If you’re someone who suffers from migraines, trust me, you’re not alone. In fact, according to the Migraine Research Foundation, nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households includes someone with a migraine.
Many people think migraines are just headaches, but that’s not necessarily true. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, a migraine is an “extremely incapacitating collection of neurological symptoms that usually includes a severe throbbing recurring pain on one side of the head.” Sometimes they can even affect both sides of the head while lasting anywhere from 4 to 72 hours.
Not all migraines are the same. Migraines without aura and migraines with aura are two of the most common. So what makes them different?
Migraines without aura vs. Migraines with aura
Simply enough, the main difference is whether or not you experience an aura. Typically, an aura happens before you experience the pain of a migraine, but it’s possible to have an aura during a migraine as well. The effects can last up to 60 minutes. Some examples of common visual auras are the following:
- Colored spots
- Flashes of light
- Sparkles and stars
- Tunnel visions
- Blind spots
Migraines aren’t just limited to head pain either, they can cause other unpleasant symptoms like nausea, vomiting as well as sensitivity to sound and light.
Doctors aren’t entirely sure what exactly causes migraines, but they have some theories. These could include anything from genetics to the type of food you eat. Common triggers are emotional stress, lack of sleep or sleeping too much, excessive exercise and even the overuse of medications.
People often use pain relievers like ibuprofen, Tylenol and Aspirin to help with their migraines. But, when these medications are used too frequently they can make your migraines even worse in the long run.
Can CBD help?
CBD is gaining attention as more and more people turn to it in hopes of finding a natural addition to their daily health routines.
Many people mistake CBD with Marijuana which contains high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and is known for its psychoactive effects. Hemp products, on the other hand, only have trace amounts of THC and won’t make you feel “high”.
CBD acts as a natural supplement for our Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Our ECS runs throughout our peripheral and central nervous system and plays a major role in keeping our bodies balanced and working properly. Essentially it’s responsible for regulating many of our body’s physiological responses and systems, such as mood, appetite, sleep, and pain response.
In 2015, a CBD company called Care By Design surveyed over 2,000 patients who used medical marijuana for 30 days. According to the survey, 100% of patients with headaches or migraines reported a decrease in pain or discomfort.
A 2016 study on the impact of medical marijuana for people with migraines, found that it helped decrease migraine frequency from 10.4 to 4.6 headaches per month. Medical marijuana is different from CBD which comes from hemp, but they are both from the same plant family called cannabis.
There isn’t enough research quite yet in order for anyone to conclude CBD as an effective treatment for people with migraines.
Even if people aren’t using CBD for their migraines directly, they’re using it as a natural supplement for things that often cause migraines, such as lack of sleep or stress related anxiety and depression.