6 Proven CBD Oil Benefits in Migraines, Dosage and How to Take It

CBD oil is a compound obtained from the hemp and marijuana plant. CBD is found in high concentrations in the cannabis plant.

It is also sometimes termed as CBD rich hemp oil, CBD rich cannabis oil, etc. CBD is non-psychoactive and thus it does not result in ‘high’.

Thus CBD can be consumed safely by all people of all ages including children.

CBD produces profound biological effects because of its interaction with numerous receptors such as serotonin receptors, GPR555, etc. in the human brain and body.

It has been found that CBD oil has beneficial properties in ailments like diabetes, seizure, migraine, insomnia, heart diseases, cancer, fibromyalgia, etc.

What is Migraine?

Migraine is defined as a complex condition in which the person has an inherent tendency to develop headaches with sensory disturbance.

It is felt as a throbbing pain and sometimes it affects only one side of the head.

The symptoms include painful headaches, nausea, disturbed vision, sensitivity to light, sound, touch, smells, etc.

A migraine attack usually lasts between 4-72 hours. The symptoms, frequency and duration can vary from person to person.

Migraines can be with or without aura. Migraine is triggered by factors including genetics, stress, hormonal changes, mood, lifestyle, environment, etc.

Common drugs and medications to treat/prevent migraine attacks include analgesics, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), anti-emetics, Serotonin (5-HT1) agonists, Beta-blockers, tricyclic anti-depressants, anti-convulsants, etc.

CBD Oil for Migraines

CBD oil has been shown to possess potent analgesic, anti-emetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, neuroprotective, anxiolytic, anti-depressant, vasorelaxant, etc. properties, which can help combat migraine and related symptoms effectively.

1. CBD oil is an analgesic

Migraine is characterized by throbbing pain and headaches, which can be very intense and result in extreme discomfort to the patient.

It is of prime importance to mitigate the pain and ensure comfort in the patients. CBD oil could help reduce pain, as it is an effective analgesic. CBD oil has been proven to mitigate pain.

Research has shown that CBD can help alter the pain threshold in animal models of pain. It alters the pain tolerance such that the animal can withstand chronic pain.

It could be attributed to the effect of CBD on CB2 receptors as these receptors are involved in pain tolerance. Therefore CBD can help alleviate intense pain and help the patients feel at ease.

Studies have also reported that CBD can help reduce difficult to manage pain such as neuropathic pain.

CBD has been employed in cancer patients to reduce pain caused as a side effect of treatment strategies.

CBD has also been employed in treating arthritic pain. Applying CBD oil on the joints has been reported to reduce pain and improve pain scores in animals.

The analgesic and pain tolerance altering properties can be attributed to its involvement in anandamide system.

CBD has been shown to decrease anadamide absorption, which in turn increases its serum level and the elevated levels eventually reduce pain.

Work published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine reported that CBD administration to animal models of pain and inflammation could alleviate neuropathic pain and associated inflammation.

The mode of action might be due to the involvement of alpha3 glycine receptors. It can thus be concluded that CBD helps with chronic pain.

A study done with 127 participants has also suggested that CBD given along with THC at a dose of nearly 200mg could reduce pain in migraine patients by 55%.

The combination also reduced the frequency of migraine. Use of this drug combination resulted in fewer side effects like stomach problems, colitis, etc. compared to prescription medication.


Migraine is characterized by intense pain in the head region and it eventually results in overall discomfort. CBD oil can help reduce pain and possibly the frequency of migraine.

This is due to its analgesic properties and interaction with receptors and chemicals involved in pain perception and tolerance.

2. CBD possesses 5-HT1 agonist properties

5-HT1 agonist is a class of compound that has been employed for the treatment of migraine and its symptoms.

These compound help by blocking pain as they narrow the blood vessels and prevent the transmission of pain to the sensory nerves.

Many drugs such as sumatriptan have been created, tested and used for treating migraine are 5-HT1 agonists. These compounds are known to stimulate the 5-HT1 receptor and inhibit the release of noradrenaline.

CBD has been shown to possess some degree of 5-HT1 agonist activity, which can make it useful for treating migraine.

Studies have proven that CBD can act as a potent 5-HT1 agonist by interacting with the human 5-HT1 receptors. It has a modest affinity with the 5-HT1 receptor.

Another study conducted on rat models with a dose of 10 mg/kg of CBD showed that CBD could activate the 5-HT1A receptor-mediated neurotransmission and thus attenuates response to stress by the autonomic system.

Other in vivo studies with cell lines have also reported that CBD interacts with 5-HT1 receptors and results in neuroprotective and anti-oxidant properties.

A study with mice models also showed that use of 5-HT1 receptors antagonists Inhibits the neuroprotective activity of CBD.


5-HT1 receptor agonists are used for the treatment of migraine and pain associated with it. It has been reported by several studies that CBD has a potent 5-HT1 agonist activity.

This makes CBD ideal for the treatment of migraine as it can possibly offer the same benefits without major side effects associated with other synthetic medication.

3. CBD oil is an anti-emetic

Nausea, vomiting and dizziness are common symptoms of migraine. Intense pain often results in these symptoms.

Patients have often prescribed drugs to alleviate these symptoms as they increase the discomfort in the patients.

Alleviation of nausea, vomiting, etc. is important to ensure that associated symptoms of migraine are also managed well.

CBD oil has been used as an anti-emetic as it helps attenuate nausea and vomiting in users. It has been found to help combat nausea associated with different ailments including depression, anxiety, chemotherapy, pregnancy, etc.

Nausea is known to involve the major receptors, which are Dopamine D2 and Serotonin 5-HT3. CBD has been shown to interact with the Serotonin 5-HT3 receptor and prevent the binding of serotonin thus attenuating nausea.

Indirect activation of the compound 5-hydroxytryptamiine-1A (5-HT1A) by CBD is also known to contribute to the reduction in the feeling of vomiting and nausea. This compound is a monoamine neurotransmitter and shown to be involved in mechanisms of nausea.

Anandamide degradation is inhibited by CBD as it inactivates the enzyme involved in degrading anandamide.

High levels of anandamide, in turn, cause prolonged activity of the CB-1 receptors in the brain. This results in an anti-nausea effect.

Therefore the anti-nausea/anti-emetic medications prescribed for patients with migraine can be replaced by CBD oil as it is natural and carries less with no side effects.

It also possesses many other beneficial properties, which can help alleviate other symptoms of migraine as well.


Anti-nausea medications are commonly prescribed to migraine patients, as nausea and vomiting are common in them. CBD has been proven to exhibit potent anti-nausea activity.

Therefore CBD oil can be used by the patients to attenuate nausea and vomiting instead of synthetic medicines.

4. CBD oil has anti-epileptic and anticonvulsant activity

Use of anti-epileptic and anti-convulsants to prevent migraine is becoming increasingly common.

This is because it has been reported that epilepsy and migraine share some common pathophysiological mechanisms such as abnormal ion channel functioning, etc. Epilepsy is also been considered as a comorbid condition of migraine.

Epilepsy and migraine also share some common symptoms like pain and lethargy and visual disturbances.

Many studies and clinical trials have concluded that anti-epileptic medication can help prevent migraine. Commonly used drugs include valproate and topiramate.

Based on this information, it can be safely concluded that anti-epileptic and anti-convulsants agents can be beneficial in prophylaxis of migraine.

CBD oil has potent anti-convulsants and anti-epileptic properties.

Scientific work has proven that cannabidiols are capable of reducing the severity and lethality associated with seizures/epilepsy.

Work published in the renowned journal ‘Seizures’ also reported that cannabidiol was capable of effectively reducing seizures in animals at all different given dosage. It was also helpful with tonic-clonic seizures.

Comparison between CBD and anti-seizure drugs showed that CBD was an effective anticonvulsant in both the audiogenic electroshock and seizure tests.

When given in combination with another anti-epileptic drug, it enhanced the effect of those drugs.

Many other in vivo and in vitro studies have also reported similar results. The studies done with animal models showed that CBD is a potent anti-epileptic and anti-seizure compound.


Anti-epileptic drugs have been used in the prophylaxis of migraine. Many such agents are useful in preventing migraine. CBD exhibits anti-epileptic and anti-seizure properties.

Therefore CBD oil can be effectively used in preventing and ameliorating migraine and its symptoms.

5. CBD oil has anti-depressant like properties

Many studies have shown that anti-depressant can help in preventing migraine.

Migraine is characterized by low levels of 5-HT, which results in activation of the pathway that causes pain.

Anti-depressant help elevate the levels of serotonin neurotransmission. This makes these anti-depressants an ideal candidate for prophylaxis of migraine.

Tricyclic antidepressants have been shown to reduce the migraine burden by nearly 50%.

Migraine and depression have been found to co-occur in nearly 20-30% of the patients. Anti-depressants can not only help with such comorbidity of depression and migraine but also reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.

Therefore anti-depressants are increasingly and widely being prescribed to the migraine patients. CBD exhibits anti-depressant properties and therefore CBD oil could be used as an alternative to the anti-depressant medication.

A study conducted in animal models of depression and anxiety using Vogel conflict test, elevated plus maze test, etc. showed that CBD exhibits potent anti-depressant property. This can be attributed to the interaction between CBD and the 5-HT1A neuro-receptor.

Another study conducted on ‘depressive-like’ rat models also showed similar results. CBD administration led to an increase in the locomotion displayed by the rats in various tests.

This indicated an improvement in the motivation of the rats. The study concluded that CBD could be used for the treatment of clinical depression with anhedonia.

In a mouse model of depression, CBD administration showed improvement in both behavioural and neurochemical studies.

CBD was shown to exert a quick and long-lasting anti-depressant like effect. This was attributed to the increase in the concentration of serotonin and glutamate and thus their increased cortical signalling.

Other studies also showed that use of CBD resulted in an anti-depressant effect comparable to the effect of a drug called imipramine.

This was attributed to the activation of 5-HT(1A) receptors.


Anti-depressants are used for the prevention of migraine. CBD has potent anti-depressant like properties due to its interaction with 5-HT(1A) receptors.

Therefore CBD oil can be used for the prophylaxis of migraine and management of other symptoms of migraine.

6. CBD oil is an anti-inflammatory agent

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have been widely used for treating acute migraine and its associated symptoms.

These drugs have been shown to be effective in providing relief from moderate or severe acute migraine headache in clinical trials as well. They also don’t cause medication overuse headaches called rebounds.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are safe but are capable of irritating the lining of the stomach and thus turning to a more natural anti-inflammatory agent such as CBD is a good choice.

CBD oil can be an effective anti-inflammatory agent because of it is rich in the constituent cannabidiol.

Many studies have been conducted to analyze the anti-inflammatory property of CBD. The studies have concluded that CBD is capable of reducing both acute and chronic inflammation.

Inhibition of the production of many pro-inflammatory mediators such as tumour necrosis factor-alpha by CBD is also instrumental in alleviating inflammation.

There might also be the involvement of the adenosine signalling in the anti-inflammatory action of CBD.

CBD is known to enhance adenosine receptor signaling by suppressing adenosine transporter.

CBD also inhibits the activity of a fatty acid compound called amidohydrolase and this, in turn, increases the concentration of anadamide, which is an anti-inflammatory endocannabinoid.

In animal models, a single dose of CBD has been shown to be capable of suppressing inflammation.

The study concluded that this was due to the impact of CBD on adenosine-signalling pathway and inhibition of some pro-inflammatory mediators.

CBD has been used for the treatment of many inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and metabolic syndrome. This is due to its potent anti-inflammatory properties.


Anti-inflammatory drugs are often used for preventing migraine attacks and their intensity.

CBD oil is a natural anti-inflammatory agent and therefore it can be employed for attenuating inflammation and combating migraine attacks without any side effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

The dosage of CBD Oil for Migraine

600mg of CBD has been found to be safe for consumption in humans in order to produce substantial plasma levels.

This is the dosage usually prescribed for anxiety and other issues. Humans can safely consume up to 1500mg/day of CBD oil without experiencing side effects but such dosages are rarely required.

CBD oil can be consumed directly in oil form or capsules can be taken.

Topical application can also be done using the oil. Dose varies from person to person depending on age, the status of the disease, tolerability, etc.

Best way to find optimum dosage is by starting out with a low dosage and gradually increasing it.

Precaution with CBD Oil

CBD oil can show interaction with medications like beta-blockers, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, anti-epileptics, anaesthetics, antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), etc.

CBD inactivates the Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and thus makes the drug stay for longer duration in the blood, as they can’t be degraded.

Therefore precaution in terms of dosage should be taken while taking these common drugs and using CBD simultaneously.

Only high quality and pure tincture should be used to avoid unnecessary side effects.

Some users might experience drowsiness, faintness, etc. Avoid activities like driving immediately after consumption of CBD oil.

The use should be stopped in case of severe allergic reactions or unusual side effects.

Consultation with a doctor regarding dose and drug interaction should be discussed. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid CBD oil. Patients with Parkinson’s disease might face some problems on consuming CBD oil.


Migraine is included in the list of top ten disability disorder. It causes severe impairment of function in the patients.

It is a chronic condition in most people and affects more women than men. There are various medications prescribed for patients with migraine.

They have their own side effects and therefore using natural alternatives is a great option.

CBD oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic, anti-epileptic, anti-depressant properties, which are commonly found to be useful in preventing and managing migraine and its symptoms.

High-quality CBD oil obtained from reputed sources can be regularly taken by patients with migraine to keep it at bay. Consultation with health care provider is necessary to avoid side effects.