CBD for Migraines: Managing Severe Headaches with Hemp

Woman with headaches

The Key Points:

  • This article explores the role of CBD (Cannabidiol) in treating migraines, a neurological condition characterized by severe headaches often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, and difficulties concentrating.
  • CBD interacts with the body's Endocannabinoid System, which plays a key role in pain regulation. It's available in various forms, including oils, sprays, and capsules, and its effects can vary from person to person.
  • Scientific research on CBD and migraines is still in its early stages. One study showed that a combination of CBD and THC can reduce the pain intensity in chronic migraine patients by 55%.
  • The correct dosage of CBD varies based on individual factors, including body weight, overall health, and severity of symptoms. While an overdose of CBD is not known at present, it's advisable to start with a low dose and gradually increase it.
  • Many people report positive experiences with CBD for treating their migraines, but CBD doesn't work the same for everyone and it's important to consult with a doctor before starting treatment.

Are you suffering from recurring severe headaches or migraines? Would you like to know how to manage or even prevent them with the help of CBD? In this article, I will provide you with well-founded information about the potential effects of CBD on migraines. My goal is to help you make informed decisions about your health.

What is Migraine?

Migraine is a neurological disorder characterized by intense, often pulsating headaches. It can be accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and difficulty concentrating. The exact causes of migraines are not fully understood, but genetic and environmental factors are believed to play a role.

What Are the Causes of Migraine?

Severe headaches and sensitivity to light and noise are caused by overactive nerve cells in the brain, often triggered by inflammation.

The following factors significantly increase the risk of a migraine attack:

  • Side effects of medications
  • Unbalanced diet
  • Excessive fasting intervals
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Lack of sleep
  • Sports-related strain
  • Inadequate water intake
  • Excessive caffeine consumption

Treatment Methods for Migraine

Treating migraines can be challenging and often requires an individualized approach. Common treatment methods include prescription medications (such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or triptans), behavioral changes, and, in some cases, invasive procedures. In recent years, natural remedies, including CBD, have gained attention as potential treatment options. Statistics show that about 10-15% of the world population suffers from migraines, highlighting the need for new and effective treatment methods.

The Role of CBD in Migraine

CBD or cannabidiol is one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant. It has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential therapeutic properties, including its analgesic (pain-relieving) effect. It is believed that CBD exerts its effects by interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cellular signaling system that plays a key role in regulating various functions, including pain.

How to Take CBD for Migraine and Available Products

There is a wide range of products and methods of administration available, allowing for individualized therapy tailored to your needs and preferences. The following options are suitable for migraines:

  • CBD oil: Place the drops under the tongue or dissolve them in a beverage. The oil is popular among migraine patients due to its fast onset of action.
  • Oral and nasal sprays: CBD in these products is absorbed through the mucous membranes, providing rapid relief. Originally intended for ENT use, they are also recommended for migraines.
  • CBD capsules: These are convenient as they offer easy ingestion, with the oil being absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract.

An important consideration for all variants is the onset of action, which varies. Additionally, the taste of CBD varies among the different administration methods, ranging from strong to barely noticeable.

The fastest onset of action is achieved by vaporizing the active substance using CBD liquids, but this method also puts the respiratory system under the most strain. The second fastest method is absorption through the oral and nasal mucosa, followed by oral ingestion (as with CBD capsules or CBD gummies).

Scientific Studies on CBD and Migraine

Scientific research on CBD and migraines is still in its early stages, but there are some promising findings. A study presented at the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) in Amsterdam in June 2017 showed that a combination of CBD and THC can reduce the acute pain intensity in chronic migraine patients by 55%. In a second part of the study, the same combination was used for migraine prophylaxis and showed a comparable improvement to amitriptyline, a conventional migraine prophylactic medication. Further studies are underway to confirm and expand on these results. A clinical study by UCLA San Diego is currently investigating how different cannabis products can be effective against migraines.

In addition to the method of administration, dosage is also an important consideration. Read the next section for more information.

What is the Right Dosage?

Firstly, it should be noted that overdosing on CBD is not known at present. However, to avoid undesirable side effects, excessive amounts of CBD should be avoided.

To determine the correct CBD dosage, self-experimentation can be helpful. Start with a small amount and gradually increase it if no side effects occur.

For initial use, 3 drops of 5% - 15% oil, placed directly under the tongue, are recommended.

As mentioned earlier, there is a growing number of studies examining the effects of CBD on migraines. One study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) website found that a dose of 200 mg CBD can reduce the intensity of migraine pain by 55% (source). In another phase of the study, amitriptyline or a combination of THC and CBD was used at a daily dose of 200 mg for migraine prophylaxis. The combination of THC and CBD showed a 40.4% improvement compared to using amitriptyline alone.

To put this into context, most commercial CBD oils contain between 5 and 15 mg of CBD per drop. This means that the doses of 200 mg CBD used in the studies are very high and may not be achievable with regular CBD oils. Such doses are only possible with special medical preparations and should be taken under medical supervision.

It is important to note that the optimal CBD dosage may vary from person to person and depends on various factors, including body weight, overall health condition, and severity of symptoms. Therefore, it is always advisable to start with a low dose.

Experiences of Migraine Patients with CBD

There are many reports from people who have used CBD to treat their migraines. The website Trustpilot contains numerous user reviews of individuals who have tried CBD for migraines.

Some users report having fewer migraine attacks or a decrease in the intensity of their migraines after taking CBD. Others report improved sleep and an overall sense of relaxation. It is important to note that experiences with CBD are individual, and it may not work the same for everyone.


Although research is still in its early stages, there is evidence suggesting that CBD could be helpful for migraines. It is important to note that CBD may not work the same for everyone, and it is crucial to consult with your doctor before starting CBD use. If you have any questions about CBD and migraines, feel free to contact me. I hope this article has provided you with insight into the potential of CBD for migraines.


[1] Leimuranta Pinja, Khiroug; "Emerging Role of (Endo)Cannabinoids in Migraine"; 2018; https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2018.00420/full

[2] Nagarkatti, Prakash, et al. "Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs." Future medicinal chemistry 1.7 (2009): 1333-1349; 2009; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/

[3] Sujan Poudel, Jonathan Quinonez, Jinal Choudhari, Zachary T Au, Sylvia Paesani, Armond K Thiess, Samir Ruxmohan, Mobashir Hosameddin, Gerardo F Ferrer, and Jack Michel; "Medical Cannabis, Headaches, and Migraines: A Review of the Current Literature"; 2021; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8459575/

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