Cannabis For Migraines
With the increasing use of cannabis in a vast group of medical cases, common health issues also seem to gain or benefit from them. Cannabinoids have now been largely known to treat conditions like nausea and vomiting, neurological disorders, pain post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. In regard to being effective in pain, their use for resistant cases like migraines has also popped up lately. However, little is known in this subject. CBD could be helpful when it comes to providing relief for migraines. There are already some researches with regards to using CBD in relieving migraines or to prevent them, but there is still no substantial evidence.
What Is Migraine?
When you talk about the textbook classification of headaches, it is classified as a primary headache disorder. It includes recurrent episodes of pounding headache that ranges from moderate to severe in intensity. Possibly, the part that is most disturbing about migraine is that it inhibits you from carrying on with your routine activities, as well as affects your schedule. A considerable pain is felt for several hours up to a few days when migraine attacks occur. The pain is so intense that it can temporarily disable you from performing basic functions. Migraine attacks don’t just start instantly. Aura or warning signals are experienced before or during the attack. Possible warning signals you may experience are blind spots, a tingling sensation felt on either arms, legs, or on either side of your face.
Causes of Migraine
The actual cause of migraine is still unknown. However, many factors have been discovered that contribute to this condition.
- Genetic factors – genetic correlation has been established in some cases when it was concluded that migraine was a feature running in families.
- Emotions – you may have noticed that exposure to some things like stress, fatigue, etc. actually sets for you a circle.
- Dietary aspects – very few cases have been reported on the fact that some items included in your diet may cause migraine.
- Environment – Your environment also has an effect on your migraine and may trigger it anytime. Smoke from someone smoking a cigarette, gleaming lights, noisy sounds, change in temperature, and aggressive odors can trigger a migraine attack.
- Hormonal trigger – Migraine is felt when there are changes in the levels of hormones. An example of such is a menstruation period for women.
- Physical triggers – Tension on the neck and shoulder, fatigue, lack of sleep, exerting too much strength, and improper body posture are possible triggers to migraine.
- Medication triggers – Migraine may also be triggered by drugs that affect hormones and several sleeping pills.
Symptoms of Migraine
By definition, symptom means any feeling reported by the patient. You would definitely want to go through the list of these symptoms if you are one of the migraine victims. These symptoms include:
- Pounding headache
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to sound
Stages of Migraine
People who belong in between childhood and early adulthood are prone to having migraine attacks. This condition develops in 4 phases and people do not necessarily go through all phases. The 4 phases are prodrome, aura, attack and postdrome.
During this phase, you may experience some slight adjustments in your body which come as a form of warning for migraine. You may experience this a day or two days prior to a migraine. These are some of the changes you’ll experience:
- Mood swings
- Hankering for food
- Stiff neck
- More frequently urinating
- More thirsty than usual
Aura is a visual warning that alerts you when you are about to or having a migraine. The visual disturbances you may experience light flashes, unstable vision. If not, it could be either motor, speech or sensory disturbances. During this phase, muscles are weakened and it may seem someone else is poking you. There are some who do not experience aura when having migraines. Aura could last up to an hour and during that time the symptoms gradually occur until the symptoms are intensified. You may experience this phase before the migraine occurs or during its occurrence. These are some symptoms you may experience during this phase:
- Loss of vision
- Seeing light flashes and shapes.
- Randomly hearing noises
- Weakened face or a side of the body.
- Arms and legs feel pricking sensations.
- Speech problems
The prevalence of having migraine attacks differs from one person to another. Attacks rarely occur or if it occurs, it only happens a few times in a month. Migraine attacks can last from 4 to 3 days and these are the following symptoms you’ll experience during an attack:
- Fainting occurs very often
- Blurry vision
- Very sensitive to noise and light.
- Pulsing pain on either one or both sides of the head
This postdrome phase occurs at the completion of the attack. During this phase, your body would feel so weak and drained but there are some who feel relieved and happy. This phase can last for a whole day and some of these symptoms may occur during this phase:
- You’ll feel dizzy and confused
- A bit more sensitive to light
- Slight mood swings
Migraine and Medical Cannabis: How Do They Relate?
The increasing use of cannabis in various medical conditions has shed some light on the fact that it can also be used to alleviate the symptoms of migraine. Cannabis helps to reduce symptoms and signs by some of the following actions:
- It binds to cannabinoid receptor 1 which is a part of our endocannabinoid system
- It restores homeostasis that is regulating the inner balance of the body.
- Inhibits neurotransmission of pain signals
- Inhibits inflammatory response which could also be a reason to that throbbing pain.
Dosage of CBD Oil
The dosage of CBD oil for migraines can be regulated from 2.5 to 20mg orally for about 25 days. It can be taken orally or in the form of spray too. Studies in the context of cannabis and migraines prove a lot about the therapeutic efficacies of this plant. A study recently proved the beneficial effect of cannabinoids in the treatment of migraine. In a study that comprised of 122 subjects with migraine, the total number of attacks decreased from 10.4 to 4.6 per month. About 40% of the subjects reported positive effects. Some patients also experienced increase in the frequency of attacks.
The increasing evidence of the use of cannabinoids is proven to show beneficial effects in alleviating the symptoms of migraine. The fact that CBD oil contains lesser amount of THC (the compound responsible for psychoactive actions) is a positive point in treating the condition, while simultaneously not being a target of the negative effects.