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How Using CBD Can Assist With Curing a Headache

Updated: Sep 7, 2021

Headaches are probably one of the most common health complaints today. However, what most people are unaware of is that there are many different types of headaches and each type has its own unique cause, symptoms, and treatment. Therefore, in order to treat your headache the most effectively, you need to first understand the type of headache that you have. A headache can be a mild, dull, or throbbing pain in the head. [1] Most people only suffer from them occasionally. For these headaches, a good rest and some over-the-counter medications are usually enough to provide relief from the pain. For those who experience headaches much more regularly, however, the pain can be debilitating.

Headaches can be categorized into two groups: primary headaches and secondary headaches. [2] Primary headaches aren’t caused by any existing medical conditions. [3] Secondary headaches, however, are a symptom of a greater health issue - a tumor, for instance. [4]

What about tension headaches?

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache experienced by people. It causes a mild to intense pain that feels like a tight band squeezing around your skull. [5] Tension headaches are usually known to have an impact on both sides of the head. However, they have been known to affect just one side of your head.

Tension headaches can also be categorized into two groups: episodic tension headaches and chronic tension headaches. [6] The former may last anywhere from less than an hour to a week. The latter often causes continuous pain and usually lasts for an hour but occurs very frequently. [7] It is not yet known exactly what causes this condition, but it is believed that a number of common risk factors make them occur more commonly.

Common Risk Factors for Tension Headaches:


Common cold and flu

Emotional tension and stress

Environment factors such as light and sound, and even overexposure to cold and heat

Eye strain



Long periods of reading

Physical tension in the muscles of your scalp

Poor posture

Overusing your neck and shoulder muscles

Overexposure to screens

Too much coffee and smoking

Most people use over-the-counter medications such as paracetamol and ibuprofen to treat mild headaches. But one must realize that regular use of medicines such as these may increase the tolerance of the body to its effects. [8] In simple words, the more you use them, the less effective they become at treating your pain. This is especially true if you are using a high dosage of a drug. It may also result in another type of headache known as medication overuse headaches or rebound headaches. [9]

In order to avoid using pain medications such as these, you can try some home remedies such as: [10]

Cold compress

Drinking enough water

Hot baths


Periods of rest or sleep

Relaxation techniques

How does CBD help?

CBD works by connecting the cells in the brain and the nervous system. These molecules are called cannabinoid receptors. When it comes to dealing with a headache or a migraine, it could be used to reduce the feeling of pain and inflammation throughout the body. [11]

CBD oil can be used through vaping or ingestion. If people suffering from headaches or migraines take CBD, it is less likely to cause side effects compared to any other type of oral medicine. [12] You can eat CBD-infused food, take CBD capsules, or even put a few drops of the tincture under your tongue. However, it’s best to consult your doctor first before using any CBD products to ensure that it is the right choice for you. If you’ve tried all of this and are still struggling with your condition, the best thing to do is to visit your family doctor or any other medical professional. They are the best way to identify the type of headache you’re experiencing and will find you the ideal treatment.

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1. Harvard Health Publishing. “Headache: When to Worry, What to Do.” Harvard Health Blog, Harvard Health Publishing,

2. Cecilia B Young (3 January 2012). "The Johns Hopkins Headache Center - Primary Exertion Headache". Archived from the original on 3 May 2014.

3. “Headache Causes.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 11 Jan. 2018,

4. Goadsby PJ, Raskin NH. Chapter 14. Headache. In: Longo DL, Fauci AS, Kasper DL, Hauser SL, Jameson J, Loscalzo J. eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18e. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2012.

5. Detsky ME, McDonald DR, Baerlocher MO, Tomlinson GA, McCrory DC, Booth CM (September 2006). "Does this patient with headache have a migraine or need neuroimaging?". JAMA. 296 (10): 1274–83. doi:10.1001/jama.296.10.1274. PMID 16968852.

6. Pain, Tension headaches are dull. “Tension Headaches - Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment.” WebMD, WebMD,

7. Seton Healthcare Family. “Chronic Tension Headache Treatment Central Texas.” Seton,

8. “Tolerance and Resistance to Drugs - Drugs.” MSD Manual Professional Edition,

9. Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network (November 2008). Diagnosis and management of headache in adults. Edinburgh: NHS Quality Improvement Scotland. ISBN 978-1-905813-39-1. Archived from the original on 2011-04-19.

10. 18 Remedies to Get Rid of Headaches Naturally.Healthline, Healthline Media,

11. Leimuranta, Pinja, et al. “Emerging Role of (Endo)Cannabinoids in Migraine.” Frontiers in Pharmacology, vol. 9, 2018, doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.00420.

12. Iffland, Kerstin, and Franjo Grotenhermen. “An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies.” Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, vol. 2, no. 1, 2017, pp. 139–154., doi:10.1089/can.2016.0034.

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