Can CBD Edibles Cause Headaches?
Headaches are one of the most common nervous system disorders around. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, between half and two-thirds of adults in the world experienced a headache last year.
CBD is well known for its numerous beneficial therapeutic effects. However, CBD can cause unwanted side effects as well.
While some studies have conclusively proven that CBD can treat headaches and migraines, some medical professionals are also wondering if it may cause them as well. Could your headaches be due to your CBD use?
While generally safe, in rare cases CBD has been known to cause a range of possible side effects. These include nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, and low blood pressure.
Headaches are not usually listed as a side effect of CBD. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t one.
It is entirely possible that CBD-induced headaches simply occur so rarely that they aren’t listed when it comes to the common side effects of CBD.
Two potential causes for CBD-induced headaches are the quality (purity) of the product, and the dosage of CBD that is being consumed.
The Purer The CBD, The Better The CBD
Due to a lack of regulations, some CBD oils may contain traces of contaminants. Although rare, this has been known to occur from time to time.
This is important because most edibles are made with infused CBD oils. If the oil used in the recipe contains traces of contaminants, then so too will the edible.
The best way to guarantee the quality of your CBD edibles and oils is to always purchase them from a certified brand that does third-party testing.
Many honest and trustworthy brands are eager to prove the quality of their product and may even provide lab testing results on their website.
Hemp-derived CBD can be especially prone to contamination. This is because hemp is a bioaccumulator; an organism that gradually accumulates substances it is exposed to.
In the case of hemp this means potential chemicals, pesticides, or other toxins. Ensuring that your hemp-derived CBD is organic or grown clean is always a good idea.
How Much CBD Should You Take To Avoid Headaches?
Consuming too much of anything is bound to be bad for you and CBD is no different. Most CBD side effects tend to occur when it is consumed at high doses.
Although taking a higher dose of CBD may produce more potent therapeutic effects, it may also expose you to a higher risk of side effects.
CBD has been shown to produce stimulating effects at low doses and sedative effects at high doses.
If you are aiming to experience those high-dose sedative effects, you must be careful not to take too much CBD.
Can CBD Oil Cause Rebound Headaches?
Rebound headaches are headaches that occur due to the overuse of medication used to treat headaches.
These kinds of headaches most commonly occur due to the overuse of over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol or Advil.
However, there is no evidence that the continuous use of like CBD or THC can cause rebound headaches.
It appears that these cannabinoids can be taken without the fear of causing rebound headaches.
CBD Oil For Migraines
Cannabis has a long history of use for the treatment of headaches and migraines. Since as early as 1874, physicians had been relying on cannabis (often tincture) to help patients deal with their headaches.
However, when marijuana prohibition came into effect later in the 20th century, that stopped.
More recently, researchers have once again become interested in marijuana’s ability to alleviate headaches, and especially migraines.
Several studies have found that CBD can successfully treat migraines.
Migraines are especially strong and long-lasting headaches. They can last for anywhere from 4-72 hours and even the slightest noise or sound can seem to amplify your symptoms.
Migraines are typically characterized by a throbbing or pulsing pain in the temple region and several other potential symptoms such as stiffness, nausea, dizziness, and sensitivity to light and noise.
CBD seems to be able to lessen the intensity of many of these symptoms, as well as the frequency with which migraines occur.
Best of all, CBD can prevent migraine sufferers from having to rely on over-the-counter NSAID’s (non-steroidal inflammatory drugs) like aspirin, ibuprofen, or Advil.
Despite the fact that they tend to cause gastrointestinal issues like ulcers and stomach bleeding, they are still the most commonly used treatment for headaches and migraines.
What Does The Science Say?
A 2017 study found that CBD and THC were able to alleviate the symptoms of migraines when consumed both together, and separately.
When a 200 mg dose of CBD was administered, acute pain caused by migraines was reduced by roughly 55%. When participants were dosed with a combination of THC and CBD, the frequency of migraine attacks was reduced by 40% and their intensity was reduced by nearly 45%.
A 2016 study looking at the treatment of headaches with medical marijuana found similar results. Out of the 48 people surveyed in the study, nearly 40% reported fewer overall migraine attacks.
It should also be noted that inhaling vaped CBD seemed to work more quickly than ingesting a CBD edible.
That is because the inhaled vapor is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs, allowing CBD to work quickly. By comparison, CBD edibles may take some time to fully digest and produce their effects.
These studies show that while CBD may not be able to treat migraines for everyone, it does work for some people.
CBD Can Help Treat Tension Headaches
Moreover, CBD may be able to specifically treat tension headaches by treating some of the triggers that cause them. Tension headaches can be caused by stress, sleep problems (fatigue), depression and anxiety, weather changes, and caffeine withdrawal.
And, while CBD can’t control the weather or how much coffee you drink, it can work to treat some of the symptoms of anxiety and depression and to help you get better sleep at night.
Is Your Lack of Sleep Triggering Your Headaches?
Many people who experience headaches do so because of fatigue and loss of sleep. Sleep loss and even oversleeping are common headache triggers.
Studies have even shown that people who suffer from migraines are several times more likely to also suffer from some kind of sleep disorder.
CBD has been shown to improve sleep by alleviating the anxiety that can prevent people from falling asleep, cause troubled sleep, or make people wake up early.
CBD has anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties that can quickly work to relieve these uncomfortable symptoms. As a result, CBD can help people to get a better night’s sleep, minimizing their likelihood of experiencing headaches.
Is It All In Your Head?
Of course, there’s always the possibility that you may just be imagining a link between your CBD use and your headaches. There are many different kinds of headaches and many different reasons why they occur.
Don’t be too quick to attribute your headaches to your CBD use, consider other possibilities first.
If discontinuing CBD use does not result in fewer headaches then it is pretty safe to say that your headaches and CBD use are not related.