How to Apply CBD Oil for Headaches
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If you suffer from headaches or migraines, you're not alone. The Migraine Research Foundation estimates that 39 million people in the US suffer from these painful headaches. In this article, we will talk about how to apply CBD oil for headaches.
What you will learn as you read on is:
- What CBD is and how it differs from THC
- Why CBD is an exciting new way to help alleviate headache pain
- How to apply CBD oil for headaches
- Where to get quality CBD products
Let's get started...
Why CBD and THC are Not the Same
To fully understand CBD, THC, and hemp, we'll have to back to an abbreviated biology class to understand the differences.
We'll start with defining the genus (class of items such as a group of plants with similar traits, qualities or features) named Cannabis sativa.
Today, there are two distinct versions of the Cannabis sativa plant: cannabis (you'll hear this called marijuana too) and hemp.
There are many compounds that can be derived from Cannabis sativa plans. The two we're discussing here are CBD (short for cannabinoid) and THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol).
THC is the compound of the cannabis/marijuana plant that has a psychoactive effect--in other words, it can make you feel 'high'.
CBD is a compound contained in both hemp or marijuana versions of cannabis. However, hemp contains less than 0.3 percent THC, therefore, that high feeling isn't present when using the CBD compound.
As you can see, the main difference between hemp and cannabis/marijuana is the concentration of THC.
Your Endocannabinoid System
What researchers are discovering is that a trigger for a headache or migraine causes an imbalance in the brain. The next step should be for the body to produce endocannabinoids to offset the imbalance and keep things equal in your body.
However, if your body's endocannabinoid system is not operating on all cylinders, that could result in a deficiency that can lead to conditions like headaches.
Furthermore, whatever triggered the imbalance can also cause inflammation. The inflammation can become out of control and also contribute to the headache pain.
CBD has emerged as a natural way to treat different medical challenges and conditions. It is currently FDA-approved in the United States as a treatment for a type of epilepsy.
One aspect of CBD that's promising is it's suspected to be an anti-inflammatory, and natural pain reliever.
If CBD affects a brain disorder like epilepsy, perhaps it also can help people who have chronic headaches and/or migraines.
As a result, your body might react well to taking CBD for your headache.
The exciting aspect of CBD is it comes from a plant, not a bottle. It's exciting because it can with your body to help naturally alleviate pain without serious side effects, including addiction.
There is general confusion over terminology. It's important to know that hemp seeds, derived from the hemp version of the Cannabis sativa plant, do not contain any CBD or THC. Hemp seeds have been used for decades as a dietary supplement in cooking and beauty products.
Applying CBD Oil for Headaches
CBD comes in different types of delivery systems.
For example, you can eat a candy-like gummy, smoke it in a vaporized, rub it into your skin, take a bath in it or take in in food or liquid.
In general, a CBD topical cream, serum or oil will work more locally. So rubbing it on your temples or forehead might help relieve the pain temporarily in a certain area.
Smoking CBD might provide more relief from the cause of headaches but tends to be more short-lived.
Including CBD food and liquid tends to relieve pain for more hours than other ways topically or vaping.
There is also a theory that adding some THC with CBD is a more effective way for patients to treat headaches long term. For example, this 2015 survey of cannabis users reported patients using the 4:1 CBD-to-THC were most likely to report a reduction in pain or discomfort.
Of course, if taking THC is not possible for you, it may still be a good thing to try CBD on its own. Some take a daily dose to be proactive in keeping headache pain away.
Be sure to consult with your physician first, especially if you're taking other medications or have other health conditions.
Taking CBD Oil
Most CBD oils are offered as dietary supplements. This means that you can mix them in drinks, with food, or simply ingest them as you would medication.
But how to apply CBD oil for headaches is what some are wondering. Dr. Bonnie Goldstein in her book Cannabis Revealed mentions that most people reach for a rapid delivery method like inhalation (vaping) or sublingual tincture (oil under the tongue or cheek).
Not only that, it's also important to recognize it's a trial and error exercise to determine which specific strain choice works best for each person.
Some people choose to apply CBD oil topically.
Although the skin should have a good absorption rate, there isn’t any conclusive evidence that rubbing CBD oil or CBD-based creams on your forehead might help relieve headaches or migraines any faster.
As we mentioned, putting a CBD tincture under the tongue facilitates faster absorption. This is because the CBD enters your bloodstream rather than the skin or stomach.
Here are a few possible ways of taking CBD oil and other CBD-based products:
- Used as an ingredient with drinks and food
- Ingesting it in capsule form
- Through vaping or inhaling
- By placing drops or spraying under the tongue
- Topical application on the skin
Depending on which method you prefer or which method works best for you, the dosage will obviously differ.
With that in mind, it’s also important to understand that various application techniques will offer different results.
(In addition, if you use a full- or broad-spectrum CBD oil, you may find you're allergic to a natural ingredient in the formula and cause a headache.)
When mixed with food, the CBD compound may not always have a fast absorption rate. It still has to process through the stomach, which lessens bioavailability.
The fastest absorption rate tends to come from using the product under the tongue or drinking it. Both methods go directly into the bloodstream and bypass the stomach.
Topical applications might also work. But, since there’s no evidence to suggest that the CBD cannabinoid actually links with CB1 and CB2 receptors, rubbing the oil in might not be the best idea.
If the CBD compound actually interacts indirectly with the endocannabinoid receptors in the human body, then ingesting it would almost always be the better choice.
What Dosage to Take
Everyone is different in regard to how their unique endocannabinoid system works.
Depending on how you decide what delivery type you'll use for the CBD oil, gummy, vape, mixed with food or liquid or topically, will also determine the dosage.
For example, because a topical application is localized and doesn't seep into the body or bloodstream, you may find you'll have to apply more often.
If you use gummies, you may start with one gummy and progress from there.
In the end, you'll want to start off at a lower dosage to see how your body reacts. For example, did you get relief from that dosage?
If you feel like you can tolerate a higher dosage, increase accordingly. Then re-evaluate how your body reacts.
Soon, you will find the right dosage for you and your body.
Also, be aware that prolonged usage will give the best results. In other words, practice consistency.
CBD has emerged as a natural, plant-based way to help alleviate the pain from headaches or migraines. In this article, we discussed how to apply CBD for headaches.
The anti-inflammatory nature of CBD and how it interacts with your body's endocannabinoid system will determine the level of relief from headache pain you will receive.
More importantly, CBD can provide relief with no serious side effects or addiction.
You can deliver CBD through the skin by rubbing it at your temples or forehead. Or add it to food or liquid for faster delivery to your body. Or use a vape to smoke it.
Your personal preference will help you determine which is best for you.
When starting to take CBD, start with a smaller dosage and evaluate how your body reacts. Then you can maintain or adjust the dosage accordingly.