CBD products have exploded in availability and popularity over the last year. Despite their popularity people still have many questions about these products, one being the difference between CBD and THC. 

Both marijuana and hemp come from the cannabis sativa family, but they are significantly different in chemical composition. More than 100 chemical cannabinoids are found in cannabis, but the amount of these cannabinoids differs dramatically between hemp and marijuana. Marijuana’s most common cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and reaches levels as high as 30%. Hemps most common cannabinoid is Cannabidiol (CBD) and has levels of THC are less than 0.3%.

Due to their chemical arrangement THC and CBD make your body feel differently. THC is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, what makes people feel “high.” CBD doesn’t cause that high, instead it is thought to work with other elements in the body linked to feelings of well-being. Thus leading us to another common question, what are the risks and benefits of using CBD for migraines?

Unfortunately, there is a lack of scientific evidence or research on CBD as an effective treatment for migraine. However, it may still be a beneficial option for some migraine patients with associated joint and muscle pain, as well as associated nausea and vomiting. 

There is a concern for lack of regulation of CBD, it’s important to ensure that you are using a pure product. Make sure the product actually has CBD or cannabidiol in it. Many times products will only list hemp seeds, hempseed oil, or cannabis sativa seed oil, these ingredients aren’t the same as CBD. It is also important to look into third party testing and be aware of CBD concentration, how much are you getting per serving. Also, pay attention to possible additional ingredients for preservation or flavor. In conclusion, CBD oil may be beneficial for migraine sufferers but speak to a provider and specialist first before starting treatment. 

Caroline Pruski, NP