CBD Oil for Headaches: Does It Help With Pain Management?

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Are you wondering if you can use CBD oil for headaches? Short for Cannabidiol, CBD is one of the cannabinoids present in cannabis or hemp. It is among the 400 chemical compounds found in the plant and is known primarily for its medicinal benefits. Studies have affirmed that CBD’s use as an alternative treatment for various chronic diseases and mental health conditions.

In this blog, we will be discussing the relationship between CBD and pain management. In particular, we will talk about the use of CBD for treating headaches. Let’s begin.

How Does CBD Work?

Like other cannabinoids, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in your body. More specifically, it interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors produced by the body. CB1 receptors assist with coordinating movement. They also influence pain management, mood regulation, appetite, emotions, memories, and other cognitive functions. CB2 receptors help with managing pain and inflammation.

CBD stimulates the CB1 and CB2 receptors. This leads to the production of cannabinoids in the body. These are known as endocannabinoids. These compounds help with the functions described above. Since the endocannabinoid system is associated with pain management, we can infer that taking CBD oil can help people who suffer from frequent headaches.

Using CBD Oil for Headaches

Headaches are a significant public health concern. Research estimates that headaches have an estimated global cost amounting to $14.4 billion. They can reduce your quality of life and cause disability. According to research, more than 47 percent of the global population experiences headaches. These can be in the form of chronic daily headaches, migraines, or tension-type headaches. Women are more prone to suffering from headaches than men.

While most people will take painkillers to manage headaches, these can have adverse side effects in some cases. For instance, in high doses, Paracetamol can hurt the gastrointestinal system. It can induce heartburn, nausea, or vomiting. Paracetamol can also cause an allergic reaction in some people. Additionally, an overdose can lead to liver and kidney damage.

Other painkillers, such as Aspirin, cause similar side-effects. Aspirin also works as a blood thinner and can be dangerous for people suffering from bleeding disorders.

What Does the Evidence Suggest? 

If you are considering trying alternative medicines for treating headaches, then CBD is an excellent place to start. There have been plenty of studies examining the effects of CBD oil in treating pain. Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent studies that examine the efficacy of CBD oil for headaches. 

  • According to a 2019 study conducted by the Washington State University, CBD can help manage headaches. The study collected responses from 1,300 participants. They reported that CBD was able to reduce the severity of their headaches by 47.3 percent. It was also noted that the treatment proved to be marginally more effective for men than women. 90 percent of male participants reported that the use of CBD helped with headache reduction. In comparison, 89.1 percent of women confirmed experiencing headache relief after using CBD.
  • Another study examined the use of cannabis in relieving headaches. As per the results of the study, cannabis was more effective than ibuprofen for alleviating headaches. Given how the pain management effects of marijuana are partially attributed to CBD, we can assume that CBD oil can help in treating headaches.
  • A 2017 study has reviewed the efficiency of using CBD for pain and headaches. As per the results, it appears that phytocannabinoids have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. These can help in the treatment of headaches.
  • Research suggests that individuals suffering from headache disorders may experience these headaches due to an underlying endocannabinoid deficiency. Consequently, taking CBD oil can have a pharmacological effect on them. It can induce the production of endocannabinoids in the body, reducing the occurrence of headache disorders.

CBD for Managing Headaches: How Can You Take It?

CBD oil

At present, no studies recommend a specific dosage for individuals willing to use CBD oil for headaches. Typically, CBD is available as:

  • Oils
  • Creams
  • Salves
  • Balms
  • Tinctures
  • Edibles
  • Sprays
  • Capsules
  • Drops

You can administer topical CBD treatments by rubbing CBD oil over the afflicted area to relieve pain. The skin contains many endocannabinoid receptors, so this can help achieve quick results. You can also take CBD tinctures by mixing them in food or drink. These are relatively fast-acting, as well. You can expect them to provide headache relief within 15 to 45 minutes.

If you are considering taking CBD oil, make sure you check the packaging. The total volume and the amount of CBD present inside must be displayed clearly. You should also check whether the CBD has been derived from cannabis or hemp and whether it has been organically grown. The CBD supplier used must be certified and regulated by the state. Additionally, you can check the company’s website and make sure their products are laboratory-tested.

Wrapping It Up

While it may be a little unconventional, the use of CBD oil for headaches can be useful for people that don’t respond well to standard over-the-counter drugs for pain management. So far, there are no reported side-effects for using CBD for pain management. However, make sure you consult a physician for the recommended dosage and any unexpected side-effects concerning your medical history.

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