CBD for Tension Headaches and Migraines

Should I use CBD for Severe Headaches?

You may be one of the many people who wonder, "can CBD oil help with my headache?"

The short answer is, yes, potentially. Too much CBD oil may also cause a headache for some users, however. Below, we will discuss how CBD oil affects the body and how it may be a treatment option for your headache troubles from mild pain to severe migraines and tension headache.

In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know regarding CBD oil's effect on tension headache causes and symptoms, so please keep reading to learn more...

While trying CBD oil for yourself is the best way to determine how CBD oil affects you, research has shown promising results for assessing the effects of cannabis on chronic pain and inflammation, known causes of head pain.

CBD has been all over the media, reviewed as a natural alternative to many addictive prescription options, like opiates. It is safe to use for most people aside from some drug interactions. You can even give CBD oils to your child.

Why Should I take CBD for my Headache?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 120 cannabinoids found in cannabis. It is most commonly extracted from hemp, a cannabis plant which contains only traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a compound that produces the "high" feeling like with medical marijuana. 

CBD products does not alter your mind or inhibit your daily function, but comes with a host of benefits!

  1. Studies have shown CBD oil to rival medical marijuana when it comes to treating chronic pain.
  2. It has anti-inflammatory benefits.
  3. It appears to be an effective treatment of migraine without worrisome side effects.

While analgesics can temporarily relieve migraine symptoms, their side effects are troubling with extended use. This is where CBD oil (cannabidiol) comes in. 

Beyond the specific relief CBD oil can offer you for your headache, it has a lot of holistic properties for your body as a health supplement and helps to regulate your body’s overall function which may relieve the root causes of your pain, simultaneously relieving your head pain.

What is a Tension Headache?

According to WebMD, a Tension Headache consists of dull pain with tightness and pressure around the skull with pressure around your forehead or back of your head and neck. They are the most common form of headache and are also often called "Stress Headaches."

A headache generally goes further than typical body aches associated with stress or allergies. This pain can last from 4 to 72 hours, even the most common activities may worsen your symptoms.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that almost half of all adults worldwide will have a headache in a given year.

A headache can be a sign of stress or emotional anxiety, or it may be a result of a medical condition such as a migraine headache from high blood pressure, anxiety, or depression. This can lead to other problems. People with chronic migraines, for example, may have difficulty with regular work or school.

What Causes Migraines & Tension Headache?

Everyone, at some point in their life, has experienced a tension headache because it is one of the most common ailments. But what causes this type of headache? Several reasons are responsible for this condition. For example, a simple throat irritation can be a starting point of a migraine.

Stress: Stress often creates a sense of "struggle or escape" and is accompanied by other symptoms such as:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hypertension

Nutrition: Your diet and sensitivity to foods are some of the leading causes of head pain, especially migraines. 

  • Variations in blood glucose.
  • Caffeine withdrawal, or too much caffeine.
  • Food additives

Dental Abscess: A dental abscess may cause a severe headache, especially in the event of an infection. 

Hormones: Hormones allow you to feel pain. In this case, sex hormones may be associated with head pain, especially in women. Whether before or after menstruation, if the levels of hormones are low, as a woman, you may have severe migraines.

Vision: People with vision problems are probably well acquainted with head pain because it is a prevalent symptom. A headache may be triggered when eye muscles become tense. 

  • Glaucoma is another disease associated with the eye that may result in a headache. 
  • Other causes may be due to disorders in the ear, nose, and throat.

In some cases, even adrenaline can be the cause of headaches, but the most common causes are:

  • Sinus Congestion
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Body infections
  • Physical trauma

There are many causes for your symptoms; CBD oil may be effective treatment for your migraine headache.

How Does CBD Oil Treat Tension Headache Symptoms?

The 2017 study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoids research investigated the benefits of oral cannabis.

In the six-month study period, 26 people were treated with either ibuprofen or nabilone (a FDA approved CBD synthetic) with oral cannabis to treat their symptoms. Each combination was used for a while (eight weeks at a time).

They also took eight weeks between two rounds.

At the end of the study, participants reported pain relief and improved quality of life when using the cannabis-nabilone formula. It is vital to keep in mind that a combination of substances, not just cannabis, was used for this study.

In 2016, Pharmacotherapy published a study on the use of CBD for medicinal purposes for treatment of migraine headache.

Researchers found that out of 40 respondents, about 40% reported less migraine pain in general. Drowsiness was the main objection, while others had difficulty in determining the correct dose.

Current Treatment Options For Tension Headache

If you are currently suffering from migraine headache pains, but have not yet received treatment, it is vital to identify what may be causing your symptoms. 

Some headaches are minor and easily solved with a glass of water, while some more serious head pains require a doctor's visit.

While CBD is not a cure for any disease, it has been shown to help with symptoms you may be experiencing. If you want relief and think CBD may be a solution for you, be sure to check out Mana Artisan Botanics™

Medical Treatment

Pharmacological treatment is considered to be one of the most popular methods of treating chronic headaches. There are two categories of medication for chronic headache. There are abortive and preventive drugs on the market, which you may find helpful for your specific condition. 

Abortive medications stop headache progression, while preventive drugs prevent them before they happen. Examples of abortive are NSAIDs and acetaminophen. 

Preventive drugs would be antihypertensive, antihistamines, sedatives and anticonvulsants, etc. Headache medications are prevalent because, apart from the fact that doctors recommend it, many studies have proven them as effective treatment options.

Alternative Treatment

Biofeedback is an alternative method that can help you with your headache. It uses some instruments to make your body more conscious of its condition, and through this, you can knowingly overcome it.

A simple example would be to take your temperature when you have a fever. Since you now know that your body temperature is high, you also know that you have to correct it, which leads to taking actions known to lower your body temperature.

If stress is a leading cause of your pain, simply removing yourself from the stressful situation can provide immediate relief.

Medical Marijuana is another alternative which is available in some states as a legal option for your migraines. Be sure to review the laws in your state before you search for medical marijuana. As of right now, even CBD oil derived from a marijuana plant is illegal according to the FDA.

The marijuana plant (THC-heavy cannabis) contains many of the same cannabinoids as hemp (CBD-heavy cannabis), and offers many similar effects of CBD.

It does, however interact with the body's endocannabinoid receptors in a different way, which inhibits the firing of specific neurotransmitters. Click to learn more about the endocannabinoid system.

How to take CBD Oil for Headaches and Pain

CBD oil can be used to relieve your symptoms:

  • as an ingredient in food or drink
  • in the form of a capsule
  • inhalation or vaping, but there are specific lung risks and toxicity risks
  • In a topical application for your skin.
  • In caps or sprays used in your mouth.

Studies on the effects of CBD oil for Headache treatment are limited, and like many new treatments, there is no standard dose or recommended treatment method for everyone. 

CBD Tincture Dosing Chart

Tension Headache

There may be mild to moderate general pain that may feel like a rope tightening around your head. This type of headache can be mild to severe and last for long durations.

Migraine Headache

It is often severe pain in one part of the head, often in front or on the side. You may experience nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or noise.

Which CBD is best for Migraines?

Fortunately, the way CBD works, you can consume it in many different ways. Some users find that vaping CBD causes head pain due how quickly they feel the effects.

Cluster Headache

They can cause severe pain, often around your eye. Symptoms may extend over 1 to 2 months.

How Can CBD Treat The Causes Of Tension Headaches?

CBD has been shown to interact with cells in the brain and the nervous system. These molecules are called cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2).

Although the relationship between these cells and receptors is not fully understood, their interaction is believed to affect the immune system.

For example, CBD can prevent the source of a trusted body in the metabolism of anandamide. This is a compound associated with the body's regulation of headaches. Maintaining high levels of anandamide in the blood can reduce the pain associated with your headache.

Studies show that CBD oil limits inflammation within the body, which can reduce pain and keep other immune system reactions in check.

Since CBD may also decrease anxiety and stress in patients, mild to moderate headaches caused by stress may be treated before they appear. The effects of CBD for you may differ.

Can too much CBD Oil cause headaches?

Yes. CBD may cause head pain in some individuals. Although it is used to treat headache and migraine symptoms, as anecdotal evidence from thousands of users confirms, your headache may be a side effect of taking CBD.

Why do I get a Headache After Taking CBD Oil?

CBD Oil headaches can be avoided by seeking high quality CBD products. Before you make a CBD purchase, ensure you are dealing with a reputable company with a high standard. A couple reasons why you may experience a CBD headache are:

  1. You purchased a lower quality CBD oil product - If the product contains solvents like ethanol or isopropanol, a by-product of alcohol extraction methods. CO2 is a much better extraction method and is a crucial characteristic of higher quality CBD.
  2. You took too much too quickly - Our bodies are not infallible. When we shock the system, our bodies may react in unexpected ways. Most providers recommend starting with small doses and slowly increasing them until you reach your desired result.

What's the CBD Dosage for Tension Headaches?

Based on widespread anecdotal evidence only, the standard CBD dosage recommendation may depend on your body weight. Start with 1 to 6 mg for every 10 pounds of body weight. 

We've built a calculator for you so that you can find the lowest starting dose for your body weight below: 

The above dosage recommendation is general and merely a suggestion. Your case may differ in that you may need a lot more, while others may need a lot less. Please consult with your physician before supplementing your treatment with CBD.


More published studies are is needed before CBD oil is considered a widely distributed option for treating your headache, but it is worth discussing with your doctor if you are interested as it may provide better relief for your symptoms and overall health.

If you want to know more about CBD and how it can be used to treat other conditions, study the other resources on our website.

If you decide to try CBD oil, treat it as you would with any other headache option treatment. It may take some time to work, and you may need to adjust the dose to best suit your needs.

Remember that the FDA still has not completely legalized CBD in all forms. Before you take any CBD product, be sure you review all the information you can about its contents to make sure you stay right with the law.

About the Author Jessica Jones

Jesse has spent most of her adult life struggling with anxiety. After studying neuroscience at University, she has since dedicated her life into researching the effects of CBD on the human body. The content on this website reflects her research.

follow me on: