This post was made possible thanks to my friends over at DrHempMe.com.
This is the personal experience of an individual and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult a physician to determine if CBD is right for you.
Migraines first affected me at the age of 15. Up until this point I only had a typical headache every now and then. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Sitting in an art class I remember my vision starting to blur. Small black spots appeared in front of me and gradually multiplied. It was like looking into a bright light for too long, or at a camera flash and getting spotty vision for a few moments after. This however was different, it felt odd. I put my head down and closed my eyes but the spots worsened and my neck started to sweat a little. Soon I couldn’t see much but black patches and whatever was left of my vision in the background. The teacher had called my dad to collect me who was nearby working. When he arrived my vision had started to improve but since he was there to bring me home, I went gladly. The spots continued to lessen, I could see more clearly, but as soon as the last few disappeared something else happened. An aching feeling crept through my temples while my skin started to shiver. Then an instant pain hit me above one eye and didn’t leave for hours. That’s how my migraine appeared that day and that is exactly how they have stayed for the last 10 years.
They work like clockwork and for me it seems that stress (post stress really) is the only trigger. I don’t know what I could have been stressed about that day in art, it was a long time ago, but in the years since I’ve gathered enough examples to know that stress is the main cause. I have what’s called migraine with aura. Out of all of the people who suffer from migraines those who have aura before or with their migraines account for about 20%.
Studies have shown those that have migraine with aura have double the risk of suffering from the most common type of stroke. Aura is the word given for neurological disturbances in the brain that affect your vision, your muscles and your sensitivity to light for example. These disturbances affect the blood vessels in the brain which increases the risk of clotting.
As I got older and reached my twenties migraines had really become a problem for me. Their strength was growing as I was and the more stress I went through the more I got. Usual over the counter treatments did nothing and strong painkillers I was prescribed didn’t help much either. Painkillers don’t help with prevention or help to stop the attack when it comes. All they do is slightly ease the pain that comes with it or more often they do nothing. I needed something to help prevent the attack rather than easing it.
My worst experience ended with a visit to A&E and a What to do post concussion letter. I was waiting for a friend of mine to finish her presentation in a small classroom. I had been feeling stressed about a different assignment. While waiting my turn and reading over my presentation I noticed spots dotting the letters on the page in front of me. Trying not to think about it I stood up and took my position at the front of the class. I started to read, still trying to ignore my increasing loss of vision. Looking back I don’t know how I thought I’d manage it.
I don’t remember much after that. Apparently I stopped speaking completely and then collapsed, hitting my head off the radiator on the way down. I had never been standing up while getting a migraine with aura and wouldn’t recommend it! I woke up with people staring
down at me thinking I’d fainted with nerves; even more embarrassing. The positive was that the impact knocked the migraine out of my head. The headache stopped but the growth of the lump on my head did not.
After that lovely day I decided to meet with my doctor to review medication. A nasal spray (Imigran) was prescribed and at a higher dosage to cope with the whole potential blackout situation. This at least would work as a preventative and try to stop the migraine developing once taken at the first sign of the attack. And it did work, more than a few times, but it didn’t last. Soon it had little or no effect on the migraines. Eventually I stopped buying them.
Besides not having any real effect on me they cost €15 euro per spray bottle which could only be used once.
Then I tried CBD oil. I woke up on a Sunday morning washed, dressed and then noticed the spots. I felt a little off in the shower and then I knew why. I had no medication as I had stopped buying Imigran and had no strong painkillers with me at the time. Panicking as my family were driving a two hour journey to Dublin to visit me for the day the spots intensified as my stress levels did. My boyfriend had a vaporizer with some CBD oil in it and told me to try it quickly. He had told me before that he had read articles about the links between the oil and easing migraines but I had little faith in anything so I didn’t really believe it would work at the time. But I had to try something or else I would be in bed all day with an ice pack on my head.
I vaped the oil consistently for a good 10-15 mins. Expecting nothing to happen, I remember thinking it was probably pointless doing this. But I was very wrong. Halfway through vaping the spots in my eyes started to disappear. One by one they went away and my vision came back slowly. I continued to vape because I couldn’t believe something might actually be working that wasn’t a prescribed medication. The spots vanished completely after the 15 mins. So I waited for the pain to start in my head. Usually it comes with a bang the minute the spots go, but instead I got a dull ache above my right eye exactly where I get migraines. The pain was very much bearable unlike my normal migraine pain and it stayed like that. I could walk around and do things as normal almost straight away. This was the first time in my life that I could continue on with the day after an attack. No bed and no darkness needed. I did wear sunglasses for a while to make sure my eyes weren’t triggered again by any bright lights but other than that I was pleasantly gobsmacked.
I started using Dr. Hemp Me’s 3% CBD oil and recently increased to 5% just taking less drops. Typically I take 1-2 drops a day usually in the morning to help manage stress and reduce the onset of a migraine. If I do get a migraine (which is a lot less often now) I take 3-4 drops at the first sign. I also have CBD vape oil to keep with me as it can be quicker to work if an attack happens suddenly. Thankfully I take no medication and use only CBD oil to manage migraines. In addition to being cheaper to buy than Imigran it is a natural supplement coming from the hemp plant. Enough chemicals from painkillers and sprays like Imigran have been put into my body over the years. Who knows what damage they could do in the long run.
Now I have a natural and effective oil that I can take everyday without worry.