Headaches and migraines are the number one cause of missed workdays in the US. Doctors report that this is one of the most common complaints a patient will bring up during an office visit. Migraines take many different forms, and fast relief is desired right away, along with a way to prevent them in the future. Medications such as triptans (i.e. sumatriptan) are the first line agent but are not effective for all patients and must be avoided for those with heart problems or those who experience an aura with their headache. Medications used to prevent migraines also have undesirable side effects, such as topiramate making it difficult to think or causing confusion.
The use of CBD for migraine pain works much different than any other product we currently have on the market. CBD works on a different path to regulate pain than any other product. What this means, is that not only can CBD be used alone for migraines, it can also be used with other medications.
CBD operates on what is known as the endocannabinoid system. This system is a major player in causing the body to send signals resulting in inflammation, pain control with the body?s natural pain killer endorphin/enkephalin, and the receptors that spread and amplify the signals happening in your brain called peroxisome proliferative-activated receptors (PPARs).
Literature has shown that CBD has been successful in not only improving migraines when they happen, but with also decreasing their frequency. One study found that 88% of patients relieved their migraines after taking CBD. This included patients who had success with other medications in the past, as well as those who did not. This same study showed that some patients were able to reduce their need for pain medications, such as opioids, and allowed some to discontinue their use all together. Other studies showed they are synergistic and work together causing individuals to have much faster control and relief than those using one medication or CBD alone. This is what makes CBD unique compared to other medications, because it works on different parts of the brain than others.
CBD may be very helpful with migraines, and a helpful addition to any of your current migraine prevention and treatment. Talk with a Welltopia pharmacist today to see what product may be the best for you!
Written by Alexander Sperry,
Medical College of Wisconsin ? Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate 2021
- Harrell T, Minor DS. Headache Disorders. In: DiPiro JT, Yee GC, Posey L, Haines ST, Nolin TD, Ellingrod V. eds. Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach, 11e. McGraw-Hill; Accessed July 15, 2020. https://accesspharmacy-mhmedical-com.proxy.lib.mcw.edu/content.aspx?bookid=2577§ionid=224358352.
- Baron EP. Medicinal Properties of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids in Cannabis, and Benefits in Migraine, Headache, and Pain: An Update on Current Evidence and Cannabis Science. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain. 2018;58(7):1139-1186. doi:10.1111/head.13345.
- Baron EP, Lucas P, Eades J, Hogue O. Patterns of medicinal cannabis use, strain analysis, and substitution effect among patients with migraine, headache, arthritis, and chronic pain in a medicinal cannabis cohort. The Journal of Headache and Pain. 2018;19(1). doi:10.1186/s10194-018-0862-2.
- Baron EP. Comprehensive Review of Medicinal Marijuana, Cannabinoids, and Therapeutic Implications in Medicine and Headache: What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been ?. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain. 2015;55(6):885-916. doi:10.1111/head.12570.
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