For millions of people worldwide, a perceived change in light, altered vision, nausea and even hallucinations are just a few of the potential early onset symptoms of a migraine. Here is a brief overview of this neurological syndrome and how cannabidiol (CBD) can potentially alleviate the throbbing (and often excruciating) pain experienced by migraine sufferers.
What is a migraine?
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Migraines are and extremely incapacitating collection of neurological symptoms that usually includes a severe throbbing recurring pain on one side of the head.”
Though the exact cause of migraines are still unknown, research published by the Migraine Research Foundation states that the cause of a migraine is due to a disorder in the nerve pathways and brain chemicals. Furthermore, studies have shown the disorder is linked to genes. Therefore, genetics play a factor.
According to statistics published on Migraine Trust, “Migraine is the third most common disease in the world (behind dental caries and tension-type headache) with an estimated global prevalence of 14.7% (that’s around 1 in 7 people). Migraine is more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined. Chronic migraine affects approximately 2% of the world population.
CBD Oil and Migraines
In 1990, researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD, published the first study indicating that the brain contains cannabinoid receptors. In subsequent years, this group of receptors or portals came to be known as the endocannabinoid system, which according to research published in 2009 by the Department of Psychology at the University of Georgia, is “where the brain produces and processes endocannabinoids, the brain’s own cannabis-like substances. Endocannabinoids are thought to be responsible for regulating inflammation and pain sensation.” A study conducted by researchers at the Neuroscience Institute of Alicante, speaks about the effects of cannabidiol (CBD), a principal component of the cannabis plant and the second highest abundant in cannabinoids. According to the study, “cannabidiol has well-documented biological effects of potential therapeutic interest, such as anti-anxiety, anti-convulsive, anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties.”
In 2010, the first study showing a link between the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and migraines was published by the IRCCS Neurological Institute. The findings corroborated the research from the Neuroscience Institute of Alicante. In addition, the IRCCS study suggested that “activation of ECS could represent a promising therapeutic tool for reducing both the physiological and inflammatory components of pain that are likely involved in migraine attacks.”
Hemp derived CBD oils and soft gels have proven effective at subdue migraine symptoms and preventing migraines from happening when used daily.
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