• Vision loss
• A tingling or prickling sensation
• Nausea or vomiting
• Dizziness or weakness
• Auditory hallucinations (hearing unexplained noises or music)
While the cause of migraine pain is not fully understood, many researchers today believe migraines are caused by endocannabinoid deficiencies. When you understand the functions of your endocannabinoid system and the significance of supplementing potential deficiencies, it’s easy to understand how hemp CBD has the potential to alleviate so many of the symptoms associated with migraine attacks.
Understanding the Basics of Your Endocannabinoid System
Your body is regulated by a complex system of messengers and receptors that facilitate the communication between your body and your brain. Researchers named this relatively recent discovery after the plant species that led to its unveiling: cannabis.
The messengers of your endocannabinoid system are called cannabinoids. These essential neurotransmitters interact with their corresponding receptors (CB1 and CB2). The resulting reaction is dependent upon the chemical composition of the messages received.
Your endocannabinoid system is so vital to your survival that many researchers believe the endocannabinoid system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or the complex internal balance that all living organisms need for survival. Some of the many functions regulated by this fascinating system include:
• Pain perception and inflammation
• Neural development and neuroprotection
• Processes of the immune system
• Memory and learning
• Thermoregulation and energy metabolism
• Regulation of moods and emotions
• Digestive processes (including vomiting)
• Cardiovascular function
• Sleep cycle regulation
• Functions of the endocrine system
Your body makes two main cannabinoids: anandamide and 2-AG (2- arachidonoylglycerol). The cannabinoids produced in your body are endocannabinoids: endo meaning within. Your endocannabinoids are made as your body needs them and are quickly broken down by natural enzymes.
Under the strain of illness, injury, or stress, your body may need more messengers than it can produce. This can result in endocannabinoid deficiencies. If your body needs more endocannabinoids than it can produce, there aren’t enough messengers available to interact with the endocannabinoid receptors; communication is interrupted.
Supplementing the Messengers of Your Endocannabinoid System with Hemp CBD
Fortunately, your body will also respond to the plant-based cannabinoids in cannabis. CBD, the scientific abbreviation for cannabidiol, is just one of the many potentially beneficial cannabinoids found in cannabis extract. There are two potential cannabis sources, marijuana and hemp.
While marijuana extract contains enough THC to produce a psychoactive effect, hemp oil does not. That’s right, you can supplement the messengers of your endocannabinoid system with hemp CBD, without the risk of intoxication.
Like CBD, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is just one of the many cannabinoids in cannabis, but it’s the only one responsible for the intoxicating effect marijuana is known for. While the CBD extracted from marijuana contains 5-30 percent THC, hemp extract contains .3 percent or less. This is an insignificant amount of THC and will not cause intoxication, even if hemp oil is consumed in large amounts. For those concerned about ingesting the trace amounts of THC found naturally in hemp oil, there are also THC- free options made with CBD isolate.
CBD does not bind to CB1 receptors the way THC does. CBD mimics the effects of 2-AG and anandamide to influence the receptors of your endocannabinoid system. It also impairs the enzymatic breakdown of anandamide. Research shows that increasing the levels of anandamide in your bloodstream reduces pain perception.
Hemp CBD Has the Potential to Alleviate Migraine Symptoms
Pain relievers are not the only type of medication prescribed to those living with chronic migraine pain. Doctors often prescribe anti-depressants and anti-seizure medications to reduce the severity and frequency of migraine attacks, but these pharmaceutical options are not right for everyone. Even with available treatments, migraine pain still causes moderate to severe disability for more than 11 million people.
Research shows that hemp CBD is at least as effective as many prescription and non-prescription pain relievers. CBD not only interacts within the endocannabinoid system but also interacts with several other non-endocannabinoid receptors to calm over-excited nerve impulses.
A 2018 article published in Frontiers in Pharmacology concludes that CBD is a promising alternative for preventing and treating migraine symptoms because of its analgesic, anti-convulsive, anti-emetic, and analgesic properties. This article also notes that the abundance of CB1 receptors in the brain makes these receptors an “attractive target” for migraine treatment. Some of the many potential benefits of hemp CBD for migraine sufferers include:
• Reducing or alleviating pain (analgesic properties)
• Minimizing the inflammation that can trigger attacks (anti-inflammatory benefits)
• Reduction of sensitivity caused by an overexcited nervous system (influencing GABA receptors)
• Reducing nausea and vomiting (anti-emetic effects)
• Reducing dependency on opioid medication (often prescribed for migraine pain)
• Minimizing the symptoms of opioid withdrawal (beneficial to those who become medication-dependent or experience rebound headaches)
While many people experiencing migraine pain suffer through their experience several times per month, there are millions of people living with daily migraine pain. Many researchers believe that endocannabinoid deficiencies cause a significant number of difficult to treat health conditions, including migraine. Supplementing your endocannabinoid system with hemp CBD could alleviate your symptoms.
Hemp Oil is a Natural Dietary Supplement
Hemp oil (Hemp CBD) is not a medication or cure for any known chronic health condition. CBD oil (hemp CBD) is a natural dietary supplement that offers a multitude of potential health and wellness benefits. There are a significant number of reported benefits of CBD based on animal testing, lab results, and the testimony of those who claim health benefits from using hemp oil. It is important to select a product that fits your needs and your lifestyle. Consider the benefits of supplementing your endocannabinoid system with one or more of the following options:
Full spectrum CBD contains all the additional cannabinoids and plant terpenes of the original plant source. Many CBD enthusiasts believe full-spectrum products to be the most beneficial. CBD tinctures are considered one of the most popular methods of CBD delivery. Simply hold the hemp oil under your tongue 30-90 seconds before swallowing to allow the cannabinoids to absorb into your bloodstream. Tinctures can also be mixed with many foods or beverages.
CBD isolates are essentially a purified form of CBD. Hemp CBD isolate tinctures are as easy to use as their full-spectrum counterparts, but all of the other cannabinoids and plant compounds have been removed. CBD isolate products are THC-free.
• CBD Capsules and Gummies
Capsules and gummies provide CBD in a convenient, easy to carry, pre-measured dose. Capsules and gummies are ideal for those who do not want to mess with measuring their preferred dosage or want a discrete, no-fuss product.
• CBD Isolate Powder
CBD isolate powder is flavorless and odorless. Isolate products are often preferred by those who don’t care for the natural flavor of CBD, or want to include CBD into their favorite recipes without changing the flavor of their creations.
Vaping is considered one of the fastest methods of CBD delivery. The potential effects can typically be felt in a matter of minutes. Vaping relies on a battery to heat a coil. The contact of the CBD e-liquid with the heated coil produces a vapor that is inhaled in a manner similar to smoking.
Many researchers now believe that chronic or episodic migraines could be the result of endocannabinoid deficiencies. Supplementing your endocannabinoid system with non-psychoactive hemp CBD could provide substantial relief from migraine pain and related symptoms.
If you currently take medication or are under the care of a physician, it’s best to consult with your doctor before purchasing hemp CBD. While CBD has a very low risk of potential side effects, it can interact with some prescription medications.