Just like the rest of the body, the head experiences its fair share of pain. Headaches and migraines affect 35 million Americans, but they don’t always come about the same way.
TYPES OF HEADACHES
Headaches and migraines are a widely shared experience, yet there are small differences in how they come to be amongst individuals.
Some common types of headaches include:
For those who experience migraines, this can be an especially difficult type of headache to deal with. A migraine differs from other headaches in its onset and severity. Many people may experience warning signs before the attack commences. The American Migraine Foundation notes some of the most common warning signs of a migraine are visual, like flashing lights, zigzag lines, or a temporary loss of vision. Once the migraine attack begins, you might experience:
sensitivity to light and sound
loss of appetite
As the migraine manifests, there may be even further negative symptoms, affecting areas of your life such as sleep cycle, focus, motivation, and even social life and relationships.
While symptoms and experiences may vary from person to person, one thing is for sure: your body is signaling to you that something is wrong, and it’s coming to the forefront as pain.
THE IMPACT OF MIGRAINES AND HEADACHES
Most people will experience a headache in their life, but some can also experience them more regularly. In some cases, people might experience chronic headaches, where their headache is present for more than 15 days a month. Episodic headaches, on the other hand, can occur anywhere less than that.
Still, whether you experience chronic headaches or deal with them less frequently, their presence at all can be a serious disruption to daily life.
Virtually no one is immune from headaches, but there are some striking trends in who they tend to affect the most. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, 3 out of 4 people who experience migraines are women. But when it comes to cluster headaches, the majority of sufferers are men.
While headaches are unpleasant in themselves, trouble continues from the domino effect they have on the rest of your life. Having to regularly deal with this pain can be mentally and emotionally draining. As a result, depression and anxiety are common among people who experience chronic headaches and migraines. What occurs in our daily lives inherently has an impact on our bodies.
When it comes to anxiety and depression, this has a direct impact on serotonin levels.
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN SEROTONIN, HEADACHES, AND CBD
Some reports suggest that dips in serotonin, the feel-good hormone that’s often linked to happiness, correlate with the onset of headaches, further underscoring the link between mental health and headaches.
While all internal and external migraine-causing factors can’t always stay within our control, we do have some power in supporting our body’s natural systems, including levels of serotonin. Proper diet, exercise, or even just some bites of chocolate can help. Research is also revealing that there is the ability to protect healthy serotonin levels and avoid the dips that make one more susceptible to headaches and depression through the use of hemp-derived CBD and a healthy endocannabinoid system.
UNDERSTANDING THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
The endocannabinoid system is an expansive network of receptors in our body that helps us function to the full extent of our human ability. The hallmarks of this system are the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
CB1 receptors are found primarily on nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. They play a role in pain perception, motor activity, and thinking, as well as regulating the brain’s limbic and reward circuitry. This receptor may be able to modulate pain and even help maintain healthy levels of pleasure-center chemicals, like serotonin and dopamine.
Beyond just making us feel good, serotonin plays a larger role in our body. Unsteady levels of serotonin have proven to be a physiological stressor that can trigger migraines in those who are predisposed to getting them.
CBD offers one way to help protect our body’s serotonin levels, helping to keep balance in the body. Studies reveal that CBD directly interacts with 5HT1A receptors, which can provide both anxiolytic–and pain-reducing–effects.
On the other hand, CB2 receptors are found throughout our organs, and play a supporting role for other body systems, like our immune, reproductive, and peripheral nervous systems. These receptors react in instances of pain and inflammation, as is the case with a migraine, with the goal to suppress it. Though they aren’t hard and fast painkillers, healthy CB2 receptors can be very consequential to our experience with headaches and migraines.
Caring for your ECS is of great importance to your overall health. Some studies suggest that Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency in itself can be a major cause of migraines.
This imbalance can cause even more stress in the body and deplete you of motivation, restful sleep, or energy for life and relationships.
This is why it’s so important to seek out ways to balance your ECS. One effective way to care for your ECS is to get a daily dose of cannabinoids through non-psychoactive CBD products made with full-spectrum hemp extract.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, may carry anxiolytic and analgesic effects, and it also has been shown to slow the breakdown of the mood-boosting neurotransmitter anandamide. This inhibitory effect can help to maintain an uplifted mood and lower the chances of developing headaches, boost stress resiliency, and calm anxious feelings.
Gone unchecked, headache pain can have serious repercussions on daily life. The simple act of caring for your ECS will help your body to alleviate immediate pain, as well as the stress that comes from experiencing pain in your daily life.
We are strong proponents of a plant-powered wellness routine that focuses on holistic health and preventative measures. Caring for your endocannabinoid system with the help of full-spectrum hemp CBD products can have some very positive results. That’s why all of our CBD products, from the stress-melting chocolate bars to the dose-friendly CBD tinctures, are formulated with organic, functional, and sustainable plant-based ingredients.
In addition to using CBD products, there are other ways you can support the endocannabinoid system and ward off headaches and migraines.
Dehydration is an easy to solve condition that causes the brain to temporarily contract or shrink from fluid loss and pull away from the skull. This can result in a painful dehydration headache. Once rehydrated, the brain will plump back up and returns to its normal state, often relieving the headache. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that adults’ daily water intake, from both beverages and water, is about: 2.7 liters a day for women and 3.7 liters a day for men. Your daily water intake needs may increase depending on your health status, diet, environment, level of activity, and if you are pregnant.
Anyone who experiences motion sickness or nausea may be able to attest: ginger is a powerful and natural way to calm these struggles. Ginger tea, lozenges, or herbal supplements can support you if you suffer from migraine-induced nausea.
The power of plants is evident throughout nature. Lavender is one such powerhouse plant that contains linalool terpenes, which are anti-inflammatory. Lavender can be enjoyed through aromatherapy essential oils or by massaging in our lavender-infused full-spectrum hemp Unwind Body Balm.
Simple life changes go a long way in improving our health and wellbeing, however, they might not be a cure-all. If you have chronic or persistent headaches, it’s recommended that you speak to your doctor to help develop a treatment plan that works for you. If you’re already on a treatment plan, it may come in handy to explore some natural ways to bring your body into greater balance.
It’s always our mission to help you become more informed about the health and wellbeing of your body and brain and to share natural solutions to nourish you inside and out.