Cannabis for the Common Headache? What the Research Tells Us
Learn/Cannabis for the Common Headache? What the Research Tells Us
For many of us, headaches are an irritating but occasional nuisance. But for roughly 1 in 8 Americans, nearly 45 million people, the regular sensation of head pressure or pain is a major source of stress and discomfort.
That’s why we’re excited about the growing body of research suggesting that both CBD and THC for headaches may be viable options for supporting relief. If you or someone you love suffers from persistent headaches, today’s post is for you.
THC and CBD for Headaches: Distinguishing Between Headache Types
Let’s begin by discussing exactly what a headache is. While all of us can sense the experience of pain in the head, the fact is there are several different types of headache, ranging from tension headaches to migraines to cluster headaches.
Tension headaches are the most common type, typically characterized by a dull, aching head pain and a sensation of tightness or pressure in the forehead or the sides and back of the head. What causes tension headaches? They’re usually sparked by muscle contractions in the neck and scalp, often in response to stress, head injury, or some other instigating factor.
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Migraines are functionally similar to tension headaches, only they’re typically more severe. At their most intense, they can trigger intense head pressure, nausea, vomiting, and hallucinations. Some 8% of men and 25% of women will experience a migraine at least once in their lives.
Cluster headaches are the most severe and painful type, and they often appear in cycles that can last hours or days. Fortunately, less than 1% of the population experiences them.
CBD and THC for Headaches: What the Science Says
In all too many cases, standard over the counter pain relievers have little to no effect on severe headaches. That’s why a 2020 paper published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine is such welcome news. Drawing on over two years of data from nearly 700 participants, the study found that for the vast majority cannabis provided significant relief from symptoms within a couple of hours.
That study focused on THC for headaches, but as you likely know, THC is only one of many medically useful cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. What about CBD for headaches? It turns out that CBD research supports that the “second cannabinoid”—which lacks THC’s euphoric psychoactivity—can also have a major impact. According to at least one study, CBD helps reduce the severity of migraines, and potentially other forms of headache as well.
Given that people use both CBD and THC for headaches, is one better than the other? As with other medical uses of cannabis, joining the two may yield the best results. According to one study, a combination of THC and CBD effectively addressed both episodic and chronic migraines. That agrees with previous research suggesting the two cannabinoids work best in tandem with each other.
THC and CBD for Headaches: Tips for Best Results
Where should you begin if you’re trying to treat headaches with cannabinoids? If you’re concerned about the psychoactivity of THC, we recommend a high-CBD ingestible such as Papa & Barkley’s full-spectrum CBD-rich 30:1 Releaf Oil, a powerful all-natural option for managing discomfort and stress, or supporting better sleep.
But if your symptoms are especially severe and you are open to the psychoactive effects of THC, we recommend the full-strength effectiveness of our 1:3 THC Releaf Oil, a pure, proven, and fast-metabolizing tincture for managing your tougher days.
Whichever product you choose, you can rest easy knowing that our award-winning cannabis products are made from 100% USA-grown plants, using a chemical-free (solventless) infusion process for the most effective symptomatic relief.
If you have any other questions about using THC or CBD for headaches, don’t hesitate to ask. We’re always here to help!