Worldwide, headache disorders are among the most prevalent conditions affecting the nervous system, reports the World Health Organization (WHO). This includes migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches and more.
The disorders are so widespread that the WHO estimates that 50% of the global population experiences at least one per year.
While many find relief from things like sleep, exercise, dietary changes, and prescription medications, research suggests that sufferers also use cannabis as a treatment. For instance, a study from Migraine Buddy, an app that allows users to track data about their migraines, found that eight-in-ten get migraine relief from cannabis use
Additional research published in The Journal of Pain found cannabis effectively relieves migraine pain by up to 50%. The study also revealed that cannabinoids may be “more effective than ibuprofen in reducing pain intensity, reducing intake of other analgesics, and increasing quality of life,” its authors wrote.
June is national migraine and awareness month, and in observance of this — and the millions who suffer from these conditions year round — Emerald has rounded up a list of products that we’ve tested throughout the years. From edibles, to topicals, to flower, here are a few that our Emerald contributors found particularly relieving for both conditions.
Emerald’s Top Tried and Tested Products for Migraine Relief
Toastyy’s HIGH CBD Hand and Body Lotion doubles as a moisturizer and a pain reliever. The broad-spectrum formula comes with 300 mg of CBD, and no THC.
Recently, Emerald reviewed Toastyy’s CBD lotion, and put it to the test on chronic migraines. One contributor writes:
“[…] Migraines attack the muscles in my face, jaw and back of my neck. Right before I went to bed, I took no more than a dollop of the lotion, picking it up with two fingers and lightly rubbing it across my forehead. This is where I always experience the most pain. So applying it there directly helped alleviate the pressure of the migraine. As I started to wind down for bed, the scent started to fill my nose. The subtle hints of citrus and cannabis helped me relax and breathe better through the intense pain. Immediately, I felt relief from the pressure in my head. Throughout the night I slept very well, and uninterrupted. I woke up to a pain free head, and a lot of energy.”
Post from @nug on Instagram.
This chocolate bar, made by NUG, features white chocolate and ceremonial-grade matcha. Matcha itself holds medicinal properties: it contains caffeine, it’s full of antioxidants, and may promote brain function, reports Healthline.
The bar comes infused with 100 mg of CBD and THC-rich distillate. Each of the 16 squares has 6.25 mg of cannabinoids. Emerald writes:
“[…] I desperately reached for the Matcha Chocolate Bar [after] waking up with a debilitating migraine. This time, I choked back three squares (18.5mg).
Within 20 minutes—I. Was. High. My muscle tension was gone. The pounding in my head had faded. I felt relaxed enough to sleep, and I was no longer reeling in pain. Instead, I had the munchies, and the energy to make an entire meal from scratch.
Post from @raye6 on Instagram.
This infused topical, created by Life of 6, has shea butter infused with THC, lavender, and grapefruit essential oils. In addition to a moisturizer, the body body is also a pain reliever. One Emerald contributor writes:
“All of us live in New York City, so it’s part of the package to suffer from migraines. Well, the Cannashea Body Butter might be the solution for that as well: we just rubbed some of it on our temples when we felt a headache come in, and the lotion helped reduce the throbbing considerably.”
However, the reviewer notes, “its [got a] very pungent smell,” which may not be appropriate for everyone.
Care by Design, a California-based company, carries a variety of tinctures in different strengths. Some are high in THC, while others are higher in CBD.
While the company no longer carries the 18:1 Spray, they do carry it in tincture. And, according to their website — it remains one of their most popular products.
Post from @crappysfeelbetter on Instagram.
Crappy’s Feel Better offers a variety of hemp tablets. Those range from Fade Fighters to Party Prep. They come infused with both CBD and CBG, both of which help fight inflammation.
While one Emerald writer did not find the tablets helpful, her friend did. Specifically, she took a Hangover Helper tablet after waking up with a headache.
“[She] took one of the tablets with some water, then went back to sleep for an hour. When she woke up, she said she felt much better, and her headache was gone,” reports Emerald.
Post from @shanti_wellness on Instagram.
Shanti Wellness’s CBD products come in different sizes and potencies. One reporter put a few of the company products to the test after waking up bedridden with a hangover. Specifically, she found Shanti Wellness’s Rejuvenate Roll On to relieve her headache. The roll-on contains 100 mg of CBD, and rosemary, sage peppermint, lime and eucalyptus oils.
“The smell alone made me feel more centered. The effects of roll-ons are best experienced when placed on the body’s pressure points, and as instructed, I dabbed some on my temples, behind my ears, and inside my wrists. Cooling blend, indeed. I instantly felt frosty-fresh in each of those areas, and my focus was turned away from my pounding head and more toward the tingle of the marriage of the essential oils and CBD. A match made in hangover heaven.”
Green Gardens Gold makes this hemp salve with four basic ingredients: organic coconut oil, organic beeswax, organic Natural Vanilla, and CBD Oil. The well balance ratio, one Emerald contributor explains, is great for tension and joint pain. She writes:
“It’s great for deep tissue massage because, compared to the fast-absorbing massage cream, this natural salve stays on the skin longer, so, massages can last longer. For tension headaches, I rubbed some salve on my temples and felt relief.”
Pure Kush Strawberry Kush (PKSK) is one of Happy Day Farms’ flagship strains. Similar strains such as Strawberry Kush, coms in at 16% THC, reports Leafly. Users know it for inducing sedative effects, and strawberry-like taste.
According to one Emerald contributor, the strain is “meditative, dreamy and expansive, introspective and quite powerful. The smell is berrylicious. The taste is too, along with hints of chocolate and nutmeg. It’s rich and satiating like French toast. The smoke off a joint is thick and satisfying, again, like a warm, rich meal. O’Neill says it’s great for relaxing and mellowing out. I agree — my mind was high, my body was high.”
After taking a couple of puffs of it, she writes, “ PKSK squashed one of my tension headaches within minutes.”
DIY Bath Bombs — Editor’s Pick
Many migraine and headache sufferers find comfort in baths. In fact, research shows that a steamy shower, bath or compress can help ease muscle tension.
Emerald’s DIY Bath Bomb recipe is chock-full of therapeutic household ingredients. For example:
“The [recipe has] Epsom salt, which eases muscle tension; CBD to combat pain and anxiety; and essential oils, which boost a variety of benefits for the body and mind. Subsequently, they’re great at easing cramps, soreness, headaches and stress.”
For consumers unable to access these exact goods, consider similar ones. Of course, there are a variety of products and consumption methods that some may find more effective than others.