Experimenting with CBD for Migraine and Chronic Pain
Whether it’s due to reduced access to narcotics, a desire to limit side effects of current prescriptions, or the search for an alternate pain reliever that doesn’t adversely interact with other prescribed medications, many chronically ill patients are beginning to look at CBD (cannabinoid) products. Recently, I became one of those patients.
The first time I tried a CBD product was in April. My husband and I were at our beloved, local Founders Day Festival, and one of the booth vendors was offering samples. Products offered included tinctures, creams, oils, and vape pens. As I am constantly looking for anything that will help deal effectively with migraine and chronic pain, I tried several.
An hour or so later, as we were sitting down people watching, I turned to my husband in amazement.
“Is this how other people exist?” I asked.
For the first time in decades, the hyper-vigilance and underlying anxiety of PTSD (a condition I don’t often discuss) had vanished. I felt completely at ease. Not high like one would expect from THC — the active ingredient in marijuana — just … peaceful. And peaceful is not something I normally feel in crowded places.
Experimenting for relief
It turns out that CBD can be exceptionally beneficial for PTSD symptoms and anxiety. It’s also, in my experience, been fairly consistently effective for insomnia. However, the purported pain relief effects have been hit or miss.
I’ve tried various types of CBD products: oils I put in my morning smoothies, tinctures I held under my tongue, juice I put in a vape, solutions dissolved into water, and creams I smoothed into my skin. I’ve also tried products from a number of different manufacturers. But I’ve yet to find an application or a brand that consistently relieves pain or other migraine symptoms, though when relief comes it’s definitely noticeable.
Discovery of CBD basics
CBD seems to be a tricky product. It takes trial and error to figure out what dosage to take and how often to take it. As with so many other things, it’s also somewhat individualized; some brands and types seem to work better the for some people than others. The same can be said for delivery method.
It’s also worth mentioning that CBD tends to work better if you take it regularly. At least, that’s what my research indicated, and it was certainly my experience. For me, dosing here or there wasn’t nearly as effective as regular, daily intake. However, a daily dose of a quality product quickly becomes expensive.
While I’m not currently taking any CBD, I will likely do so again. I never experienced any negative side effects, and I experienced several positive effects (improved sleep, lessened panic/anxiety, and occasional pain relief). I also live in a state that continues to prohibit the use of medical marijuana for migraine, and while I currently have access to pain medications that may or may not change given the legislative climate. That being said, my experience may not be the same as yours.
If you’re interested in trying CBD, do your research and talk to your doctor. Since the products are not FDA-regulated, I highly suggest you make sure that any product you try has been independently tested (and often) by a third-party lab for quality, which means they looked for mold, pesticides, and cannabinoid and terpene profiles. The most reputable companies post these lab results online for each of their products.
How about you? Have you tried CBD for pain relief? If so, what was your experience? Please share in the comments below.
How much has your migraine disease changed or evolved over time?