According to the Migraine Research Foundation report, migraine is the third most prevalent illness in the world. Over 1 billion people across the globe are experiencing pain from this sickness. The US represents over 38 million of that population. Migraine affects both adults and children, and it can make life uncomfortable for its victims. Unlike migraine, cluster headaches are less frequent. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cluster headaches affect lesser than 1 in 1,000 adults across the globe. Please keep reading for CBD Cluster Headaches.
Cluster headache is the onset of brief but excruciating headaches that can occur multiple times in a day. It causes pain around one eye or one side of the head. CBD, a derivative of the cannabis plant, has medicinal benefits. Research has shown that it can help against chronic pain, Lyme disease, hemorrhoids, etc. However, the effectiveness of CBD cluster headaches products is up for debate. This article explores the symptoms and treatments of cluster headaches. It also explores the effectiveness and suitability of CBD cluster headaches treatment.
CBD Cluster Headaches: Diagnosis
Cluster headaches are a unique type of pain with a distinctive pattern of attacks. You should not assume that you are battling any illness until you talk to your doctor. Meanwhile, a medical expert will not recommend CBD cluster headaches treatment without first carrying out tests. According to the Mayo Clinic, a diagnosis depends on the patient’s description of the attacks. It also includes the pain, severity of headaches, location, and associated symptoms. Moreover, medical experts also consider the frequency of the headaches and how long the episodes last.
Ideally, your doctor will try to identify the type and cause of the headaches by exploring various approaches. The doctor may leverage neurological examination or imaging tests. A neurological examination will help the doctor discover the physical symptoms of a neurological problem. The test will come out healthy for patients battling cluster headaches. The doctor will employ a series of procedures to evaluate your brain function. The procedure involves a thorough examination of reflexes, the senses, and nerves.
Imaging tests are more invasive than neurological examinations. Nonetheless, they provide a more detailed analysis. Doctors often leverage imaging test when a patient has complicated or unusual headaches. They also employ these tests in the event of an abnormal neurological examination. Imaging tests enable the medical experts to be sure that you are not suffering from a tumor or an aneurysm. Tumors and aneurysm are severe causes of head pain. Examples of imaging tests include MRI and CT scans. MRI leverages powerful radio waves and magnetic field, while CT scans employ a series of X-rays.
Reliability and Effectiveness of CBD Cluster Headaches Treatment
CBD cluster headaches products offer relief for patients battling this sickness. However, the reliability of the treatment is shaky. A report presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Headache Society offers insight into this discourse. According to the research, only 3% of the participants stated that CBD cluster headaches treatment was very efficient. Almost 53% of the patients reported that CBD has a variable or uncertain effect on their cluster headaches. Meanwhile, 22% of them claimed that cannabis offered more than 50% healing benefit. Moreover, 22% of the patients felt that their situation got worse after using CBD cluster headaches products.
According to the authors, the effect of CBD cluster headaches treatment is not apparent. Indeed, 25% of the participants claimed that cannabis offered efficacy. However, it is not possible to ignore the 75% who reported that CBD was poorly efficient. The group’s leader, Dr. Elizabeth Le roux, stated that cannabis is frequently used to treat cluster headaches, primarily male patients. She reiterated that CBD cluster headaches products have lifestyle repercussions and legal implications. She also posited that this approach exposes the patients to potential cerebrovascular risks.
Dr. Le roux and her colleagues analyzed the report of 139 cluster headaches patients. The participants were patients at the Emergency Headache Center in Paris and the Headache Clinic in Marseilles, France. She detected that 27 of the patients have correctly used CBD to treat their cluster headaches. Meanwhile, 63 of them had used cannabis for other purposes. Among these cannabis users, 43% of them stopped using CBD during a headache attack, while 38% continued. Moreover, 27% of the participants believe that CBD could cause an attack.
Suitability of CBD Cluster Headaches Treatments
Medical experts do not consider CBD cluster headaches products when they need fast-acting treatments. The likely options your doctor will consider in such a situation include:
Triptans are injectable forms of sumatriptan (Imitrex). They are commonly used to treat migraines. Nonetheless, it is also effective against acute cluster headache. Some people find relief by using it in a nasal spray form. However, it is at its most effective best as an injection. Sumatriptan is not recommended for patients suffering from heart disease or high blood pressure. For people whose body systems cannot tolerate other fast-acting treatments, zolmitriptan (Zomig) is their best bet. It is a nasal spray form of treatment for cluster headache.
Inhaling oxygen is a more effective fast-acting treatment than CBD cluster headaches products. A brief inhalation of pure oxygen through a mask offers urgent relief for patients who use it. It is a safe, inexpensive method whose effect can be felt within 15 minutes. However, this treatment can be inconvenient because it requires you to carry an oxygen cylinder and regulator with you.
Octreotide (Sandostatin) is the synthetic form of somatostatin, a brain hormone. It is an injection that is reputable for providing fast relief for cluster headaches. Nevertheless, it does not offer the same efficacy as triptans. It also acts less quickly. However, it is preferable to CBD cluster headaches products.
Dihydroergotamine is available in the injectable and inhaled forms. However, it is the injectable form that has proven to be effective in treating cluster headaches. The other form has other uses, but it is not suitable for fighting the ailment.
Local anesthetics like lidocaine have numbing effects that make them effective against cluster headaches. They are often effective when taken through the nose.
CBD Cluster Headaches Products or Surgery?
Surgery is the last resort of medical professionals when other options, including CBD cluster headaches products, have failed. Doctors also recommend surgery when your body system cannot tolerate the available medications or their side effects. Sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation is a popular approach. It involves the implant of a neurostimulator with the aid of a hand-held remote controller. This technique provides a lower frequency of headaches and quick pain relief.
Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is also often used. It is a non-invasive method that employs a hand-held controller. The hand-held controller delivers stimulation to the vagus nerve via the skin. Research has proven that VNS reduces the rate of cluster headaches. Occipital nerve stimulation is another surgical operation for treating this ailment. It involves implanting an electrode close to one or both occipital nerves.
Some surgical procedures aim at providing relief by damaging the nerve pathways responsible for pain. The trigeminal nerve that functions in the area behind and around the eye is often the target of this surgery. Nonetheless, surgeons often avoid this approach because of the potential long-term effects of the procedure. It can cause complications such as muscle weakness in the jaw. It can also lead to sensory loss in certain areas of the head and face.
CBD Cluster Headaches Treatment Vs. Existing Drugs
Dr. Maria Nicolodi, of the Inter university Center in Italy, and colleagues, investigated the effectiveness of CBD cluster headaches treatment. The study’s first phase included 48 adults with chronic migraine. The second phase involved 48 cluster headaches patients and 79 chronic migraine patients. The researchers gave the cluster headache patients 200 milligrams of THC-CBD or 480 milligrams of verapamil every day. Meanwhile, they gave the chronic migraine patients 25 milligrams of amitriptyline or 200 milligrams of THC-CBD every day.
When the cluster headaches patients experience acute pain, they were given an additional 200 milligrams of THC-CBD. The treatment for the two groups of patients lasted for three months. They were then monitored for four weeks after the treatment stopped. The result of the study showed that THC-CBD produced a slightly better higher reduction in the frequency of migraine attacks. In comparison with amitriptyline, the reduction was 0.3 percent greater.
Furthermore, THC-CBD improved the condition of migraine patients. It reduced their pain intensity by 43.5 percent. Nonetheless, the result among cluster headaches patients showed that only certain patients got better. These patients were those who had experienced migraines in childhood. This study showed that CBD cluster headaches drugs are as effective as existing drugs. However, they may only be beneficial to patients who have had issues with migraines in their childhood.
CBD Cluster Headaches: Preventive Treatments
The use of preventive treatments negates the need for CBD cluster headaches products. Nonetheless, you must see your doctor on time to leverage these treatments. Preventive treatments that doctors often use for cluster headaches patients include:
Calcium channel blockers
Verapamil, the channel blocking agent, is usually the first option for preventing cluster headaches. It can be used alongside other medications for more satisfactory results. Nonetheless, it often requires prolonged use to achieve the desired end.
Lithium carbonate (Lithobid) is often used to treat bipolar disorder. However, it can also be used to prevent chronic cluster headaches. It is often used when other medications have failed in this endeavor. However, medical experts rarely consider this medication because of its numerous potential side effects. It can cause tremors, diarrhea, and increased thirst. In some situations, it may cause kidney damage.
Fast-acting inflammation suppressing drugs such as prednisone are called corticosteroids. They can serve as preventive medications for people battling cluster headaches. Your doctor may prescribe them for you when you recently started having issues with the disease. They are also recommended when you have a pattern of long remissions and brief cluster periods. Nonetheless, corticosteroids can cause side effects such as cataracts, hypertension, and diabetes.
Anti-seizure medications such as topiramate (Topamax and Qudexy XR) come in handy in preventing cluster headaches. Numbing agents (anesthetic) will also do a good job. Their ability to block occipital nerve will be useful as short-term options before long-term treatment like CBD cluster headaches products.
CBD Cluster Headaches Products Regulations
Leveraging CBD cluster headaches treatment requires legal considerations. CBD’s close connection with THC makes legalities around it quite complicated and restrictive. Just like THC, CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant. Though these two compounds have similar medicinal benefits, they have different psychoactive effects. THC is reputable for its euphoric and intoxicating effects. People often get addicted to it alongside other destructive habits. Hence, there are strict laws regarding its use in the US.
Unlike THC, CBD is not a psychoactive substance. Therefore, it does not alter the mood or behavior of its users. Nonetheless, it was illegal in the US until recently when the federal government passed the Farming Act of 2018. This law permits the use of CBD cluster headaches products provided it does not exceed 0.03%. However, the implications and application of this regulation are different in the 50 states of the US.
For example, some states do not permit the consumption of CBD products unless for medical purposes. However, these laws are less restrictive in some other states. Some states like Ohio and New does not permit the use of CBD edibles. Meanwhile, authorities in these states legalize the consumption of CBD. So, to stay out of trouble, consult an attorney in your state before using CBD cluster headaches products.
Cluster headaches do not offer palatable experiences. Therefore, anyone will prefer to avoid them. Thankfully, they are not common. Nonetheless, if you or your loved ones are suffering from this disease, CBD cluster headaches products can be of help. Note that there are better options like triptans if it is an acute problem. Speak to your doctor on time when you start feeling the symptoms to leverage preventive treatments.
Pulling, L. (2020, March 12). EAN 2017: Cannabinoids suitable for migraine prophylaxis. Retrieved June 22, 2020, from https://www.neuro-central.com/ean-2017-cannabinoids-suitable-migraine-prophylaxis/
Whiteman, H. (2017, June 28). Cannabinoids could prevent migraines, study finds. Retrieved June 22, 2020, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318145#Acute-pain-reduced-by-55-percent
Lochte, B. C., Beletsky, A., Samuel, N. K., & Grant, I. (2017). The Use of Cannabis for Headache Disorders. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 61–71. https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2016.0033
Cluster headache – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic. (2019, June 4). Retrieved June 22, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cluster-headache/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352084
Is Cannabis Effective for Cluster Headache? (2010, August 18). Retrieved June 22, 2020, from https://www.mdedge.com/neurology/article/72562/headache-migraine/cannabis-effective-cluster-headache