What Does Science Say About CBD Oil & Migraines?

Today I wanted to share an intriguing guest post that will likely be relevant to a lot of you out there who, like myself, struggle with migraines. CBD oil is an interesting topic as so many people now are reporting benefits, so what does the science say about its role in helping migraines?


CBD oil is quickly gaining popularity because of its natural pain relief properties. It’s a safer alternative to over the counter medications, which typically pose a long list of potential drug interactions and harmful side effects. Each person who suffers from migraines is usually searching for the best way to help ease the symptoms and pain associated with the onset of a migraine. For those who prefer something natural to aid in their pain relief, CBD oil may be a successful and viable option. 

Let’s see what science says!

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is an isolated extract of a plant called Cannabis Sativa. This plant is often referred to as marijuana, but there are two species within this larger plant family: hemp and marijuana. Most CBD oils are harvested from the hemp side of the plant where as typical marijuana with THC exists in the other branch of the Cannabis Sativa plant family. 

So if you’re wondering, CBD is not marijuana and it will not make you high. 

THC is the chemical in marijuana that possesses psychotic effects, not CBD. CBD has actually been found to have antipsychotic effects. 

How Does CBD Oil Work?

How CBD oil specifically works within the human body is still unknown. There have been studies conducted that have looked at how CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system within the body, but the results are not concrete. The endocannabinoid system is assumed to play a role in the functions of the immune system and mood regulation. This bodily system is also thought to have an effect on memory and anxiety. More studies need to be conducted to understand how CBD truly works, especially with respect to migraines.

There have been studies looking at how “medical marijuana” (which contains CBD) affects people with migraines. For example, Pharmacotherapy conducted a survey which found that “medical marijuana” reduced the frequency of migraine headaches from 10.4 down to 4.6 per month. Unfortunately, there is no way to attribute the results to CBD. However, now that CBD is legal on a federal level after the passing of the US Farm Bill of 2018, it opens the flood gates to more research!

Benefits of CBD Oil

An article published in 2018 in Frontiers of Neurology discussed evidence that CBD has varying positive pharmacological properties, which includes anti-inflammatory, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective properties. This specific study also mentions that CBD is a safe substance for consumption because it does not alter blood pressure, heart rate, or body temperature. CBD oil has potential for people suffering with migraines, but the levels of effectiveness vary from person to person, like most things. 

In conclusion, it’s just too unclear to say whether CBD could help people with their migraines. There are loads of anecdotal evidence circulating the web as to how it’s helped migraineurs, but until very smart people in lab coats conduct human studies, there is no way to know for sure.

If you still have questions, check out this article on CBD for migraines which does a much deeper dive into the medical literature surrounding CBD oil.

[ This is a sponsored guest post & as such the ideas expressed here are that of the author. CBD in the UK is classed as a food supplement; this is not a medical product & this post does not replace medical advice for migraines.]

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34 Comments

  1. March 6, 2019 / 4:57 pm

    Interesting as I have seen CBD oil advertised quite a bit lately.

    • March 8, 2019 / 4:55 pm

      I think it’s getting a lot more coverage in the way of advertisements and media attention lately as research and personal testimonies are increasingly highlighting the potential benefits of it. Exciting times for those needing more help with their health conditions as an addition/alternative to pharmaceuticals..! 🙂

  2. March 6, 2019 / 5:06 pm

    Thanks for the info. Had no idea what that was.

    • March 8, 2019 / 4:24 pm

      It’s getting more media attention of late so I’m sure you’ll hear more about it in future. CBD is certainly an interesting one, especially where benefits for health conditions are concerned!

  3. March 6, 2019 / 5:20 pm

    Great for cancer patients too. They don’t lose their appetites. Great stuff for those that need this.

    Have a fabulous day. ♥

    • March 8, 2019 / 4:25 pm

      Yes, there are findings about it taking the edge of side-effects for cancer patients, too, which is fantastic because it’s an awful enough experience going through all of that so anything that can make it even a touch more manageable is surely worth a try. Thanks for the comment, Sandee 🙂

  4. March 6, 2019 / 9:59 pm

    I used to get daily migraines–I had one every day for over 2 1/2 years, which was just debilitating, but thankfully, I only get them about 8x a month now. My neurologist recommended that I use CBD oil for my migraines, fibromyalgia, and lupus symptom pains. I have to use a tremendously high dosage to see any pain relief, but I have such chronic pain that it’s expected. It does work for me, but it mostly works to relax and lessen my anxiety. Great info, Caz! I hope that you’re feeling much better! Thinking about you! xoxo

    • March 8, 2019 / 4:50 pm

      I’m so sorry you’ve had them so regularly, even 8x a month is a lot. I can get them a couple of times a week, and agree that they are hugely debilitating. I’d be very interested to use CBD to see whether it can benefit my migraines & fibro, too, and I’m glad it’s helped you even just a little. Do you mind me asking whether you use it as an oil dropper and what strength you use? It seems to work quite differently for everyone. Perhaps trying it in another format, like a vape, would be worth a go, just incase you have any issues with absorption and therefore not noticing as much benefit? Just a thought. Thank you for the great comment lovely xx

    • March 8, 2019 / 4:28 pm

      It’s fascinating, glad you found it interesting too 🙂

  5. March 6, 2019 / 10:33 pm

    I worked on a social media project related to the “cannabis lifestyle” and what you say here is so true: CBD oils and lotions have a great ability to relieve pain in many ways, and are completely non-habit forming. I interviewed a Doctor who believes this is the medication that can help so many, if only there wasn’t a stigma attached.

    • March 8, 2019 / 4:59 pm

      The lack of side-effects and addiction-related concerns are certainly huge ticks in favour of CBD, along with the variety of potential benefits it has. It’s interesting that you worked on a social media project related to it, that must have been an eye-opener. I think that doctor is right about the stigma, but hopefully with greater research, more awareness being raised about what CBD is (without the active component, it’s not the same as cannabis) and it becoming more readily available, there will be more people who can try it to see if it can help them where traditional medicines fail. Thanks for the great comment, John!

  6. March 7, 2019 / 2:21 am

    I recently started taking CBD, I like the strawberry flavor organic one, what I have noticed though with regards to headaches is that if I take it right in the beginning when i start to feel a headache coming on, it works and I don’t wind up with a headache. But, if I take it once I already have a headache it does nothing for me, even if I take it right after the headache started. Not sure if it has to do anything with the brand of the CBD. It also has helped with me with arthritis. Definitely a hundred times better than taking medications which are good for one thing and mess up twenty other things in your body. Thanks for the info here.
    <3

    • March 8, 2019 / 4:20 pm

      It’s interesting you say that about headaches, Masha. I find similar with migraine medications, working far better if they’re taken before it gets too severe. Trying to nip it in the bud early seems the best approach with headaches and migraines if possible. It’s wonderful to hear it’s helped with arthritis for you; what strength do you use, and is it as an oil dropper? Definitely better than various medications with side-effects, especially if it’s more effective. Thank you so much for sharing your experience 🙂
      xx

  7. Anjali
    March 7, 2019 / 3:06 am

    Thanks for this information Caz. Regards Anjali

    • March 8, 2019 / 4:18 pm

      You’re welcome, Anjali, I’m glad I was able to share it =]

    • March 9, 2019 / 9:31 am

      Really interesting post. It would be great if it does help migraines! xx

      • March 11, 2019 / 6:29 pm

        Thanks, glad you found it interesting. I’d like to try it myself to see if it helps migraines, too! x

  8. March 7, 2019 / 3:36 am

    Excluding the benefits, or otherwise, Caz, for those with migraine, I’ve heard only great feedback regarding the results of CBD for those with many medical concerns. Indeed, the body of factual evidence grows stronger daily! Only yesterday I watched (on a news channel) a young family whose son (an epileptic) was being treated in this way. His parents stated that the difference had been quite marked with fewer fits being experienced by their son, and of a far lessor intensity.
    It’s early days, however, I’m sure it won’t be long before a much greater acceptance of the benefits become obvious to most, heralding the use of this medicine worldwide.

    • March 8, 2019 / 4:17 pm

      You’re right, the evidence for the benefits of CBD, and the stories of positive personal experiences, grows every day. It’s very exciting and promising for those with medical conditions. It’s incredible the varied issues it can help with, from migraines to epilepsy, as you mentioned. Fingers crossed it becomes more readily available so everyone is able to try it to see if it can help them. Thanks for sharing your great comment, Carolyn! 🙂

  9. March 7, 2019 / 9:02 pm

    I find this so interesting and there’s still so much more I’d love to know about CBD oil. As someone with chronic pain, I can’t wait to start trying it to see if I get any relief. Thanks for sharing

    Coralle x

    • March 8, 2019 / 3:59 pm

      I think more & more comes out about CBD as time goes on and it’s fantastic to learn more about it and hear such great reports from people who’ve benefited from its use. I do hope that, if/when you get to try it, it can help you with chronic pain, which I’m hoping for myself too. Thanks for the comment, Coralle – Have a restful weekend xx

  10. March 8, 2019 / 12:29 am

    It’s good that we have some options like CBD oil for folks who will need it. Thanks for spreading the awareness Caz!

    • March 8, 2019 / 3:57 pm

      It is great to have more options opening up and fingers crossed this will continue to improve in future so it’s more accessible for more people. Thanks, Nisha! Happy Friday 🙂

  11. March 8, 2019 / 2:44 am

    Thank you for sharing this important info, Caz! I don’t need anything to get high, not alcohol or smoking or anything, but as pain relief it’s very important

    • March 8, 2019 / 3:56 pm

      Without the active component, CBD seems safe and effective without the ‘high’, which opens up its use to more people as an addition or alternative to traditional medicines that may be less effective. Thanks for the comment! x

  12. March 8, 2019 / 7:02 am

    This is very interesting. I don’t suffer with migraines myself but I know a lot of people who do. I’ll pass the information on! X

    • March 8, 2019 / 3:55 pm

      That’s fab – I think CBD oil has a lot of potential and while everyone will have different experiences with it, the findings so far are very promising! Thanks for the comment, Rachael 🙂

  13. March 8, 2019 / 11:58 pm

    cbd oil did great for my dogs’ arthritis, which I blogged about – great info, Caz 🙂

    • March 9, 2019 / 5:09 pm

      I wish it were around for when I had my dog as he struggled with arthritis too, poor thing. So good its helps yours! Thanks for the comment lovely xx

  14. March 10, 2019 / 9:47 pm

    Thank you so much for this information! Considering I deal with a lot of pain and headaches, I have thought a lot about CBD oil but fear that I won’t get what is right! I do always appreciate the advice you give because you really are brilliant!

    • March 11, 2019 / 6:14 pm

      Do you mean in terms of the type of CBD oil and strength? It’s a tricky one because there are different products available now (from oils and gummies to vapes) and strengths, and it’s the % strength that I find a little off-putting to figure out too. I’m glad you liked the post, lovely. Would you be interested in trying CBD oil? I could try to find some recommendations for companies that ship in the US if you like. xx

  15. March 11, 2019 / 8:11 pm

    Hello from me and I hope you are doing well? I used to have migraines and not anymore. I was not aware what CBD oil is. Now of course I am not in need of it. It maybe it is not found where I was then, and I hope it is something good to relieve pain, as I know how painful migraine headaches are. What I had taken is other pain medication that was specifically for the headaches itself. I send Many Blessing of Healing Energies Your way <3

    • March 12, 2019 / 4:44 pm

      I’m glad you don’t have them any more. Do you think anything changed in your lifestyle or general health that helped to reduce them? With CBD, it’s only more recently I think becoming well-known, so it’s good to raise more awareness of it so people can broaden their options because it’s worth keeping an open mind where chronic pain is concerned. Thanks for sharing 🙂
      xx

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