CBD Oil for Migraines and Headaches: How Much Does It Help?

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For many people, CBD oil is a natural alternative to conventional treatments for a wide range of health concerns. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is one of the two best-researched cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.

More abundant in hemp than in marijuana, CBD works by interacting with the human endocannabinoid system — the prime neurochemical network that maintains the balance between vital biological processes.

But how exactly does CBD work for migraines? Where should you look for the best CBD oil if you want to manage your migraine headaches?

This article covers the use of CBD in the treatment of migraines and highlights the most reliable brands in 2020.

Let’s start with an industry overview.

Best CBD Oil for Migraines: Recommended Brands for 2020

Finding quality CBD products in an unregulated market can be challenging, especially when it comes to the CBD industry, which is very loosely regulated, to say the least.

There are many factors that come into play, such as the source of hemp, extraction methods, and third-party lab reports — all of which determine the quality of CBD oil.

If you don’t want to spend hours researching your potential supplier, reading reviews, and checking the above information, we’ve already done the job for you. Here’s our list of the top 5 brands we recommend when it comes to using CBD for migraines.

1. Royal CBD (Best Migraine Reliever)

Royal CBD oil 2500 mg bottle in white background

Product Details

Potency 250 mg – 2500 mg
Available Flavors Natural, Berry, Mint, Vanilla
CBD per serving 8.3 mg – 83.3 mg

Why Royal CBD is the Best CBD Oil for Migraines:

While it’s not common for a newcomer to make such big headlines in the industry after being on the market for just 2 years, Royal CBD shows that the premium quality of ingredients is a better way to market your products than fancy buzzwords and seemingly “cutting edge” products.

This California-based brand sells traditional CBD products from craft hemp plants sourced from local growers as well as from farms in Colorado. The guys at Royal CBD offer regular CBD oil drops, soft gel capsules, gummies, and two types of topicals.

The CBD oil is available in potencies from 250 mg to 2500 mg, allowing the user to choose the right concentration of CBD for their migraine symptoms. I’ve tested both the 1000 mg and 2500 mg bottle and they worked fine for even serious headaches that I usually experience when the aura triggers them.

My verdict?

I prefer the 2500 mg option because I know my dosage and this potency helps me save more money on my purchases in the long run. I also don’t need to hold as much oil in my mouth as I would with the 1000 mg bottle.

If you experience milder symptoms or want to use CBD oil for the prevention of migraines, you can try the lower potencies. These are full-spectrum extracts, so you don’t need to use such high doses as with CBD isolate or broad-spectrum extracts.

Pros Cons
  • Made from locally grown organic hemp
  • Extracted with supercritical CO2
  • Infused with full-spectrum CBD
  • Available in 4 strengths and flavors
  • Up to 2500 mg of CBD per bottle
  • 3rd-party tested for potency and purity
  • Great natural flavor
  • Not available in local CBD stores (this may soon change)

2. Gold Bee

Gold Bee CBD oil bottle

Product Details

Potency 300 – 1200 mg
Available Flavors Natural, Honey
CBD per serving 10 mg – 40 mg

About Gold Bee

Our second-best CBD oil for migraines comes from California as well. Gold Bee is a premium company that offers the combined benefits of CBD and honey. The brand’s mission is to destigmatize hemp, which was demonized for the past few decades in the media, and provide the health benefits of cannabidiol with a diverse product lineup.

Gold Bee has partnered with its local farmers and growers from Colorado to make their proprietary blend of CBD-rich strains, resulting in clean and potent extracts that carry the full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial hemp compounds.

In my opinion, this is the best CBD oil for migraine sufferers dealing with mild to moderate symptoms. Gold Bee covers the standard potency range, from 300 to 1200 mg CBD, so if your daily dose doesn’t exceed 30 mg, you’re getting the best value for your money considering the quality of ingredients used in Gold Bee extracts.

All of Gold Bee products are made with organic hemp, extracted with supercritical CO2, and third-party tested for their potency and potential contaminants. I’ve been taking this CBD oil (1200 mg) for 30 days and noticed decent improvements in my morning headaches before they were able to knock me off for the rest of the day.

I definitely recommend if you want to use CBD for preventive purposes.

Pros Cons
  • Sourced from US-grown organic hemp
  • Contains full-spectrum CBD
  • Up to 40 mg CBD/mL
  • Great potency range for beginners
  • Third-party tested for potency and purity
  • Great honey flavor
  • No high-strength CBD oils

3. CBDPure

CBDPure CBD Oil bottle

Product Details

Potency 100 – 1000 mg
Available Flavors None
CBD per serving 3.3 – 33 mg/mL

About CBDPure CBD Oil

CBDPure is one of the most transparent companies I’ve ever come across. This brand goes above and beyond to share as much information about its activity as possible.

Although the potency of CBDPure products isn’t as high as Royal CBD, these extracts clearly deserve the third place in this list of the best CBD oil for migraines. That’s because of how effective they are at low doses.

There are months when my migraines are more manageable thanks to CBD, so when I don’t feel the need to use my high-potency CBD oils, I always keep a bottle of the 600 mg CBD oil from CBDPure. It works much better for my migraines than some allegedly full-spectrum products from other popular brands.

CBDPure uses organic hemp plants as its source of CBD. These plants are further processed with CO2 under high pressure and low temperatures to preserve the original phytochemical profile of the source plant. The company provides reports from a third-party laboratory, where its products are tested for potency and purity.

If you decide that CBDPure products don’t bring satisfying results, you can return your order within 90 days after your purchase for a full refund.

I didn’t return mine because I was 100% satisfied, although the price could be a bit lower for that potency range.

Pros Cons
  • Sourced from organic Colorado-grown hemp
  • Extracted with supercritical CO2
  • Lab-tested for potency and purity
  • 90-day return policy
  • Only two forms of CBD available
  • Low potency
  • Premium pricing

4. Hemp Bombs

Hemp bomb cbd oil 125mg in a white background

Product Details

Potency 125 – 4000 mg
Available Flavors Natural, Acai Berry, Orange Creamsicle, Peppermint, Watermelon
CBD per serving 4 – 133 mg/mL

About Hemp Bombs

Hemp Bombs is my favorite company when it comes to CBD isolate. The company offers 99% pure CBD oil that has no other cannabinoids (including THC) and terpenes, providing the highest potency per serving of all the brands from this ranking.

Although I prefer full-spectrum products, Hemp Bombs comes in handy when my migraines kick in in the evening and I can’t fall asleep. Extremely high doses of CBD are known for inducing sedation, so not only does this oil help with my headaches, but it also acts on my sleep cycle in a positive way.

Hemp Bombs extracts are sold in a few different potencies, from 300 mg to a whopping 4000 mg of CBD per bottle. While the company’s strongest oils are overkill for most people, those suffering from severe headaches — especially in the evening — consider them the best CBD oils for migraines.

Hemp Bombs also sells broad-spectrum CBD oil if you want to benefit from other cannabinoids and terpenes but without any THC in your product.

Pros Cons
  • Sourced from organic hemp
  • Extracted with CO2
  • 0% THC
  • Available as broad-spectrum or isolate
  • Third-party tested for CBD and contaminants
  • Up to 4000 mg of CBD per bottle
  • 5 strengths to choose from
  • Infused with synthetic flavorings
  • No “entourage effect” from other cannabinoids and terpenes
  • Most people don’t need such high doses of CBD oil for their migraines

5. CBDistillery

CBDistillery CBD oil bottle in a white backgroundProduct Details

Potency 250 – 5000 mg
Available Flavors None
Potency 8.3 – 166 mg/mL

About CBDistillery

CBDistillery is a daughter brand of Balanced Health Botanicals, and one of the largest CBD suppliers in North America. Throughout the years, CBDistillery reformulated its CBD oils and expanded its line of CBD extracts with broad-spectrum products labeled as “pure CBD oil.” The pure oil version contains CBD and other cannabinoids from hemp but without traces of THC. The psychoactive cannabinoid has been removed after initial extraction.

The CBDistillery CBD oil is available in five different strengths, from 250 mg to 5000 mg of total CBD. This covers the entire potency range for CBD extracts. While the company’s products aren’t made from organic hemp, the quality of their CBD remains on a decent level, especially when you consider the price of this CBD oil.

My thoughts on this brand?

CBDistillery is a great company if you want a high-quality product without breaking the bank. My preferred potency with this brand is the 1000 mg; it did an exceptional job for my headaches from seasonal allergies. And believe me, there’s nothing worse than migraines crossed with headaches from hay fever.

Pros Cons
  • Available as full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD
  • Extracted with CO2
  • 5 potency options to choose from
  • Up to 166.6 mg of CBD per bottle
  • Third-party tested for potency and purity
  • Very affordable
  • Made from non-organic hemp
  • No flavored options

A Brief Overview of Migraines

Migraines are defined as an intense pain throbbing to a certain area in the head. This pain is nothing compared to regular headaches; migraine attacks can be debilitating and often involve symptoms like nausea, vomiting, as well as sensitivity to light and sound.

The Migraine Research Foundation estimates that migraines are the 3rd-most prevalent disease worldwide — affecting 12% of the population.

Interestingly, women are 3 times more likely to suffer from migraines than men.

Migraines can be triggered by:

The triggers will vary between individuals, as will the symptoms. Some people with chronic migraines can actually predict their headaches by seeing an aura that appears shortly before the attack. Again, the aura differs from one person to another. Some people see zig-zag lines or experience temporary loss of vision, while others will have brief visual hallucinations or earaches before or after the migraine kicks in.

Migraines also last longer than typical headaches. A migraine attack can actually last between 4 to 72 hours. On top of that, even the simplest activities can intensify your symptoms. Painkillers are a common choice among many migraine sufferers but they come with side effects such as addiction or vomiting.

Hence the sudden popularity of CBD oil among migraine sufferers.

Does CBD Oil Work For Migraines And Headaches?

Before becoming illegal, cannabis has been used for centuries as a treatment for headaches. Today, we can understand the reason why CBD and other cannabinoids are so effective in the management of migraines.

CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is the prime regulatory network that controls biological processes like pain transmission, appetite, sleep cycles, memory, emotional stability, fertility, and immune response.

The body also has cannabinoid receptors that interact with compounds such as CBD.

Research shows that migraine sufferers have lower than average levels of Anandamide. Anandamide is an endocannabinoid whose deficiency in the ECS has been linked to migraine attacks. A study conducted by cannabinoid expert Ethan Russo concludes that using plant-derived cannabinoids can balance those deficiencies and help with a wide range of serious health problems, including chronic migraines.

Benefits of Using CBD Oil for Migraines

Research on the benefits of CBD for migraines is still in its infancy due to the federal status of cannabis. Nevertheless, some laboratories have run studies that suggest CBD may be an effective form of treatment for migraines and other types of chronic pain.

Chronic Migraine and Pain Relief

During the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology, researchers presented interesting results of their study on the use of cannabis for migraines. The first phase of their research involved testing 48 patients with chronic migraines who were administered a mix of two compounds. The first extract contained 19% THC while the other had 9% CBD and no THC. The researchers used oral solutions for their study; although doses under 100 mg didn’t provide any relief, the 200 mg doses lowered the pain by 55%.

In the second stage of the study, the researchers analyzed people with migraines and cluster headaches. 79 people received daily doses of 200 mg THC-CBD solution and were compared to the group of patients treated with Amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant in a 25 mg dose. The treatment lasted for 4 months.

The mix of THC and CBD reduced migraine headaches by up to 41% while amitriptyline showed a 40% reduction in the symptoms. The cannabinoid blend also reduced the intensity of that pain by 43.5%.

CBD as an Alternative Treatment to Opioids for Chronic Pain

Studies also indicate that CBD and CBD-THC strains of cannabis can help patients suffering from chronic pain and want to switch from opioid treatments. According to a study published in The Journal of Headache and Pain in 2018, there’s a clear link between the use of CBD for migraine relief and the reduced use of opioids.

Legality: Is CBD Legal?

A hemp leaf and cbd chemistry symbol

CBD can be extracted from hemp or marijuana, which is why the legal status of CBD is still a controversial topic.

Marijuana remains illegal on the federal level, although some parts of the US have legalized its recreational use and most states have medical programs for marijuana patients.

On the other hand, hemp-derived CBD has been legal since the amendment of the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act known as the “Farm Bill.” CBD oil from hemp is widely available over the counter throughout the United States, both locally and online.

How to Use CBD Oil for Migraines?

CBD oil can be administered through:

  • Inhalation
  • Sublingual use
  • Oral ingestion
  • Topical application

Vaping CBD has a difficult learning curve, so beginners may want to start with other forms of consumption. You can:

  • Put a few drops of CBD under your tongue
  • Take CBD capsules
  • Eat or drink CBD-infused treats

That being said, vaping is the most bioavailable method for severe migraines because the compound is delivered to your brain quicker.

Potential Risks: Are there any side effects of CBD Oil?

CBD oil has a very short list of side effects, most of them are mild. However, you may experience:

  • Sedation
  • Lightheadedness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Upset stomach

The side effects of CBD depending on the consumption method. For example, vaping CBD liquid can trigger lung irritation, resulting in wheezing and breathing difficulties. You should also remember about the potential interaction between CBD and prescription drugs. If you use any prescription medication for your headaches, consult your doctor before you order CBD oil.

Final Thoughts on Using CBD for Migraines

Hopes are high when it comes to using CBD oil for migraines and pain relief in general. Although more research is needed to prove its efficacy in the long run, current findings and reports from patients indicate that we may be one step closer to finding an effective and safe alternative to conventional migraine treatment options.

Do you use CBD for migraines? Does CBD oil help with your symptoms?

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