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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.

Initial test

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.

End results

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.


  • AlarmingCantaloupe
    12 months ago

    I use CBD for joint pain (especially before the gym) and neck pain (herniating disc). At first it was amazing, like 0 pain after half an hour! As time went on it seemed to lose a little effectiveness for migraine pain, however, it still works really well for inflammatory pain and my joints.

  • rtmoran
    1 year ago

    I have used CBD in various forms and found my experiences to be irregular also, especially as time went on. Similarly to using essential oils for prevention internally, they Similarly initially, then they did not. I wonder if it’s like traditional anti inflammatory prescription steroids that eventually so working. I may revisit CBD’s again, was told they work best with a Lytle THC which is legal in some places now but that has been negative for me. And CBD’s do have a calming, relaxing effect but I was hoping to get energy when I was migraine free, which did not happen with CBD.
    I am not trying Aimovig for more consistent results hopefully, but that’s another story.

  • hoffnbach
    1 year ago

    I use CBD oil regularly (3X day) and find it helpful especially for sleeping and waking up with less stiffness. Not for migraines. But You do need to take it regularly and do your research to make sure the product you are taking is good. Many people around the country are now producing CBD products and I would investigate how good they are before I used them.

  • JLM
    1 year ago

    I have had exactly the same experience: CBD oil doesn’t help me with the migraine pain, but have definitely helped me with all the other symptoms related with this sickness, like: muscle stiffness, electric feeling in the shoulders, weakness, etc. Plus it had helped me a 100% with the anxiety.
    It is a bit expensive, but in my case, gave me the chance to have a semi normal life again.

    I take at night an oil that has a bit of THC. A couple of drops had helped me a lot with my insomnia, but more than that, makes me feel sick and nauseous.

    I hope this review can help other ones.

    All the best to all the ones that suffer from this terrible sickness, that doesn’t kills you, and doesn’t allowed you to live either.

  • cczarzeus
    1 year ago

    I too, have tried CBD products as well as the chocolate with THC. Personally, I did not like how I felt with the THC, but had very positive results with the CBD oil and tinctures.

    Unfortunately, I also did not get good results from either CBD or THC products on getting rid of the initial migraine.

    The CBD and THC products did however, help in relieving stress, anxiety and joint pain from arthritis/sciatica – which is not a bad thing.

    I would highly recommend CBD oil and tinctures, as it has virtually no side effects. You do need to do your home work so that you are getting a pure and regulated product from a reputable source.

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