Can CBD Cause Headaches?
Posted on June 24th, 2020
Headaches are, without a doubt, one of the most common nervous system disorders. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that between one half and two-thirds of adults all over the globe experienced at least one headache a year. Cannabidiol (CBD) is enjoying a rise in popularity right now, with many users reporting positive effects from its use. But taking CBD can come with a few undesired side effects. Because, while several studies suggest that taking CBD can reduce headache and migraine discomfort, some professionals are exploring whether CBD use could also trigger headaches. In other words, if you’re a regular CBD user, you might need to ask: can CBD cause headaches?
Here’s the story with CBD, a naturally occurring compound found in industrial hemp strains of the cannabis plant. As a plant-based supplement, CBD is generally safe for consumption. In rare cases, however, taking this compound may trigger certain unwanted side effects. The most common ones include nausea, dizziness, low blood pressure, dry mouth, and drowsiness .
Headaches or migraines are not often listed as potential CBD side effects, but it is possible that CBD-induced headaches happen so rarely that they are not considered among common side effects. CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory and why people who take blood thinner medication should not consumer CBD without discussing with their doctor.
There are two possible ways your CBD use could trigger a headache: your dosage and the quality of CBD you consume. In this post, we’ll examine both potential causes.
CBD Side Effects
Recently, scientists re-discovered our bodies have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which interacts with cannabinoids in hemp-extracts such as CBD. Now, this system is really complex, and more research will be needed before we can draw any solid conclusions as to how CBD works within your body to create certain beneficial effects. That’s because the research on this compound is still in its infancy and more conclusive, long-term studies are still a few years away.
Still, early CBD studies reveal that cannabidiol may help symptoms of anxiety, depression, pain sensitivity, and blood pressure problems. But as these studies continue to explore the benefits of CBD, we also need to examine the potential side effects associated with regular cannabidiol supplementation.
In order to help shine a light on the full CBD picture, let’s do a quick review:
- CBD is one of the many cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant.
- While CBD offers users potentially therapeutic benefits, it does not cause a psychoactive high.
- Because of its non-psychoactive nature, CBD is generally a safer option than THC for addressing conditions that may be improved through the endocannabinoid system’s regulation.
- Some people claim that CBD oil can trigger headaches and allergies. It’s important to note that CBD and CBD oil are actually different products, although very similar in nature. Basically, CBD oil is a product made when CBD is extracted from the hemp plant. The extraction process changes the nature of the CBD and unleashes certain potentially beneficial effects in the product.
So, Can CBD Cause Headaches?
Before taking any new medication or supplement, it’s important to research any potential side effects. Fortunately, scientists are a step ahead of you in exploring potential CBD side effects. According to a study done in 1986, dystonic cannabidiol users (individuals with a neurologic disorder that causes muscle tremors) may be prone to lightheadedness, psychomotor slowing, hypertension sedation, and dry mouth. Of course, there’s a catch: the side effects depended on the size of the CBD dose. And, even when side effects popped up, the study did not find any evidence regarding CBD use as a potential cause of headaches.
Another study published by Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research back in 2017 states that CBD may cause appetite and weight issues, as well as diarrhea, and tiredness. So, can CBD cause headaches? The publication, however, does not mention headaches as a potential CBD side effect. Also, the stated side effects are mild in nature, meaning there were no life-threatening risks found in the study.
CBD Oil Dose
When it comes to CBD consumption, it is important to carefully monitor your dose size. We always recommend starting low and slowly increasing your dose size until you achieve your desired effect. Why is this such an important guideline? Most of the CBD side effects detected by scientists are often due to uncontrolled CBD use. As mentioned earlier, the quality of this substance is also an important aspect to keep in mind. Buying from unregistered dealers, or purchasing low-quality strains virtually guarantees your disappointment and could pave the way for unwanted side effects.
Begin With Moderate CBD Doses
Even if you do your homework on the quality and legitimacy of a certain CBD product, it’s important to be careful about your dose size. As we mentioned earlier, start with a small dose size and allow your body to get used to that CBD concentration, especially if it is your first time or if you are trying a new form of CBD. Even though CBD is non-toxic, it’s important to start low and gradually increase the dose. This is the best way to avoid unwanted side effects. And remember to consult your practitioner before starting a new supplement, as your current state of health could determine your optimal dose size, as well as any contraindications to your CBD use.
The Downside of Poor CBD Quality
Given the explosive market for CBD, some businesses will try to capitalize on this supplement’s popularity, at the expense of unsuspecting users. This often leads to disappointments as low-quality strains cause severe and consistent side effects, including respiratory issues, allergies, and even headaches. While less reputable CBD brands sell their products at lower prices, be aware that you may ultimately pay for that discount with your health.
The Importance of Purchasing High-Quality CBD
Purchasing CBD from an illegitimate seller comes with the downside of not knowing where your product was sourced. Unfortunately, there are CBD dealers who aren’t even licensed to deal with this product. As such, It’s important to educate yourself regarding the proper use of CBD products, legitimate sources, and proof of product purity. That being said, here are a few things to consider when buying any CBD product:
Where Does It Come From?
The cannabis plant varies from region to region. These plants are susceptible to absorbing mercury, lead, and other chemicals; if you are buying a product from overseas, carefully research the region where your CBD was grown. The packaging might contain misinformation, as well as a low-quality strain of CBD extract. Some toxic chemicals might also find their way into your packaging, which would have an even more severe impact on your health.
3rd Party Laboratory Test
Given how largely unregulated the CBD industry is, it is important to take precautions and only purchase products from manufacturers who provide evidence of a 3rd party testing process. These tests tell you about every included ingredient in your CBD, as well as identifying their quality and potency. Additionally, third-party testing will highlight residual solvents in your CBD product, providing an early warning system for signs that chemical fertilizers, microbial contamination, and pesticides have made their way into the supplement.
CBD Can Actually Alleviate Tension Headaches
So, we’ve reviewed that poor-quality CBD can trigger headaches. But let’s remember the more important facts: several studies suggest that CBD can actually provide relief from tension headaches because the cannabinoid can address underlying triggers. Tension headaches are often caused by stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, caffeine withdrawal, and weather changes. CBD may not be able to control how much coffee you drink or the weather outside, but it could possibly help address symptoms of stress or anxiety. It may even improve the quality of your nightly sleep.
Does Lack of Sleep Trigger Headaches
So many people experience headaches due to the loss of proper sleep and fatigue. According to studies, people who experience headaches and migraines are more likely to suffer from sleeping disorders. Studies suggest that cannabidiol may improve sleep by potentially relieving the anxiety that often causes sleeplessness and troubled nights. So using CBD may prevent fatigue-triggered tension headaches.
Is it All in Your Head?
As with any experience, there’s always the chance that you might be imagining a link between your cannabidiol use and suggested side effects, including headaches. This is especially true because there are numerous types of headaches, each with their own contributing causes. Can CBD cause headaches? Well, even if you develop a headache, don’t be too quick to blame your CBD use. If cutting back on the size or frequency of your CBD dose does not alleviate your headaches, chances are CBD is not the culprit. And, if your headaches persist, with or without CBD use, be sure to discuss your symptoms with a healthcare provider.
CBD is rising in popularity right now, with many users reporting positive effects from its use, but what are the possible side effects? Is it possible for CBD to cause headaches?
CBD Oil For Headaches And Migraines
It seems the whole world is talking about cannabidiol (CBD) these days. CBD is a cannabinoid compound that is one of many found in the cannabis plant, with people reporting that it helps to reduce stress and anxiety, and provides pain relief for many physical conditions. But can you use CBD Oil for headaches and migraines?
Taken on its own it has various interesting qualities but it is when CBD is taken with all the other compounds in cannabis that it truly becomes a star player. There is a synergy at work in nature that medical herbalists recognise and utilise with all their tinctures.
This synergy brings a far more potent product and it is why all the products at CBD One use a whole plant full spectrum extract . Indeed, it would be more accurate to call our products cannabis oil instead of CBD oil.
This synergy is the balance of all the interesting chemicals within any particular plant that help it have healthful qualities without causing terrible side effects. It is also one of the reasons why pharmaceutical companies do not research herbal medicine in the same way they do a single, active, ingredient. You see, they can own a single compound but they cannot own a whole plant!
Profits come from isolating one compound and researching its effects and making a medicine from it. The problem with this is that using a single active ingredient often comes with two issues: 1. It makes the drug extraordinarily powerful 2. It causes awful side effects.
Nature is far more intelligent and gentle than a brute force pharmaceutical drug so often takes longer to show changes but does little, if any, harm.
The gentle nature of using whole plants means they are often remarkably safe to use and this is recognised by the World Health Organisation in its report about CBD .
Is CBD Oil Good For Headaches And Migraines?
There is a very simple answer to this question which may seem disappointing but is sensible. Will it help? We do not know.
There you go! We genuinely have no idea if our CBD products will help. However, one thing we can say with absolute certainty is that if you try CBD it will do you no harm. Now given that the Hippocratic oath suggests doctors should ‘help or do no harm’ we are already halfway towards doing this.
Let us compare this to taking one ibuprofen which you can freely buy over the counter at pharmacies. Figures from the British Heart Foundation show, “ People who had used an NSAID (like ibuprofen) in the previous fortnight were found to have a 19 per cent higher risk of hospital admission for heart failure”
So given that doctors are supposed to do no harm this is a worrying but very widespread problem that most of the public know nothing about. Well rest assured dear reader, CBD One products do not come with any such risk.
This means that taking our CBD products comes with no risk and may bring you some benefits. Because it causes no harm I would argue it is worth a try.
As an interesting anecdote, I was speaking at an osteopathic conference to a group of my esteemed colleagues about CBD. At the end of my lecture I offered them a sample of our Absorb Pure syringe pump.
The next day one of my colleagues rang me to explain that at the end of my lecture he could feel a terrible headache coming on, I’m sure it had nothing to do with my lecture of course. He told me that this was a regular occurrence and he knew that his next steps would be to go to bed and that would be the end of his evening.
However, half an hour after taking the CBD his headache had gone away and he was able to enjoy a nice dinner and social event with everyone else. He now uses CBD regularly .
Because cannabis extracts are such a complex substance, at least they are if they have been manufactured with care, they are very difficult to research because pinning down which bit of the plant is doing what is nigh on impossible. However, that is because researchers are trying to look at an incredibly complex group of compounds through a black and white prism.
This is, unfortunately, where modern medicine falls down because too often it is looking for one simple answer to all manner of complex problems that require complex answers. In relation to cannabis this means that there is plenty of interesting and compelling research but much is also difficult to pin down and assess with pharmaceutical methods.
However, because we know it is safe at least we can take the step of trying it knowing that we have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Can CBD Oil Cause Headaches?
I have certainly heard of people reporting that they get a headache when they tried taking CBD so gave up.
I would urge patience because if you get a headache when you take CBD there are probably one of two things going on.
Firstly you may simply have taken too much CBD too soon. Lower your dose and try again. Our body can take time to get used to cannabinoids like CBD so start with two drops twice a day if you are using an oil and see what happens. If this causes a headache then half your dose, or even go to one drop a day for a week and build it up slowly.
Secondly you may be experiencing a herxheimer reaction. This occurs because the CBD may well be killing off toxic (for want of a better word) cells, this cell death can give headaches as the body processes all this toxicity. This normally lasts from one to three days but we are all different so listen to your body. This reaction can also make you feel a little floaty or tired.
Therefore, it can cause a headache but more often than not this is a temporary reaction and should fade away over the course of a few days. If you are experiencing any problems with it not going away perhaps you could get in touch with us through our healthcare advice service .
How To Use CBD Oil For Migraines And Headaches
The most effective way to take CBD is orally. Whilst patches that work through your skin may have a place they will generally be CBD with none of the other clever compounds in cannabis so make sure you supplement them with an oral product that is full spectrum.
At CBD One we have two types of oral products for you to try:
Our CBD oils which tend to be more on the calming side and are taken under the tongue. Generally two or three drops two or three times a day but please tune into how you are feeling and increase or lower the dose accordingly. Dosage is more of an art form than a science as we all react differently and have our own sensitivity to it.
Or our Absorb range which tends to get in your system fast and have a more energising effect. Most people take one shot of Absorb a day. They are designed to be added to a hot or cold drink and go well with your morning tea or coffee!
When it comes to which strength to start with I usually suggest people start with a middle strength product. Starting in the middle means you can increase or lower your dose as you see fit and means you will be using a decent amount of cannabinoids to hopefully see some positive changes.
If budget is an issue you can always start with a low dose and take twice as much of it to mimic a stronger product if you are not feeling anything change.
Please also remember to be patient! Whilst some people might see rapid changes, I have seen others only see a difference after two or three months, who are then bowled over by the improvements. I have also seen people think it is doing nothing, so they stop taking it and then they notice problems returning that they had not realised had gone away.
Always keep in mind that you are taking a natural product and nature works to her own rhythm no matter how impatient we may be so allow nature to take its course.
Many people report that CBD helps to provide pain relief for a range of conditions. But can you use CBD Oil for headaches and migraines?