Migraines can be debilitating. Whether you suffer from visual symptoms, like auras and light sensitivity, or severe pain throughout parts of your head, neck, and eyes, for many, there is little to do for an excruciating migraine but black out all the lights and wait it out. But, according to new research, hemp oil may provide some much needed relief.
For centuries, cannabis has been used to effectively treat migraines, being especially popular from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s. And finally, researchers have discovered a scientific basis for its effectiveness—endocannabinoid deficiency.
While it is unclear what actually causes migraines in the body, they could be due to an imbalance of the body’s innate endocannabinoid system—a network of neurotransmitters and cannabinoid receptors that weave throughout our nervous system.
Since this system essentially manages pain control and response, the hallmark pain and visual disturbances in migraines may indeed be caused by a cannabinoid deficiency and system malfunction. And that’s where hemp oil comes in.
CANNABINOID? AS IN CANNABIS?
Yep. Many researchers are starting believe that supplementing with phytocannabinoids—or plant-based sources of cannabinoids, like hemp—can help balance naturally-occuring cannabinoid levels in our endocannabinoid system by binding to various cannabinoid receptors.
And hemp oil is a widely available solution.
Rich in phytocannabinoids, hemp oil has been shown to powerfully prevent and treat migraines.
One study showed that hemp CBD oil is actually as effective at preventing migraine attacks as conventional migraine medications. This may be because those suffering from chronic migraines have been shown to have significantly less anandamide, a specific cannabinoid produced within the body, than those who did not experience migraines. When consumed, CBD-rich hemp oil is able to supplement those cannabinoid levels in the body.
And it doesn’t just diminish pain. Hemp oil can stop auras and other visual disturbances, too.
Auras may arise from glutamate overstimulation, which causes a wave of unusual electrical hyperactivity that manifests as auras and visual disturbances. One job of the endocannabinoid system is to regulate glutamate levels.
A system that is deficient in cannabinoids is less likely to put a check on glutamate, which may make migraines more likely. The ability of hemp oil to replenish a cannabinoid deficiency may therefore put a check on migraines before they start.
Let’s be clear—hemp is not marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are two different forms of cannabis, and hemp oil will not get you high.
Whatever your opinion of marijuana, hemp is a legal source of plant CBDs, a highly medicinal compound that has been proven to reduce pain, inflammation, and anxiety. It has powerful medicinal applications, from soothing violent seizures to providing relief to those suffering from painful sexual disorders. And now, it may have tremendous value in preventing and relieving migraines.