Few everyday ailments feel as debilitating as a particularly hard-hitting headache. These frustrating little intruders have the power to put you in a state of all-out discomfort and misery, affecting your ability to see, think and get things done on a day-to-day basis. For this reason, those of us who suffer from chronic headaches tend to be on a constant quest for remedies that actually work. Indeed, finding the right solution — whether it is taking your daily serving of CBD drops or cutting back on the caffeine — could be truly life-changing.
The Rise of CBD for Pain
If you’ve been paying attention, you already know that cannabidiol (CBD) is quickly emerging on the scene as an untapped resource for supporting everything from quality sleep to post-workout muscle recovery. But studies have shown that it also has the unique ability to lessen feelings of pain and discomfort? And headaches are just the tip of the iceberg. Many people rely on this mighty little compound to help with joint pain, inflammation, muscle soreness and more.
So, how does CBD help with pain, exactly? To put it simply, CBD works within the body’s endocannabinoid system, a complex biological network that helps us regulate sleep, hunger, pain and discomfort. This system is made up of receptors, enzymes and endocannabinoids. When it comes to pain, we’re particularly interested in two key receptors — the C1 and C2 receptors. CB1 receptors regulate signals sent to our brains, while CB2 receptors are key regulators of inflammation that help modulate pain.
Scientists believe that CBD has an impact on feelings of pain and inflammation because it serves as an antagonist to the body’s CB2 receptors, effectively blocking them. In other words, it’s believed that CBD can help the body manage pain and discomfort because it blocks those key signals from being sent throughout the body. This is why you might feel more comfortable and relaxed after taking a few drops or gummies.
Does CBD Help with Headaches and Migraines?
We know that CBD can support the ongoing quest for pain relief, but does that apply to headaches? People who suffer from chronic or intense headaches know they’re among the toughest ailments to kick to the curb, in part because there are so many things that can cause them to begin with. Is it dehydration, stress, external stimuli or something more serious? When you can’t pin down the cause of your headache, it helps to turn to remedies that broadly address pain and inflammation.
Both anecdotal and scientific evidence suggests that CBD can help treat migraines and headaches. Because of the many years of cannabis prohibition, we’re still in the early stages of research on this topic. With that said, reputable medical journals such as Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, put out by the American Headache Society, have acknowledged and contributed to the growing body of support for CBD in treating headaches and migraines. There is also a fair amount of evidence out there showing that CBD can help with the management of chronic pain as a whole.
How to Use CBD to Ease the Pain of Headaches
With this in mind, it’s important that you know exactly how to use CBD for headaches. There are so many different products on the market. Figuring out what to take, when to take it and how much of it to take can be downright confusing. With that said, understanding how to take CBD properly for your specific condition — in this case, headaches or migraines — can help ensure that you get the most from each serving.
- Take the Right Product — While CBD alone is a powerful way to combat pain and discomfort, you might consider taking a CBD product that’s formulated with other natural pain-fighting ingredients. For example, our CBD Relief Capsules are formulated with white willow bark extract, bromelain, turmeric extract and other ingredients that help with pain regulation. Willow bark has been called “nature’s aspirin” because it contains salicin, a compound similar to aspirin. Bromelain is a natural enzyme derived from the pineapple, which has known analgesic properties, while turmeric has been proven to have as much pain-reducing power as ibuprofen.
- Take CBD Daily — In addition to helping halt pain signals from reaching your brain, CBD also has the ability to boost your body’s production of its own endocannabinoids — the natural molecules your body produces to signal pain. This suggests that not only should you take CBD when you start to feel pain coming on, but that you should integrate it into your daily routine to help encourage your body to naturally ward off pain and inflammation before it starts.
- Take CBD When You Feel the Pain Coming On — One of the worst things about headaches is that they’re impossible to predict. But you can use CBD as a tool for unexpected pain management. If you feel a headache coming on as a result of a particularly stressful week, too much time spent staring at the screen or a night of drinking, you can take CBD as needed to support your body’s ability to manage the pain. Keep CBD travel packs with you in your luggage, car or desk drawer at work so you can immediately address headaches that occur out of the blue.
- Choose a Format that Works for You — CBD comes in a wide variety of formats, including gummies, drops, capsules and topical creams and lotions. Be sure to choose the style that’s easiest for you to stick with. For example, many people find it easier to take a CBD gummy or two daily as well as when they feel the pain coming on. Taking a gummy or drops can be more pleasant and more convenient because it doesn’t require you to go find a glass of water.
- Get the Serving Right — Serving sizes can have a huge impact on whether or not you’re successful in using CBD to address certain ailments. The key is finding that sweet spot where you enjoy the desired effects. But here’s the thing: Every person is different, and variables such as weight, tolerance and genetics can impact how your body handles CBD. Read our guide to CBD serving sizes for insight on how much CBD to take, depending on a variety of factors.
- Choose a Pure Isolate Product — When using CBD to address pain, make sure to always choose a product labeled “CBD isolate” rather than “full-spectrum” or “broad-spectrum” CBD. The isolate label indicates that the CBD product has no trace of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the hemp-derived compound that provides the psychoactive effect or “high” feeling we often associate with cannabis. While there is evidence to suggest that THC is also helpful for managing pain, it is not the best choice for people who want relief without the mind-altering effect.
- Read the Ingredients List — Not all CBD products are made with high-quality safe ingredients, so make sure you always read the label and choose products that are third-party tested. Note that certain CBD products may contain ingredients that are known to trigger migraines and headaches, including toxins like pesticides and mold. This is especially true with regard to CBD edibles, such as gummies or candies, so it’s always important to look for 3rd party testing.
Integrating CBD into Broader Self-Care
Here at Soul CBD, we recognize that CBD is a powerful tool in the ongoing quest for feeling great. We also believe that it should be only one piece of the puzzle. Integrating CBD into your daily routine can contribute to quality self-care and can help you manage symptoms. But if you find that regular headaches are holding you back from living your daily life — preventing you from working, spending time with friends or even enjoying your downtime — then you likely need to make a larger lifestyle change.
Here are some ways to ensure that your headaches don’t turn from moderately frustrating to downright debilitating.
- See Your Physician — While the occasional one-off headache is more than likely no big deal, the World Health Organization warns that recurrent headaches may be associated with a headache disorder or something more serious. If you suffer from chronic headaches, it’s crucial that you speak to your physician to rule out any potentially serious causes. Taking into account a physical exam as well as any other signs or symptoms, your doctor may be able to connect your headaches to a specific cause, which can make treatment easier.
- Drink Enough Water — You already know that dehydration can take a huge toll on your general wellness. If you don’t get enough water, your body simply won’t have the tools it needs to produce enough energy, regulate your mood and support your body’s core functions. Without enough H2O, you’ll also be a lot more prone to recurring headaches. The brain needs water to thrive. When you don’t get enough, it can shrink, pulling away from the skull and signaling pain receptors.
- Avoid Headache Triggers — No two people are alike, and all have their own sets of sensitives, but there are some triggers many headache sufferers share in common. For example, alcohol is a common trigger because not only does it cause dehydration, but it also releases inflammatory properties throughout the body, causing pain. Other things that can cause or exacerbate headaches include:
- Poor diet
- Hormonal changes
- Loud noises
- Bright lights
- Certain smells
- Lack of sleep
Finding the Right CBD Products
When using CBD to treat headaches, the best thing you can do is partner with a supplier that focuses on quality and safety above all else. Soul CBD is your source for the best CBD products because we use organically farmed, all-natural CBD that’s third-party-lab tested to ensure safety and effectiveness. On top of that, our products are always made of CBD isolate and contain zero THC. They’re also gluten-free, to help ensure that you don’t unknowingly take something that could cause or worsen your headache.
So, which Soul CBD products are best for keeping in your anti-headache arsenal? While many of our products will do the trick, our CBD Relief Capsules are an easy, controlled way to get the right dosage at the right time. Not a big fan of pills? No stress. We’ve also got powerful and effective CBD Oil Drops and CBD Gummies to help you get relief in the way that makes the most sense for you. Ready to try it out? Explore all of our premium CBD products to find a formula that feels right for you.