Every year, millions of people around the world suffer from headaches. It can occur at any age-it is not just in older people. Statistically, it is one of the most common reasons why patients choose to see a doctor - especially when it is recurrent and intensifies, as it may be a symptom of another illness. Sometimes, the headache makes it difficult to function normally and makes patients feel overwhelmed by it and excluded from their environment. Moreover, such pain ranks among the most common pains in the world. It can have various causes - it is often the result of stress, overwork, lack of sleep or fatigue. Sufferers then often reach for painkillers, whether prescribed by a doctor or commonly available, but at some point they have had enough - either they no longer have the desired effect, or they just have side-effects and decide not to take them any more. This is where CBD oil for headaches can help. It is natural that many questions then arise. Which CBD oil to choose for headaches? Does CBD oil for headaches really help? Is it worth taking CBD oil for headaches? How do I use CBD oil for headaches?
Headaches - what are the types and possible causes
Each year around 50% of the population complains of headaches, where the most common distinction is:
- Tension headache- accounts for 38% of all headaches,
- Migraine headache- accounts for 10% of all headaches,
- Cluster headache- accounts for 8% of all headaches,
- Chronic daily headache- accounts for 3% of all headaches,
Unfortunately, headache is becoming the domain of women. Statistically, women are 2-3 times more likely to experience migraine and 1.25 times more likely to experience tension-type headache than men. It is, unfortunately, becoming an increasingly common pain in young people, as 90% of the cases are in people under the age of 40.
Migraine is classified as a headache lasting from 4 to even 72 hours, which is usually unilateral, throbbing, moderate to severe in intensity, often associated with photophobia and increased sensitivity to noise and even odours. This type of pain is usually accompanied by stomach discomforts such as persistent nausea or vomiting. It is aggravated by normal physical activity, so the patient usually has to remain still to feel relief, and migraines are also activated and aggravated by strong emotions.
Tension headache is classified as frequent, infrequent or chronic, typically manifesting as bilateral, as opposed to imgrenic, tension-type pain of mild to moderate intensity, lasting minutes to days. It is defined as severe unilateral pain in the orbital, temporal or supraorbital region, lasting from 15min to two hours, occurring frequently and at regular intervals. It can develop into a chronic condition (when it occurs more than 15 days a month), which develops as a result of frequent use of painkillers - which is why judicious use of such preparations is so important.
Cluster headache is classified as a rare condition, typically presenting with unilateral, cumulative pain, located mainly in the eye and temporal region, which may radiate to the jaw or occipital region. In the overwhelming majority of cases, it affects men. It occurs regularly, at intervals, then fades away and returns again after a while. An attack of this type of pain can last from 15 minutes to as much as three hours, and usually occurs at the same time during sleep, disrupting the sleep pattern and causing sudden awakening. Intervals between attacks can last from a few hours to several days. Like migraine, it is one of the most difficult types of pain to diagnose.
CBD oil for headaches, how CBD oil for headaches works
Research shows that migraines and cluster headaches are initiated in the brain in areas such as the hypothalamus, brainstem or possibly the cerebral cortex. Tension headaches can originate not only in the central nervous system, but can also be triggered by musculo-fascial tissue, often developing in response to stress. Regardless of the origin, headaches are usually associated with excessive activation of the trigeminal pathway, resulting in the release of mediators or vasoactive peptides. Serotonergic signals, inflammation and increased intracranial pressure also play an important role in the genesis of headaches. And this is where CBD can demonstrate its effects.
Cannabinoids such as CBD, for example, have been clinically tested for other conditions, showing efficacy in the treatment of neuropathic/chronic pain, epilepsy, spasticity, nausea, psychiatric disorders, insomnia, and excellent results have been achieved. Therefore, it was decided to expand the area of research and focus on treating the causes and symptoms of headaches of various origins. The endocannabinoid system found in the human body obviously plays a huge role here. The endocannabinoid system interacts with receptors in the body, such as the respiratory, immune, gastrointestinal, muscular and even central nervous systems, thereby taking part in many physiological processes such as the regulation of metabolism or neurohormonal/neuroimmune connections, regulation of mood, sleep, motivation, hunger and satiety. Any dysfunction of this system can result in various types of pain, as well as malfunctions of the organs from the associated systems. This is why some people suffering from multiple types of pain choose to supplement with CBD products to achieve relief from their symptoms. An extremely important benefit of reaching for CBD oil for headaches is its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help not only the symptoms, but also the cause of the headache.
CBD oil for migraines
It is understood that migraine may also have a genetic basis. Studies have shown that a decrease in expression of the cnr1 gene, which encodes the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor, is associated with migraine and trigeminal vascular activation. Women who suffer from such pain also have increased activity of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), an enzyme used to reduce the action of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) and the endocannabinoid membrane transporter (EMT), as well as the membrane transporter for AEA, leading to an overall decrease in endocannabinoid levels and thus a propensity for multiple system dysfunction, which may manifest itself in the very occurrence of such pain. This finding may, in part, shed light on the reason for the increased incidence of migraine in women. Importantly, a study of cerebrospinal fluid shows that people who suffer from migraines have reduced levels of AEA and increased levels of CGRP and NO (normally inhibited by AEA). Such results support the previously mentioned theory that changes in the functions of endocannabinoids indirectly related to their reduction, such as AEA, may be one of the main mechanisms generating migraines. A feature of headaches is that they are predominantly associated with other comorbidities, such as anxiety or mood disorders, allergies, insomnia or even epilepsy. The endocannabinoid deficiency hypothesis makes it possible to deduce the origin not only of migraine, but of other diseases such as fibromyalgia or irritable bowel syndrome.
CBD oil for tension headache, CBD oil for cluster headache
As in the case of migraine, the genesis of the origin of tension headaches may be related to a dysfunction of the endocannabinoid system or cannabinoid deficiency. The action of CBD on the receptors in the nervous system, where the headaches originate, makes it possible to influence their cause and reduce their frequency. Studies have also shown that chronic stress, as well as lack of sleep or a significantly reduced quality of sleep, affects the occurrence of headaches and is one of their causes. This is where CBD oil for headaches can definitely help, due to its beneficial effects on sleep - not only on the process of falling asleep, which it undoubtedly helps with, but also on improving its quality, reducing the number of awakenings and increasing the feeling of rest after a night's sleep. The anti-stress effects of CBD will certainly help in the daily management of difficult situations, which certainly contribute to the occurrence of pain. Studies clearly indicate that CBD, due to its relaxing and calming properties, can bring promising results in the treatment of tension as well as pain of such origin - this cannabidiol is, after all, well known for treating epilepsy and reducing the occurrence of epileptic seizures, as well as for muscle spasticity.
Cluster headache has a similar origin to the other ailments described here, so in this case too the use of CBD is justified, due to the interaction of this cannabinoid with the human endocannabinoid system.
Migraine unhappily starts the podium of the top 20 on the list of diseases of the WHO- World Health Organisation causing incapacity and unproductivity, which often leads to the occurrence of depressive disorders, panic attacks or significant lowering of mood. This is why patients, fearing the occurrence of side effects, often turn to natural means of combating pain, such as CBD oil for headaches, the use of which is non-toxic, which has been confirmed in studies, non-addictive and, above all, has no side effects. We should also remember to reach only for tested oils, with a declared CBD content and free of pesticides, fungi, mould or heavy metals - because this is what they are supposed to help treat and not, through their poor quality, cause new ailments. In order to choose the right dosage, it is worth using the CBD dosage calculator, which is available on our website and is only for Hempmont oils.
"Cannabinoid (CB1) Receptor activation inhibits trigeminovascular neurons "Akerman S, Holland PR, Goadsby PJ. 2007
"Patterns of medicinal cannabis use, strain analysis, and substitution effect among patients with migraine, headache, arthritis, and chronic pain in a medicinal cannabis cohort" Eric P. Baron, P.Lucas, J. Eades, O. Hogue 2018