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Migraines are the worst. 

Whether it’s a pulsing, throbbing pain accompanied with dizziness and nausea or a sharp, shooting pain that has you stopped dead in your tracks, we’ve all been there.

Fortunately, there’s a natural, effective treatment for migraines.

Research has proven that CBD can provide relief for many types of migraines.

In this guide, you’ll learn what science has to say about CBD for migraines and everything you need to know about using it to treat your next migraine.

migraine cbd

What Does the Research Say? 3 Studies on CBD for Migraines

Due to the slow legalization of CBD across states in recent years, there is a lack of sufficient research to support absolute claims of CBD alone to treat migraines directly. 

Although more research is necessary, we have compiled three studies that explore the promise and possibilities for the use of cannabis and CBD to treat migraines.

Study #1

This compilation published in the Schaffer Library of Drug Policy noted five cases in which Marinol, a man-made form of cannabis, along with illicit cannabis were successful in treating chronic migraine headaches.

Researchers described the use of cannabinoids for migraines as “therapeutic”.

Study #2

Studies like this one published in a 2016 issue of Pharmacotherapy Journal, have examined the effects of medical marijuana on common ailments including migraines.

The study found a reduction in reported migraine occurrences by nearly half.

Among 121 test subjects who were prescribed medical marijuana by a physician, recorded migraines went from 10 migraines per month to 5 per month.

Study #3

In a 2018 study investigating the effects of CBD on migraines, the compound was found to hold healing properties that relieve …

  • Pain
  • Inflammation; and
  • Nausea

… all symptoms frequently associated with migraines. 

The study further proposes that with these affirming results, future studies to be conducted on a formally approved CBD drug would broaden the potential for treatment of migraines directly.

What Properties of CBD Help Relieve Migraines?

The above study, along with many other analyses, has proven CBD to be a reliable treatment for pain, especially migraine-related pain.

How does CBD ease these side effects?

It’s all thanks to the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). 

The ECS is the body’s natural chemical receptor system that regulates our bodily functions, including:

  • Immune function
  • Blood pressure
  • Pain response
  • Hormones
  • Inflammation

The body produces endocannabinoids that attach to the receptors, keeping functions at optimal levels.

When there’s a lack of sufficient native endocannabinoids, supplementing with phyto-cannabiniods like CBD provides the bond necessary to restore balance to the system.

What Is the Entourage Effect, and Why Does it Matter?

You may find CBD products that offer you the power of CBD along with other extracts found in hemp ranging from THC and other cannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, nutrients, and healthy fats.

The major benefit of choosing a CBD product with these additional ingredients is called the entourage effect. 

The entourage effect recognizes the synergistic benefits that result from taking CBD combined with other hemp extracts.

Think of the entourage effects as referring to the super-friends of CBD. When taken together, they: 

  • Assist in absorption 
  • Increase the medicinal benefits of CBD while maintaining those benefits at higher doses; and 
  • Counter negative side effects

What Type of CBD Is Best for Helping Migraines?

Your personal need for migraine relief will be relative to your pain level and the way your body interacts with the ingredients.

Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate all offer different general levels of migraine relief.

It is generally cited that full- or broad-spectrum CBD products will allow you to experience the strongest migraine relief thanks to the entourage effect. 

However, if you’re concerned about drug testing, you may want to speak to your HR professional and do some in-depth research on the broad-spectrum product you choose. Otherwise, CBD isolates are likely your best choice.

Keep reading for a deeper explanation of the types of CBD products to find which might be the best fit for you.


Full-spectrum refers to all of the natural nutrients found in the hemp plant including CBD, THC and other cannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and healthy fats. 

These ingredients may also be listed as “hemp-oil extracts”, so it’s important to check the label for how much CBD is included or have your product tested by a lab. 

You should be aware that full-spectrum CBD products can legally contain up to 0.3% THC, not enough to cause psychoactive effects, but enough to be detected in a drug test. 

Something to consider if you anticipate testing at any time.

The benefit to full-spectrum products is the advantage of the full entourage effect: all of the super-friends together working in harmony in your favor.


Broad-spectrum CBD products contain CBD and other hemp ingredients, except for THC. 

THC is removed from broad-spectrum products after the extraction process is complete, but it still contains other cannabinoids like CBN (cannabinol), CBG (cannabigerol), and CBC (cannabichromene).

Unlike THC, these other cannabinoids range from mildly to non-psychoactive and interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system differently.

Although your body can distinguish the difference between cannabinoids like THC and CBN, CBG, or CBC, some drug tests may not and can possibly return positive test results.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is just as it sounds. The compound is isolated from all other nutrients in the hemp plant for purity. You can be sure that your CBD isolate product is 99% CBD only.

Since CBD isolate is made by extracting CBD and removing any other element, it is most often found in crystal solid or powder form. 

Studies have shown that while full and broad-spectrum products do offer more benefits as the dosage increases, CBD isolate still provides some relief from migraines, pain, and swelling at a specific dose.

How Long Do the Effects of CBD Last When Used to Treat Migraines?

Research shows CBD offers effects that last anywhere from two to six hours.

That timeframe can vary largely depending on dosage and what method of delivery you use.

Keep reading to learn about different methods of delivery and determine which is best for you.

does cbd help migraines

CBD for Migraines: Best Method of Delivery

It’s imperative to understand that the best type of product and method of delivery will always be relative.

Whatever method you choose, be sure to start with a low dose and increase slowly. 

It may even be helpful to keep record of your: 

  • Method 
  • Dosage 
  • Side effects; and 
  • Result 

This will help you achieve the best possible outcome.


CBD oil and migraines — the most common pairing when it comes to researching “How does CBD oil help with migraines?”.

CBD oil has become a popular product type due to its general safety at high doses.

Some products may have a higher concentration of over 33 milligrams of CBD per 1 milliliter serving size, and others may be as low as 3 milligrams.

While there is no specific recommended dose, it’s always best to follow your products label instructions.


As CBD oils are made with a carrier oil, CBD tinctures are a 60-70% alcohol-based extract which serves as a preservative, extending the life of the CBD.

Though lower in CBD potency than CBD oils, CBD tinctures are usually credited to having a better taste for direct consumption.

CBD tinctures can also be used in cooking, which usually provides for a faster absorption rate than CBD oils.

Topical Solutions

Topical CBD products are usually made as lotions, balms, and creams to be applied directly to the skin.

The CBD is absorbed through the skin to provide localized and targeted relief from pain and inflammation.

There’s still much to be learned about topical CBD solutions, but it’s said to provide muscular and therapeutic relaxation.


The term sublingual refers to the method of ingestion rather than the type of product.

A few drops taken under the tongue, sublinguals can be used with oils and tinctures.

This method of delivery is often touted as the most efficient as it allows for the highest amount of CBD to be absorbed into the bloodstream at the fastest rate.

Peak blood levels are usually achieved by products administered sublingually within 10-15 minutes.


Edibles may be the most familiar and appetizing delivery method.

Using your own CBD oil or tinctures or buying CBD edibles might be a tempting way to administer your CBD. 

While we reminisce on the memories of cannabis treats, it’s important to remember that the digestive system breaks down CBD differently than THC. 

That means you’ll need much higher doses of CBD, higher amounts than you’d find in edibles.

For this reason, CBD-infused food might not deliver the pain-relieving effects you’re looking for.

Transdermal Patches

Similar to CBD topicals and as effective as taking CBD orally, CBD transdermal patches are absorbed directly through the skin.

The advantage to transdermal patches is that it’s meant to stay on the skin for several days, administering relief continuously.

Some CBD patches may contain chemical carriers to help the CBD penetrate the skin. You may be allergic to these carriers or they may cause irritation.

Do your research before deciding if it’s right for you.


Where there’s smoke you’re guaranteed to find the fastest way to ingest CBD.

Within minutes you’ll feel the effects of your CBD oil.

But be warned, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has linked cases of over 3,000 lung illnesses to potentially harmful additives in unregulated vaping products. 

It’s important to be sure the products you’re using are tested, regulated, and proven safe.

Are There Side Effects to Using CBD for Migraines?

The side effects to using CBD for migraines are minor. The possible side effects include:

  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Appetite changes

Not everyone will experience these side effects, and CBD is generally safe for most people. 

The side effects of using CBD combined with THC are more copious, and both should be considered when taken with other drugs.

Looking for High-Quality, Safe CBD Products? Hail Mary Jane Can Help

Has the search for high-quality, safe CBD products already given you a headache?

Stress no more. Hail Mary Jane has a carefully curated list of goods that are guaranteed to deliver that much needed migraine relief.

At Hail Mary Jane, expert cannabis connoisseurs have reviewed the tried and true to bring you only the best products. For over 10 years, the community has weeded through thousands of brands so you don’t have to.

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