Some have likened migraines with experiences similar to headaches. They cannot be more wrong. Migraines are far more intense, with effects that last for at least hours and sometimes even days. Aside from the intense throbbing pain that comes with migraine, there are also some accompanying discomforts which may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound as the case may be.
Studies have shown that 1% of the world’s population suffers from chronic migraines. And this one percent does not exclude children. Although there is no cure for migraines, there are various treatment options; however, there are concerns based on their adverse effects.
With the emergence and recent legalization of CBD and its effect on pain management, this article will be examining migraines and how CBD can help to suppress them.
What Is A Migraine?
A migraine is a form of sensory-perceptual disorder accompanied by periodic bouts of extreme headaches. In simpler terms, migraines are excruciating and sometimes disabling headaches coupled with sensitivity to sound, and light. Usually, it can last up from 4-72 hours if left untreated.
What Causes Migraines?
Among the many kinds of research carried out on migraines, scientists are yet to fully understand what causes migraines. Although studies have proven that environmental factors and genetics are instrumental in deducing the causes of migraines. However, to avoid migraines, it is essential to know some of what triggers them:
Certain foods like aged cheese, salty, and processed food may trigger migraines especially in those who have the tendencies. Also, food preservatives and sweetener found in some food may cause migraine.
- Hormonal Changes
Changes in hormonal levels especially in women during menstrual periods, pregnancy, and menopause or the use of hormonal medications may trigger migraines in most women.
Lack of adequate sleep may lead to onset migraines. It is very important to get proper rest after a hard day’s work. Studies have also revealed that stress is one of the most common triggers of migraine. Oversleeping may also result in the stabbing headache akin to migraines.
- Sensory Stimulation
Loud and boisterous noise, glaring sun, perfume, unusually bright lights are a sure trigger for migraines. These are some of the most common triggers that can happen to anyone.
Symptoms of Migraines
There are four major stages by which migraine progresses. These stages differ from person to person. They are:
Stage 1 (Prodrome)
This stage is known as the warning/pre-headache stage. It can occur anytime between hours or days before a migraine starts. It is not accompanied by headaches but rather, symptoms of the actual event. These symptoms may help to tip-off migraine sufferers of imminent migraines. Some of these symptoms may include:-
- Mood swing
- Frequent rate of thirst and urination
- Changes in appetite
- Difficulties in concentration
- Cold extremities
Stage 2 (Aura)
1 in 4 migraineurs experience aura or migraine aura. The term refers to changes in senses which are the major attributes to this phase of migraine. It manifests mainly as sight changes although, some have reported instances of changes in the other senses too, including speech and movement.
Aura symptoms may occur between a windows of 20-60 minutes before a headache manifests. Some of the symptoms of aura include:
- Blurry vision and other changes to sight
- Temporal hearing impairment and sensitivity to sound
- Sensitivity to smell and touch
- Slurred speech
- Vertigo or dizziness
Stage 3 (Headache)
Migraine headache should not be confused with the traditional headache as it occurs intensely usually on one side of the head. Migraineurs have described the experience as a pulsing pain that often intensifies with movement.
Headache may last from 4-72 hours in adults if left untreated. Other symptoms may include:
- Upset Stomach
Stage 4 (Postdrome)
Postdrome or migraine hangover like any hangover occurs after the main event. It’s the final stage of migraine lasting usually, up to a day or two. Migraineurs have reported feeling drained, confused, and depressed during this period. Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty in concentration and comprehension
- Body pains
Treatment Options of Migraines
There are various kinds of migraine medications ranging from Aspirin to Ibuprofen, Tylenol to over-the-counter Advil. Generally, there are two major categories of migraine medication. They are:
- Preventive medications
- Pain-relieving medication
Can CBD be used in the Treatment of Migraines?
One of the major properties of Cannabidiol or simply put CBD, is its ability to bind with certain chemical compounds in order to inhibit or suppress its effect. One example is in the way CBD counters some of the effects of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is more psychoactive when used.
Similarly, theories have been made that CBD binds with the body’s Endocannabinoid System which is responsible for the regulation of functions such as pain in the body thereby numbing the pain.
Studies have revealed the effectiveness of CBD in pain management, this combined with the various positive reports of its success in treating migraines and headaches indicates that we would all benefit from more research in this important area. Notwithstanding, CBD has been used for centuries because of its minimal side effects, calming effects, and its clear disinclination for dependency.
There are different CBD products, each with its method of administration. The fastest way to relieve migraines when using CBD is by taking CBD Oil directly under the tongue 2-3 times a day, and holding it there for 60-90 seconds before swallowing.
Other means of administering CBD include ingestion (as food additives), patches, and balms. The major side effects of CBD in the treatment of migraines are usually attuned to its method of dispensation. For instance, coughing may occur in instances where CBD is inhaled.
A Migraine is a very serious medical condition that should not be left untreated. It is imperative to be aware of some of the indicators and/or triggers of migraine in order not to be caught unaware.
The use of CBD can be quite practical especially in chronic cases of migraines. Although it may not help with all the symptoms of migraine, it can be found quite effective in the management of pain without the risk of being dependent.