CBD used for migraines historically

Ancient India was the first civilization to use CBD for headaches in 2000 BCE. Cannabis (CBD) has been used in ancient civilizations to treat migraines before being made illegal. Because of this, there is a lack of research and information regarding the benefits CBD has to offer. CBD oil was the treatment of choice for migraines in 2000 BCD and continued through 1937. Unfortunately, the science to support its use has not caught up to historical evidence yet.

First, we are going to look at migraine’s symptoms, causes and who is more likely to get them (sorry ladies). Second, we will look at the research we do have, but it needs to be noted that many of the tests were being done with the use of the entire marijuana plant. Now, that is not to say that CBD has not shown it prowess on its own. We have evidence of CBD’s success to.

Migraines: All the pain

For those who have come here to research for a sufferer of migraines but have not experienced one themselves, lets talk the pain. In some there is severe migrainethrobbing pain, a pulsing sensation, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound, and sometimes even smell or touch. These feelings can last for hours or even days, DAYS! Now, I know that list was wrong, but it is important to understand what the sufferer is dealing with. This pain is real and is often undiagnosed and untreated.

Migraines: What is causing all the pain

Unfortunately, the causes of migraines is not fully understood. It is believed that genetics and environment play a role. There are a bunch of big medical words that explain the brain pathways and interactions that are basically saying, chemicals in our brain might be imbalanced causing the pain. They are still looking into these chemicals to determine which is the culprit. Keep you posted.

In the meantime, we are aware of triggers. Those include:

  • Hormonal changes in women (sorry ladies): I know, this is not something that can be controlled. It is nature. Estrogen fluctuations are not a choice. We also agree that it is not fair that contraceptive medications can worsen migraines.
  • Drinks: I am always here trying to take away your solace in wine, alcohol, and the saving grace caffeine. Seriously, I am not. It just has a negative effect on the system in some cases. You should know. Just the messenger.
  • Stress: Again? More things that are not always things that are in our control. So, yes, stress can cause/make migraines worse.
  • Sensory stimuli: Bright lights from the sun’s glare, loud sounds, strong smells (stay away from the unbathed), secondhand smoke.
  • Sleep changes: Missing sleep. This is going to sound crazy, to much sleep can cause migraines. I know, crazy. Who ever thought that beauty sleep can cause migraines? Huh.
  • Physical factors: intense physical activity can cause migraines. Now, that does include, ahem, sexual activity. Take it easy.
  • Weather changes: mother nature did it. All those changes can cause it.
  • Medications: Those darn pharmaceuticals.
  • Foods/additives: Okay, don’t come for me, salt, processed food, aspartame, and MSG can all cause migraines.

Migraines: Who experiences the pain?

Incidentally, we know more about who is more prone to having migraines. There are several factors that make someone more prone to migraines, we are going to look at four.

  • Family history: If there are family members that experience this joy, you may be suffering through yours soon.
  • Age: Now, you can experience migraines at any age really, but typically the first is during adolescence. You know, when your hormones are totally at normal levels (sarcasm). With that being said, those that experience migraines will peak during their 30s. Although this sounds horrible, good news is that they become less severe and less frequent later.
  • Sex: Sorry ladies. We are three times (yes, count them THREE) more likely to experience migraines then men.
  • Hormonal changes: We mentioned this earlier. Those darn periods, they just keep giving. Then of course there is pregnancy. But wait! Let’s not forget menopause. Plus side, they generally improve once menopause is done.

Migraines: CBD the solution to the pain?

As previously mentioned, many of the tests were done with the entire marijuana plant. We are going to look at those tests first. In 2017 the European migraineAcademy (EAN) stated that in phase one of their study, 48 people with chronic migraines received marijuana supplement. This test indicates that a use of 200 mg reduced the pain by 55%. The second phase patients were given different supplements with CBD winning in effectiveness at 43.5% reporting relief.

A study in 2018 with 2,032 participants experiencing migraine, headache, arthritis, or chronic pain indicates there is success in treatment with the use of marijuana. Most of the participants in this study substituted the use of pharmaceutical medications (typically opioids) with cannabis.

At this point in time CBD has not been independently tested for its effectiveness on migraines. There are many studies with the combination of CBD and THC giving relief to migraine sufferers. Although, there have not been independent lab tests, there are reports coming from migraineurs who profess to the success of CBD. They say that CBD helps ease migraine pain and even shorten the attacks. Now that’s what we are talking about!

Migraines: CBD oil is the solution to pain!

Data on CBD and its effect on migraine headaches is limited. However, the Internet is full of anecdotal evidence of migraineurs who have tried CBD oil and found relief. Kate G. and Jaimee H., both of whom have found CBD Oil helpful in treating migraine.



“I have struggled with migraines since I was about 12. When Axon launched the CBD Oil, I was one of the first customers. Actually, to be honest I was very skeptical. I have tried medicine, rest, darkness, vitamins, more medicine but nothing really relieved the pain and pressure for longer than a few hours. I didn’t like having to keep taking pills either. Nothing really had a great affect or worked well for me, so when I had the opportunity to try the CBD Oil, I decided to give it a go.

” I did not believe it would actually do anything for me. The day I tried it, I had had a migraine most of the day. I took 3 or 4 drops and waited. 10-15 minutes later, the pressure and pain in my head and behind my eyes completely left. It was like I hadn’t even had a migraine the entire day. Pressure gone. Pain gone. Spots in front of my eyes…gone. My head did not hurt the rest of the day. Now I have never tried anything like CBD Oil before.

“When I use my CBD now, I still don’t even take the full serving amount. I only use 3-4 drops at a time. But each time, within 10-15 minutes my migraine clears and stays gone for hours, if not all day. The second I feel any pressure or start to see spot, I take my drops. I have never had this much success with anything I have tried before. It has made a massive difference for me. I keep it in my purse, with me at all times. At night, by my bedside, just in case. I was not a believer before, just a skeptic. Now…I recommend it to anyone and everyone who mentions that they are a sufferer too. CBD Oil and my
glasses have made all the difference for me.”


Jaimee, a professional lifeguard, had been suffering since 2006 from migraines triggered by stress, weather, or lack of sleep. In 2010, she was finally diagnosed with hemiplegic migraine. The diagnosis gave her a label for her condition, but it didn’t offer any relief from suffering up to 4 migraines in any given month.

Some might call Jaimee’s migraine condition “less painful” than others. But while her attacks usually involve less head pain than most people think of with migraine, they do come with aura such as acute nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. Sometimes her condition has prevented her from participating in work or other activities.

Jaimee tried all the usual remedies to manage her migraine: various medications and supplements, dietary changes, even essential oils. But many of those remedies came with side effects, and none of them offered much relief, especially from the acute nausea.

Like many other Axon customers, Jaimee came across Axon with some previous familiarity with CBD.

“I have actually used CDB in the past but not as a daily supplement.  We use it for our daughter who has autism and anxiety, with great success.  I have used it for acute nausea during the aura phase of migraine, and found it worked better than Meclizine.”

Aside from her success in using CBD for aura-related nausea, Jaime has found Axon CBD has helped her sleep better and feel more calm. She has experienced fewer vestibular issues while taking it. (Vestibular problems can affect the inner ear and balance, causing dizziness.) Those benefits, along with the absence of bad side effects, lead Jaimee to recommend it.

“CBD really does work for migraine-related nausea…I recommend taking it at bedtime to promote restful sleep. Additionally, a couple of droppers under the tongue when experiencing acute nausea during the aura phase of migraine is incredibly helpful.”

Migraines: Conclude the pain

Previously, we discussed our ancestors using CBD to treat headaches, this is not new. This has been a treatment for generations. CBD oil was the treatment of choice for migraines in 2000 BCD and continued through 1937. Unfortunately, the science to support its use has not caught up to historical evidence yet. But, I for one will not let that stop me from trying something that was used successfully for thousands of years. Many people are choosing not wait for science to catch up and are trying this treatment for themselves. The results are in! As more people continue to use CBD as a treatment for migraine, scientists can begin to collect data to support its effectiveness.





CBD Oil for Migraines (2020): Everything You Need to Know

The History of CBD (Cannabidiol)

CBD in Ancient History





Kelly researches and writes about the use of CBD in the fitness and health community. She holds a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education. When she isn’t running an in-school Bootcamp class for 7th and 8th graders, teaching science for 6th and 7th graders, or coaching kids classes at her local gym, she is chasing her son Dominic around and leading a life of example with regular training, food prep weekends, and an active, healthy lifestyle. She previously ran the athletic department for her Charter School but has since passed the torch to her Assistant Director so she can pursue other opportunities to spread the word of fitness and health in her local community.