Does CBD Oil Work to Migraines?

Does CBD Oil Work to Migraines?

People state CBD oil relieves headaches and migraines. Research shows that medical marijuana and THC may provide some relief — but does CBD alone help? And what’s the best way to take it? Read below to discover.

CBD Oil for Migraines

Towards the end of the 19th century, cannabis was a mainstream therapy for preventing and relieving migraines and other kinds of headaches. Many doctors advocated for its use until the 1940s when cannabis was removed from the official pharmacopeias because of the”high potential for abuse”.

The recent legalization of medical marijuana and CBD oil in several countries worldwide revived the almost-forgotten use of cannabis for headaches. But it’s important to be aware that the only medical usage of CBD approved by the FDA would be to reduce seizures in two types of epilepsy.

Top 6 Benefits of Cannabis for Migraine - Sensi Seeds

Migraines and other kinds of headaches are, after menopause, the debilitating conditions most commonly enhanced with CBD oil. In a poll on 1500 medical CBD users, roughly one out of six reported suffering from headaches.

Similarly, ~30 percent of medical cannabis users reported doing this to alleviate migraines and other headaches in 2 surveys on almost 2500 people. On the other hand, the most popular variety among them was”OG Shark,” a THC-rich hybrid strain with a very low CBD content.

Cannabis was long used for relieving headaches and migraines. People utilize CBD oil looking for the very same benefits nowadays, though THC-rich cannabis breeds are more popular.

This leaves us with the question: does CBD oil alleviate migraines and other types of headaches or do you need to take THC-containing cannabis strains to acquire the pain-relieving benefits? Let’s examine the science of CBD first to find the answers.

How Does It Work?

Irrespective of the kind, headaches involve overactivation of nerves linked to blood vessels within the brain (trigeminovascular system).

Published vessel-widening proteins (CGRP and substance P) and messengers (NO) boost blood circulation, which stimulates pain receptors on nerve cells in the head and neck. Headaches are a direct result of the stimulation, while medications for headaches often block these receptors.

Boosts Natural Cannabinoids

The endocannabinoid system is composed of 2 receptors: CB1 and CB2. The two THC from cannabis along with the cannabinoids obviously produced by the body, such as anandamide, decrease pain by activating these receptors.

CBD is different: it blocks rather than activates these receptors. However, it averts anandamide from being broken. Interestingly, a concept from the early 21st century associated migraines (and other chronic pain conditions) with low anandamide levels.

In fact, further studies demonstrated that people — and especially girls — with migraines often have less anandamide from the spinal fluid and platelets.

The same was true in people with headaches from overusing painkillers; once they withdrew from the drugs, they had less anandamide breakdown and pain.

Individuals with chronic headaches have lower anandamide levels and greater CGRP and NO production. CB1 activation by anandamide and synthetic cannabinoids blocks the production of CGRP and NO, which averts (trigeminovascular) nerve overstimulation and headaches.

CBD oil may work by increasing natural cannabinoids like anandamide, which are often low in people with migraines and headaches.

Activates Serotonin Receptors

As shown above, anandamide reduces migraines by triggering CB1. In rats, blockers of the serotonin receptor 5HT(1B/1D) prevented anandamide from triggering CB1. This receptor has a popular function in relieving headaches and its activators (known as triptans) are mainstream medication for migraines.

CBD may reduce nerve pain by activating another dopamine receptor (5HT1A), which can be found in the spine rather than from the mind.

CBD oil can alleviate migraines by activating nitric oxide, like the way anti-migraine drugs operate.

Activates the TRPV1 Receptor

CBD and anandamide can bind to a receptor involved in inflammatory pain (TRPV1). Its activation activates the release of CGRP, which increases blood flow into the adrenal nerves. This implies that CBD can cause headaches.

However, repeated TRPV1 activation reduces sensitivity to pain. Indeed, a nose sprays with the chili pepper chemical capsaicin — that also activates this receptor — relieved migraines in a small trial on 8 people.

CBD oil can trigger migraines in the short term and relieve them with repeated usage.

Blocks Glutamate

Changes in vision, mobility, or speech known as air typically precede migraine strikes. These migraine harbingers are brought on by glutamate overactivation in the brain. Anandamide, THC, and synthetic cannabinoids block glutamate receptors, implying they help prevent auras.

Reduces Inflammation and Autoimmunity

Autoimmune diseases can cause migraines and other types of headaches should they induce inflammation of the blood vessels within the brain. Indeed, conditions such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, Sjögren syndrome, and antiphospholipid syndrome have been associated with frequent headaches.

CBD may alleviate headaches in people with these conditions via its strong anti-inflammatory action. It reduces the production of pro-inflammatory messengers (such as IL-1beta, IL-6, TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma. NO, and prostaglandins) while increasing the degree of the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4 and IL-10.

Alternatively, it may prevent the signs of autoimmune disorders by suppressing the immune response. For instance, CBD prevented T cells from multiplying and building up in the brains of mice with multiple sclerosis — while decreasing the autoimmune-linked Th17 reaction.

CBD oil can alleviate headaches in people with autoimmune conditions like lupus by lowering the inflammatory and autoimmune reactions.

When Does This Work?


In a study on over 100 people with migraines utilizing medicinal cannabis (with both CBD and THC), 85 percent reported reduced pain and pain frequency.

At a clinical trial on 79 people with chronic migraines, a preparation with more CBD than THC prevented strikes as effectively as a migraine medication (amitriptyline). An extra dose throughout the attacks decreased pain. Similarly, 3 heavy cannabis smokers started having migraines after they stopped; one got relief from smoking again.

THC can account for a fantastic part of those effects. THC alone avoided migraine attacks and decreased pain in rats. By comparison, its overuse may have the opposite effect: high doses enhanced sensitivity to repeated nerve stimulation — a suspected migraine activate.

Taken together, there is no evidence that CBD oil improves migraines. Studies in rats even suggest that THC rather than CBD could possibly be the cannabinoid accountable for the pain relief detected in people using cannabis preparations for migraines.

Extracts with both CBD and THC probably relieve migraines in moderation, though THC is likely responsible for this benefit.

Additional Types of Headaches

In research on over 100 individuals with cluster headaches, 45% used cannabis but only 25% experienced relief while 22 percent felt worse.

In 1 report, recreational marijuana and synthetic THC (dronabinol) improved frequent cluster headaches at a teenager. The advantage was likely from THC, not CBD.

In a trial on 13 people with headaches from overusing painkillers, cannabis preparations reduced pain. However, the groundwork with the highest THC content (petroleum ) was effective. In accord with this, a synthetic THC compound (nabilone) decreased pain and the demand for painkillers better compared to aspirin in another trial on 26 individuals.

In the short term, THC and other CB1 activators also relieved headaches from painkillers in rats. However, their repeated use increased sensitivity to pain — significance it may trigger migraines.

Both medical marijuana and a synthetic THC compound (dronabinol) relieved headaches in two women with high pressure in the mind (pseudotumor cerebri).

A couple of clinical and animal studies suggest that CBD is possibly unsuccessful for cluster headaches and headaches from overusing painkillers. THC seems to be the only cannabinoid offering some pain relief, but the evidence remains limited.

Pure THC and training using both CBD and THC likely relieve headaches; CBD alone likely does not do the job.


There are no clinical trials testing CBD alone for headaches. Most of these used cannabis preparations with variable amounts of THC and CBD.

Many people with migraines favor THC-rich cannabis strains. Additionally, synthetic THC analogs were also powerful. This suggests that migraine relief requires direct CB1 activation which just THC is very likely to attain. On the other hand, CBD may slightly help by fostering anandamide levels.

CBD Oil Dosage for Migraines


Because CBD is not approved for migraines or some other types of headaches, there is no official dose. There isn’t any proven dose either because CBD alone has not been tested in clinical trials. The only study evaluating a product greater in CBD than in THC (9% vs 0.4%) employed a dose of 200 milligrams (providing 18 milligrams CBD) daily. But, we can’t eliminate the contribution of its THC content to the ramifications.

We can additionally estimate dose based on the guidelines from users and manufacturers.

1 maker of a commercial oil specifically formulated for migraines recommends 1 mL (supplying 33 mg CBD) daily.

Natural health blogs and users prefer lower doses (15-25 mg/day). They generally suggest starting with a low dose and increasing it before discovering pain-relieving effects. It is very important to do this gradually since high doses can trigger migraines and boost irritation intensity [61].

Whatever the case, don’t try CBD oil or some other unproven therapies for migraines and headaches without consulting with your physician beforehand. Talk with your health care provider if CBD oil might help in your situation and what doses and delivery form may be better for you.

How to Use

CBD oil comes in various forms. Your kind of selection will depend on your type of headache:

  • Vaping, mouth sprays, and oil tinctures are absorbed quickly and provide temporary pain relief. They may work better for cyclically-arising headaches like cluster headaches.
  • Capsules, edibles, and teas release the CBD more slowly but their effects last longer. They could be preferable for ailments with constant pain such as headaches from overusing painkillers.

Although migraine pain isn’t continuous, slow-release CBD forms may be more effective (according to CBD’s interaction with the TRPV1 receptor). Acute CBD doses may cause migraine attacks while repeated doses decrease pain perception.

Anecdotal evidence from online forums advocates taking medicinal cannabis products immediately after starting to feel the start of a migraine or cluster headache attack.

CBD oil capsules and edibles are probably the best choices. You should probably take them every day since long-term use could prevent or decrease headaches.

Greatest CBD Oil for Migraines


Along with choosing a CBD oil corrected to your own budget (you might choose to calculate the purchase price per mL or mg to compare unique brands), you also need to assess the item quality. Read here about the best way to choose the best CBD oil.


The opinions expressed in this section are solely those of CBD oil consumers who may or may not have scientific or medical training. Their testimonials don’t represent the opinions of SelfHacked. SelfHacked does not endorse any specific solution, service, or treatment.

Don’t believe user adventures as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare providers due to something you’ve read on SelfHacked. We understand that studying individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it’s never a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or therapy from a qualified healthcare provider.

The most common headache type among CBD oil consumers was a migraine, followed by tension headache, and hassle from painkiller overuse or conditions such as fibromyalgia. The majority of them were satisfied and reported good pain relief. In a number of cases, the users reported a few additional advantages such as enhancing sleep caliber and controlling anxiety.

Some users complained that the oil didn’t work for them that it made them drowsy and fatigued. CBD oil caused headaches in some people taking it at high doses.


The majority of individuals with migraines utilize THC-rich cannabis breeds, though some favor CBD oil. No clinical trials have yet tested CBD oil alone for migraines or headaches.

Animal studies show that CBD oil may relieve headaches — but only in the long term and likely not as well as THC.

Sudden spikes in CBD, like from vaping, can cause migraines. But taken long-term, CBD can decrease pain perception and prevent migraine auras. It mainly operates by boosting your natural cannabinoid bliss molecules.

CBD oil might also be an alternative for those who have migraines and headaches from autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis. In such scenarios, it likely helps by lowering mind inflammation and restraining autoimmunity.

Go with capsules or edibles and choose them every day for the best results.

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