It is an established scientific fact that medical cannabis has multiple benefits on the human body. Cannabidiol or CBD oil is rising in popularity as a treatment for anxiety, chronic pain, seizures, and sleep disorders. It is being used in hospitals and homes across the globe. However, there have been anecdotes of users getting headaches when using CBD oil. Is there a scientific basis for this claim?
Can CBD Oil Cause Headaches?
Any substance that you consume has its pros and cons. Although CBD oil can help address a range of ailments and illnesses, it can trigger unwanted side effects as well. The common side effects of CBD oil discovered through scientific studies are dry mouth, changes in appetite, hypotension (low blood pressure), lightheadedness, drowsiness, and diarrhea. Thankfully, most of the recorded side effects are mild in nature.
Despite extensive research, scientists have found no evidence to support the idea that CBD oil causes headaches or related conditions like migraines. Some users may consider lightheadedness or dizziness a headache, but it is unlikely. Therefore, it is more probable that the real cause of headaches may not be CBD oil itself but factors pertaining to its production and use.
It may be helpful to remember that headaches can be caused by a myriad of factors including stress, caffeine, dehydration, and lack of sleep. Outside of the research environment, it is difficult to control the lifestyle factors of CBD oil users. Certain side effects can also be triggered due to drug interactions. For instance, antipsychotic drugs like pimozide are known to negatively interact with CBD.
Given that evidence from clinical trials show that CBD oil does not cause headaches, let us examine other possible causes.
When taking any medication or supplement, the correct dosage is important. A dosage that is too low may lead to inadequate outcomes while a dosage that is too high may cause undesirable side effects. Because CBD oil is so easy to administer, users can be prone to overdosing. Although CBD is non-toxic, excessively high doses may be responsible for causing headaches.
For first-time CBD oil users, it is recommended to start with a small dose and gradually adjust the dosage as your body gets accustomed to it. Consider consulting a medical professional with experience in CBD to figure out the optimal dose for your body weight and health condition. Your doctor can also help to monitor your body’s response over the course of treatment and modify the dosage as needed.
Poor CBD Oil Quality
Unfortunately, cannabis products can vary drastically in quality. As the CBD market is still emerging, it is not yet fully regulated. Hence, some less-reputable brands may sell CBD oil produced from inferior hemp strains or synthetic ingredients. While such products may cost less, they can lead to severe side effects including respiratory issues and allergies.
Cannabis is grown in many regions of the world. The quality of the cannabis plant relies heavily on the purity of the soil in which it was grown as well as whether the plant was treated or processed with volatile chemicals. If the cannabis plant absorbed mercury, lead, or other harmful substances, the resulting CBD oil may be contaminated with toxins.
Lack of Laboratory Testing
Given that the CBD industry is largely unregulated, consumers must look for proof of third-party testing. Independent laboratory testing results will tell you more about the quality and potency of a CBD oil product. It will also list the ingredients, including warning you of any residual solvents or contaminants that should not be present in the product.
Third-party testing results or certificates of analysis should be readily available on CBD brand websites. Never purchase CBD oil from a company that undertakes its own laboratory tests or does not disclose laboratory findings. The absence of proper labeling is a major red flag and a sign that the associated product could do more damage than good.
Aside from third-party tests, look for CBD oil that is made from natural ingredients. There should be no unnecessary solvents, oils, or fillers added to bulk up the product. Ideally, the hemp from which the CBD oil is extracted should be sustainably grown on an organic farm. Farm-to-oil products where brands oversee their own farms and processing tend to be the best.
According to scientist and cannabinologist, Dr. Greg Gerdeman, “the scientific discovery of the endocannabinoid system has, in some important ways, liberated cannabis from the drug abuse paradigm.” As researchers continue their vital foray into the medical applications of cannabis extracts, it is our duty as consumers to treat it with the respect accorded to any other drug.
High-quality CBD oil should not cause headaches. Inferior CBD oil and inappropriate dosing are likely reasons why certain CBD users experience headaches. By taking CBD oil at the correct doses and choosing only certified first-class products, we can ensure the purest and most effective relief from the conditions and illnesses that ail us.