Does CBD Cause Headaches? - Cannactiva

Can CBD cause headaches?

CBD for migraine

Today on the Cannactiva blog, we’ll answer whether CBD can cause headaches, and look at some of the research being done on CBD to treat certain types of headaches.

Can CBD cause headaches?

In general, so far there is no definitive scientific evidence linking CBD to the occurrence of headache or headache. In fact, it seems to be quite the opposite: in scientific studies, it has been observed that CBD can be of great help in providing relief from certain types of headaches.

According to some users’ anecdotes, the question of whether CBD can cause headaches can be debated, which could be because high doses of CBD could cause side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness and, in rare cases, low blood pressure and nausea.

Some low-quality CBD products may have residues or traces of chemicals resulting from CBD extraction that could be responsible for headaches. This can occur with cannabis extracts using solvents such as BHO and tinctures, although not with extracts obtained with supercritical CO2, since carbon dioxide (CO2) leaves no residue in the final product, and therefore cannot produce a headache.

To enhance the effect on users, some CBD products incorporate synthetic or semi-synthetic cannabinoids, with undesirable adverse effects. This can be seen in some CBD stores that spray the buds or resins with this type of product. At Cannactiva, we have never used these chemicals in our CBD flowers or CBD hashish.

Also, scientific research has found no evidence to support the idea that CBD oil causes headaches or migraines, but in rare cases there may be a particular susceptibility in a user that triggers this type of pain.

On the other hand, a very high dose of CBD could give rise to common side effects that are generally mild and include dry mouth, changes in appetite, hypotension, lightheadedness, drowsiness and diarrhea. Headaches may be due to a combination of factors, such as stress, caffeine, dehydration, lack of sleep or drug interactions.

There could also be a psychological factor that induces the presence of headache after CBD consumption, i.e. some kind of predisposition. That is, predisposition could be a determinant in the effect.

With regard to cannabis containing THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana, it can cause dehydration, which in turn can cause headaches. It is also possible that it affected blood pressure, which could also be related to headaches.

CBD for headache relief

Scientific evidence suggests that CBD offers potential benefits for the relief of certain types of headaches; in particular, the benefits of CBD for migraine have been studied (1).

It is important to keep in mind that the effectiveness of CBD for headache pain can vary depending on the dose (usually, it is more effective for pain at low doses (2)) and the quality of the product used (CBD products with quality guarantees are safer).

The mechanism of action by which CBD would reduce headache pain can be explained depending on the cause of the headache. Cannabidiol is a compound with anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anxiolytic properties, which could affect the cause of headache.

On the other hand, some researchers suggest that CBD does not reduce pain significantly, but acts differently, reducing the unpleasantness of pain (3).

In conclusion…

In conclusion, while CBD shows promise in making pain less unpleasant, its effectiveness and possible side effects, including the possibility of causing headaches, may be influenced by the quality, purity and dosage of the product.

Very high doses of CBD can cause undesirable side effects. Some articles consider high doses starting at 1000mg of CBD per day or 20mg/kg/day. It is advisable to consult a medical professional to determine the optimal dosage.

Finally, remember that the quality of CBD is important. High quality CBD oil should not cause headaches, but in the still emerging and not fully regulated CBD market, low quality products may be marketed. Inferior quality CBD oil is often produced from low-quality hemp strains or contain synthetic cannabinoids such as HHC, which can cause serious side effects.

Note: This is an informational article and is not intended to prevent, diagnose or treat any disease. Its contents may complement, but should never replace, any diagnosis or treatment of any disease or symptom. Cannactiva products are not medicines and are intended for external use. Be aware that there may be new scientific evidence. Therefore, consult your doctor before using CBD.

  1. Chandwani, B., Bradley, B. A., Pace, A., Buse, D. C., Singh, R., & Kuruvilla, D. (2023). The Exploration of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Therapies for Migraine. Current pain and headache reports, 27(9), 339-350.
  2. Urits, I., Gress, K., Charipova, K., Habib, K., Lee, D., Lee, C., Jung, J. W., Kassem, H., Cornett, E., Paladini, A., Varrassi, G., Kaye, A. D., & Viswanath, O. (2020). Use of cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of chronic pain. Best practice & research. Clinical anaesthesiology, 34(3), 463-477.
  3. Syracuse University. (2021, April 25). Research shows pain relieving effects of CBD. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2024.

Masha Burelo
Investigadora en cannabinoides | Doctoranda en Neurociencia

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