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CBD Oil for Migraines: Does it Work? Everything You Should Know

6 min read

CBD Oil for Migraines: Does it Work? Everything You Should Know

6 min read

Roughly 1 billion worldwide suffer from migraines, making it the third most common illness

Unlike a typical headache, migraines are much more severe and can affect people’s lifestyles. In the worst cases, they can last up to several weeks.

The common treatments for migraines include pain medication and lifestyle changes, but some are turning to CBD oil in the hope that they can help manage their migraine symptoms.

It’s important to remember that CBD is not a medicine intended to treat, cure or prevent migraines. Instead, it should be seen as a supplement that can support the body. 


Let’s take a look a look at the following to find out:

  • Can CBD oil help with migraines?
  • How does CBD oil work?
  • How to use CBD oil for migraines
  • How to choose the best CBD oil for migraines in the UK

In this guide:

Will CBD oil help with migraines?

CBD oil works to promote general wellness and restore balance within the body.

Although it may not be able to treat the migraine symptoms directly, it may help regain balance which could support overall health and make you less susceptible to painful attacks.

CBD oil interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which is made up of cannabinoid receptors found all over the body.

A normal and healthy functioning body lives in a state of homeostasis, where all of the body’s internal systems control things such as temperature, appetite, sleep patterns and more.

Our bodies are constantly responding to internal and external changes to maintain a state of homeostasis. The ECS is essential for sending messages between cells to achieve homeostasis.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about migraines and what causes them, but it is thought it could have something to do with hormones, nerve signals and blood vessels in the brain.

Since there are endocannabinoid receptors in the endocrine system (hormones), central nervous system (nerves) and cardiovascular system (blood vessels), this could indicate that it plays a role in migraine symptoms.

Some people turn to CBD to help with things like stress, poor sleep and pain, which are commonly experienced alongside migraines.

Read more: CBD for sleep

Does CBD oil help with migraines?
CBD is not a treatment for migraines, but it can support the ECS to promote health and well-being.

How does CBD oil for migraines work?

It’s a common misconception that CBD and other cannabinoids can be put to work in the body and used alongside the endocannabinoids that our bodies produce. Instead, CBD helps to increase the number of endocannabinoids available to us.

It achieves this by inhibiting the release of an enzyme that breaks down endocannabinoids produced in the body. Specifically, it prevents the metabolisation of anandamide.

Anandamide is also known as the “bliss molecule” and is associated with pain relief. So, the more anandamide you have available, the more effectively your body can function.

This internal process is also linked with reduced inflammation, as the endocannabinoid system is responsible for inflammatory response. 

Therefore, by supporting the ECS, CBD may help to manage migraine symptoms.

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How to use CBD oil for migraines

Many people experience an aura before a migraine attack, so they have some time to prepare. Others may experience them suddenly and must take action after the onset to help control their symptoms.

How you choose to use CBD oil for migraines is your preference

CBD for migraines should not be considered a quick-fix or medicine you take during an attack. Instead, you should take it consistently for at least 30 days to help support your ECS.

Ultimately, how long it takes CBD oil to work depends on the person.

Another thing to consider when using CBD oil for migraines is the bioavailability of different types of CBD

CBD bioavailability refers to the CBD absorption speed and the percentage that can be utilised in the body. This matters for migraine sufferers because it will influence how quickly the CBD makes its way into your system, where it can be put to work.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s explore the various methods in more detail:

Sublingual CBD 

Sublingual administration of CBD is just a technical way of saying to put the oil under your tongue for a minute or two to absorb the CBD through the small blood vessels under the tongue, allowing faster absorption into the bloodstream.

Sublingual CBD has high bioavailability.

Therefore, taking CBD sublingually means it gets into the bloodstream faster to take effect, which some users prefer – especially if you’re in the middle of a migraine attack.

Vaping CBD 

Another way to take CBD is using an e-cigarette or vape pen with cannabidiol e-liquids.

Vaping isn’t without risks, but it may be the best way to take CBD if you already use e-cigarettes, are looking to stop smoking, or aren’t keen on taking CBD sublingually. 

Vaping CBD products work fast because the cannabidiol can get into the bloodstream quickly through your lungs, so it may be helpful if you’re looking to use CBD oil for migraines after the migraine has started.

For migraines, you may see effects in your well-being after about 15-30 minutes if you’ve taken CBD oil sublingually or using a vape pen.

Ingesting CBD

A popular way to take CBD is in capsules, edibles or drinks. 

The best CBD edibles for migraines include CBD cakes and CBD brownies but you can also drink CBD tea or blend it into a delicious  CBD superfood smoothie

Capsules are especially common for people who take CBD every day as part of their morning or evening routines.

However, ingesting CBD might not be ideal for people who want to see the results quickly. For example, if you feel a migraine attack coming on, it could take an hour or more for the body to digest the cannabinoids if you consume CBD capsules or food.

But, ingesting CBD can be an excellent solution for daily use to supplement your well-being and doesn’t have the CBD oil taste that many users find unpleasant.

In this way, it is best used as a preventative measure to supplement your health long-term.

Topical CBD-infused products

Another way of using CBD, especially if you’re experiencing pain, is using a topical CBD balm or salve to rub directly into the area where it hurts. 

The CBD gets absorbed into the skin and then into the bloodstream, where it can get to work.

However, due to the low bioavailability of topical CBD, it may take longer to get to work, and the effects will be less.

How to use CBD for migraines

Dropper Icon

Sublingual CBD

CBD oil drops works fast when a migraines has already begun

Vape Icon

Vaping CBD

Vaping CBD is suitable for use after a migraine started

Capsule Icon

Ingesting CBD

Ingesting CBD is great for daily use as preventative measure 

Cream Icon

Topical CBD

CBD creams can be used for migraines, but it is less potent than other methods

What is the best CBD oil for migraines UK?

When buying CBD oil for migraines, there are three main types of CBD to choose from:

  • Full-spectrum CBD contains a range of cannabinoids and less than 0.2% THC. 
  • Broad-spectrum CBD contains a range of cannabinoids and no THC. 
  • CBD isolate contains one type of cannabinoid, no THC, and is the purest form of CBD oil. 

As full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oils contain a
wider range of cannabinoids, they have the potential to induce the entourage effect

Some people consider the entourage effect to be the key to maximising the benefits of CBD, and therefore consider these oils to be more effective for managing migraines.  

Once you have decided on the CBD spectrum and the type of product you would like to use, you should think about where you will purchase your CBD.

The best CBD oil for migraines will have the following features:

  • Lab-tested
  • Ethical 
  • Sustainable 
  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Pesticide-free

These labels will indicate that you are purchasing a
high-quality CBD oil that will be effective, safe and that the CBD is legal in the UK (less than 1gram of THC per product).  

Lastly, you should consider the price. Cheap CBD can be low quality and may not have much CBD. It could even be dangerous if you don’t buy it from somewhere reputable.

Best CBD oil for migraine UK is broad-spectrum and lab-tested
Broad-spectrum, third-party lab-tested and organic CBD is best for migraines.

Why should you be wary of CBD oil for migraines for sale?

Many companies are attempting to sell CBD oil as a treatment rather than a way to promote good health and wellness. 

Some of these companies even claim that CBD is a miracle cure for migraines. But, as we’ve mentioned, CBD is not a medicine and shouldn’t be used as one. Instead, it should be used to help balance the body’s processes

It is essential to steer clear from these claims and be wary of companies selling a product that is making health claims.

Therefore, steer clear if you see CBD oil for migraines for sale in the UK!

Final words on CBD oil for migraines

Whatever CBD oil or method you choose, it is most important that you’re informed about your choices, and that you know what to expect when taking CBD oil for migraines.

Taking CBD for any ailment, migraines or something else, it is important to remember to use them as you would a supplement. 

CBD products can be used to promote general wellness and wellbeing but shouldn’t be used as a medicine.