When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Advertising Disclosure

Migraine Headaches and CBD Oil: Benefits, Effectiveness, and Dosage

Migraine headaches are a real problem for more than 38 million Americans, with 4 million experience 15 or more migraines a month. Whether you have occasional or frequent migraine headaches, CBD oil may be able to help.

As one of the most prevalent ailments in the world, migraines can be frustrating to treat, causing many people to turn to alternative treatments like the use of CBD oil.

What Makes a Migraine, a Migraine?

Migraines are more debilitating than ordinary headaches which makes them difficult to treat through conventional means. This why CBD oil may provide a more effective solution.

Migraines can present as a severe, throbbing pain on one side of the head, although some people do experience the pain on both sides. The pain can be accompanied by visual disturbances, nausea, dizziness, numbness in the face and/or extremities, as well as sensitivity to light, sound, smell, and touch. Migraines are often, although not always, preceded by an aura. Symptoms typically last 4 to 72 hours.

Because of its known pain-relieving properties, anti-nausea effects, and minimal side effects, the use of CBD oil for migraine headaches is growing in popularity.

CBD Oil vs Current Migraine Treatments

There are many different categories of migraine drugs, each with their own side effects. Not only do these medications have mixed results, but many are not suitable for extended use because they can increase the risks for other medical complications.

CBD oil, on the other hand, does not present the same concerns. Here’s a closer look at the side effects of current migraine treatments compared side by side with CBD oil:

Common Migraine Medication Notable Side Effects Compared to CBD Oil
NSAIDs (aspirin; ibuprofen; acetaminophen) Long term use can lead to ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding and these drugs have been linked to the gradual worsening of migraine symptoms There is no scientific evidence that CBD oil causes any of these side effects.
Triptans (sumatriptan; rizatriptan; almotriptan; naratriptan) Nausea; dizziness; drowsiness CBD oil does not produce these side effects and may actually help relieve some of them.
Ergots (ergotamine and caffeine combinations) Can worsen nausea and lead to medication-overuse headaches CBD oil has been found to alleviate nausea and there is no evidence that excessive use will lead to more headaches
Opioids (codeine) Carry a high risk of abuse and addiction if used over an extended period of time; also carry risk of medication-overuse headache and withdrawal symptoms if stopped suddenly. There is no evidence that CBD oil leads to abuse and addiction.
Glucocorticoids (prednisone; dexamethasone) Increased risk of cataracts; glaucoma; osteoporosis; hypertension; diabetes There is no evidence that CBD oil causes these conditions. CBD oil has actually been studied as a treatment option for these conditions.

Over the span of two decades, CBD oil has been found to be an effective and powerful tool for pain management with no discernible side effects. CBD oil has been found to be well tolerated by humans and has even been safely used to treat certain medical conditions in children.

Scientific and medical testing into the effectiveness of CBD oil for treating migraine headaches is ongoing but the evidence to date, suggests an incredible potential for safer relief.

CBD Oil For Migraine Headaches: The Evidence

CBD oil has been linked in many scientific studies to effective treatment of other chronic pain conditions like arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome.

Until recently, cannabis-derived products, like CBD oil, have been illegal in many states,  making it difficult to perform significant research into all the possible ways it can be used. However, as laws change and the stigma around cannabis begins to disappear, the scientific landscape is beginning to change. More research needs to be done into using CBD oil specifically for migraines but the work that has been published so far is certainly promising.

A 2016 study into the use of cannabis on migraine prevalence followed 121 adults over the course of a month. Results found that with the use of medical cannabis, the frequency of attacks was reduced from 10.4 to 4.6 per month.

The participants reported that not only was cannabis effective at preventing migraine headaches, but it was also effective at stopping migraines once they had already begun. The negatives reported in the study are in line with what we already know about cannabis use. Namely, the cannabinoid THC produces a psychoactive effect, or ‘high,’ which can limit the cognitive functioning of some individuals during use. CBD oil does not produce this effect, making it an effective and functional treatment without any debilitating effects. However, further studies need to be conducted to assess the effects of CBD alone on migraine treatment and prevention.

Migraine pain is caused by lowered intracranial pain thresholds in response to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This makes CBD oil a useful option as an anti-inflammatory. When it comes to migraines, CBD oil’s impact on the CB2 receptors located in the immune cells can reduce inflammatory responses, mitigating some of the pain associated with migraines.

How To Use CBD Oil For Migraine Headaches

There are many different ways you can use CBD oil. The method you choose will depend on your own personal preferences.

Many migraine sufferers may find that a daily dose of CBD oil drops will reduce the frequency of migraines over time. Others may prefer to treat migraines as they arise. CBD oil vape products, for example, are a great way to find near instantaneous relief while topical ointments and creams can provide targeted relief.

The choice is yours. Do not be afraid to experiment. You may find one product that meets your needs, or maybe it will take a combination of products to get things right.

No two people are exactly the same and so there is no universal dosage for CBD oil. This is why we always recommend starting with the suggested serving size listed on your CBD oil product. If you are not finding relief, you can gradually increase your dose until you find the results you desire. Our analysis of products suggests increasing your CBD oil by 25mg every 3-4 weeks until you find symptom relief.

For more information on CBD oil dosage, you can read our dosage guide.

When To Use CBD Oil For Migraine Headaches

If your current treatments have been ineffective, or you are struggling with negative side effects, it may be time to investigate the use of CBD oil for migraine headaches.

Always talk to your doctor before you try CBD oil. Increasing research into the benefits of CBD is allowing for the emergence of new knowledge daily. If you are unable to find the answers you seek to your questions, you might consider consulting with a cannabis doctor. This specialist should be able to help you better sort out dosages, delivery methods and any contraindications you may experience with CBD oil.

CBD oil presents great potential in the treatment of migraine headaches. Whether you experience migraines once in a while, or multiple times a month, you understand how important it is to find fast and effective relief. To determine if CBD oil may be able to provide you with this relief, talk to your doctor today!

Discover CBD Products Here

+ 3 sources


  1. Ethan B Russo (2008) Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/
  2. Danielle N Rhyne et al. (2016) Effects of Medical Marijuana on Migraine Headache Frequency in an Adult Population - National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26749285/
  3. Pinja Leimuranta et al. (2018) Emerging Role of (Endo)Cannabinoids in Migraine - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5928495/

Health Conditions

CBD Oil & Chronic Pain: Does it Really Work?

CBD Oil & Chronic Pain: Does it Really Work?

Perhaps you've heard of people using CBD oil for chronic pain and, like most people, you wonder if it is ...
Learn More
CBD for Colitis: Can Colitis Symptoms Be Managed with CBD?

CBD for Colitis: Can Colitis Symptoms Be Managed with CBD?

Suffering from colitis is nobody's idea of a walk in the park. Most people with colitis suffer with it for ...
Learn More
Crohn’s Disease and CBD Oil: Current Research and Benefits

Crohn’s Disease and CBD Oil: Current Research and Benefits

For an estimated 780,000 people in the U.S., Crohn’s disease is a daily reality, impacting sufferers’ ability to live a ...
Learn More
Woman creating a shape of a heart with her hands in front of her bare tummy

Gut Health and CBD Oil: A Complete Guide

At some point during your education, you were taught that your heart pumps blood, your lungs circulate oxygen, and your ...
Learn More
Shirtless man painfully clutching on the right side of his abdomen

Liver Disease & CBD Oil: Risks, Benefits, & Research

The seriousness and prevalence of liver disease, particularly in the western world, is real, and underrepresented. It is difficult to ...
Learn More
Illustration shows the human central nervous system, & nerve cells' interaction w/ muscles

ALS & CBD Oil: Promising Research on Cannabinoids & Buying Tips

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a neurodegenerative disease with no known cause and ...
Learn More
Graphic illustration of a seemingly unhealthy brain slowly disintegrating

Neurodegeneration & CBD Oil: Can It Rebuild & Reverse the Damage?

Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease are terrifying and relatively common conditions. While more research is ...
Learn More
Graphical illustration of a pair of kidneys; the left being pockmarked with cysts

Kidney Disease & CBD Oil: Research on Symptoms & Possible Benefits

Kidney disease is a common but complicated illness. According to the National Kidney Foundation, nearly 37 million Americans have kidney ...
Learn More
Pictured here is a metabolic syndrome medical infographic

Metabolic Syndrome & CBD Oil: Addressing Multiple Conditions

Metabolic syndrome covers a range of health conditions that all pose cardiovascular complications, that are all interlinked, and that together ...
Learn More

6 Smart Questions to Ask BEFORE You Buy CBD

Get the Ultimate CBD Buyer’s Guide and you won’t look at CBD the same way again!