An increasing number of scientists believe that supplementing with phytocannabinoids, cannabinoids found in plants, may balance cannabinoid levels in the body and decrease the occurrence of migraines. The most well-known source of phytocannabinoids is the cannabis plant, which includes hemp and marijuana. These plants contain over 100 types of cannabinoids, some of which have medicinal properties, like CBD, and some of which you know about for their psychoactive effects, like THC. Cannabinoids can be extracted from hemp and marijuana in the form of oils. Hemp oil typically contains less than 0.3 percent of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC and will not get you high—but it may help ward off your ocular migraine. It can be consumed as tinctures, pills, lotions, or even in edible goodies like chocolate. Since studies are still in the early stages there are no standard doses, but mbg collective member and functional medicine practitioner Dr. Will Cole suggests starting with 10 milligrams and working your way up until you find what works for you.
Cannabis has actually been used medicinally to treat pain and migraines since at least the sixth century, but due to regulations and an association with marijuana, clinical studies of hemp-derived products have been limited. There have been some small, but promising, studies on humans and animals testing the efficacy of hemp oil for pain management in the past few decades. In one study, CBD oil, a cannabinoid derived from hemp oil, was found to be more effective than a common migraine medication at preventing attacks, and it led to fewer side effects.
As cannabis and hemp become more widely accepted, we expect to see a lot more studies confirming its therapeutic powers. The endocannabinoid system and hemp oil could be an important piece of the puzzle of conquering migraines and ending those frightening auras.