Pure CBD for Migraine Relief: CBD Isolate
The purest form of CBD you can buy is called CBD isolate. It comes from an extraction process that removes all of the THC, other cannabinoids, terpenes, and nutrients that are found within the cannabis plant. What you are left with is an odorless and tasteless powder that is over 99 percent pure CBD.
“Should I use pure CBD or some other form of hemp extract that includes multiple nutrients and cannabinoids?” That is a question many people are asking and perhaps that’s why you are here. There are a few things you need to know before making a decision. Let’s jump right in.
(This article is about pure CBD versus other forms of hemp extract. It briefly touches on the research behind why CBD is the best cannabinoid for migraine relief. If you want to know more about the science behind CBD and migraine, read this article or check out my new book Hemp for Migraine.)
8 Things You Should Know About CBD Isolate
8. CBD Versus THC
CBD and THC are both found within the flowers of the cannabis plant. THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis that gets people “high.” While the amount of THC found in hemp is too low to cause psychoactive effects, it can cause drowsiness or mental sluggishness in people that are extremely sensitive.
CBD doesn’t generally come with side effects. Even doses as high as 1500 mg of CBD per day have repeatedly been shown to be well tolerated in humans. On the other hand, 1500 mg of THC would make you float through to an alternate universe—or so I’ve been told.
While both CBD and THC have medicinal benefits, there are many people that can’t have THC in their systems. Some people are too sensitive to THC, others have jobs that don’t allow THC consumption, and some people just don’t like the idea of THC. For all of the above reasons, pure CBD may be a desirable option for migraine prevention and relief.
7. CBD Versus the Entourage Effect
There’s no doubt that the entourage effect can produce additional medicinal benefits when compared to isolated CBD. The entourage effect is the combination of CBD and other cannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, healthy fats, and nutrients found within the hemp plant. One study found that a mix of CBD, THC, and other cannabis nutrients outperformed amitriptyline in migraine prevention. It was a breakthrough in migraine research. The study found that the entourage effect also provided pain relief during migraines.
There are many reasons why the entourage effect may be effective. CBD counteracts the negative effects of THC. This helps people get the anti-inflammatory effects of THC without the psychoactive effects. It also helps control other side effects of THC, such as paranoia, which some people experience from marijuana.
There are over 80 other cannabinoids, and some of them have similar medicinal benefits to CBD. The same can be said about terpenes and healthy fats. The research shows that these compounds have migraine prevention effects that may include anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-seizure, and anti-nausea properties. However, this leaves us with almost as many questions as answers.
Migraine researchers acknowledge that the entourage effect is found to be more effective than isolated compounds alone, but they don’t know which compounds are responsible for the entourage effect. Most of the cannabis and hemp used in research is not tested for other cannabinoids and terpenes. So, there can be positive research that says the whole cannabis plant is more effective than pure CBD, but who knows what cannabinoids were in the strain being tested? There are hundreds of cannabis strains and they all contain different levels of nutrients.
Here’s my concern with all of the entourage effect research. The research says CBD is better when combined with other nutrients. Ok, great. How about a higher dose of CBD compared to the entourage effect? There’s no migraine research on high doses of isolated CBD. Doses of 100 mg to 600 mg of isolated CBD per day have been successfully used in seizure research. Seizure medications are used to treat migraines. Yet, we don’t have a clinical trial of high doses of CBD used on migraine patients.
A high dose of isolated CBD may be as effective at treating migraines as a full-spectrum hemp extract that includes the entourage effect. We won’t know until the research comes out. Many people are using isolated CBD for migraines, and it’s only a matter of time before it’s properly studied.
6. Isolated CBD Dose for Migraine
What’s the best dose of pure CBD for migraine prevention and relief? It’s not yet known. CBD doses are individual to you, and there are many factors that play a role. The goal of taking CBD is to boost the body’s natural endocannabinoid system to fight migraines. You can check out a chapter on this subject from my new book here. Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is affected by CBD differently, and there are many factors that play a role in boosting the endocannabinoid system.
A dose of full-spectrum hemp extract is likely to fall between 15 mg and 100 mg per day. You probably need a higher dose of pure CBD than a full-spectrum hemp extract. Isolated CBD is not as effective without the entourage effect. Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer in research. Epilepsy research typically uses 100 mg to 600 mg of isolated CBD and may also help migraine. However, people are reporting benefits from significantly lower doses. I would recommend starting with a low dose of isolated CBD, such as 15 mg, and working your way up under the guidance of a health-care professional. You may end up using a dose of CBD isolate that is closer to 100 mg per day or even more. You can read more about dosing here.
5. The Best Way to Take CBD for Migraine
You have a few options: oral, sublingual, vaporization, or topical use. I believe that sublingual is the best overall method because CBD quickly dissolves under the tongue and stays in your system for a long time. Sublingual CBD is a good option for both migraine prevention and relief, which you can read about here.
4. Mix Your Own CBD
If you purchase isolated CBD, you’ll need to mix it into oil before consuming it. This is a cost-effective way to go. Reputable companies, such as Bluebird Botanicals, sell 1000 mg of isolated CBD for just $25. Funnel the CBD into a 1-ounce tincture, add MCT oil, shake like a Polaroid, and bam: you’ll have a high-quality CBD oil. Each full dropper holds about 1.5 ml or about 50 mg of isolated CBD. Half a dropper is about 25 mg of isolated CBD and you’ll have 40 doses in each bottle. That’s a deal for real CBD. Use it sublingually.
(I have no affiliation with Bluebird, but I have verified through a third-party lab that they are accurate and pure. I’ll post more on reviewing products soon).
FYI, you can also use your CBD isolate to make a luxurious migraine bath bomb.
3. Fake CBD
The majority of CBD on the market is either mislabeled or fake, which is widely known by the researchers and people in the CBD industry.  Make sure the CBD company you choose uses third-party testing and is reputable. I’ve started purchasing CBD products and sending them to a third-party lab for testing. I’ll have reviews coming soon that show which products are real and which are fake.
If you decide to go with a full-spectrum hemp extract, you should be even more skeptical. The majority of CBD products are mislabeled. I believe that an even larger portion of products that claim to be “full-spectrum” are lying. There are good hemp extract companies out there, but many people are buying overpriced hemp extracts that contain nothing more than isolated CBD. There’s also a chance that a full-spectrum hemp extract may contain terpenes and cannabinoids, but not enough to have a medicinal benefit. You need to look at the third-party test results to verify which cannabinoids and terpenes it includes and at what levels.
2. Isolated CBD is Cheap
Pure CBD is cheap or at least cheaper than a full-spectrum hemp extract. Pure CBD can be produced faster and with fewer toxins than a hemp extract. Let me explain. Both marijuana and hemp are a form of cannabis, although hemp contains low amounts of THC. Cannabis grows like a weed: fast. It sucks up nutrients from soil fast, but it also sucks up toxins such as lead.
This isn’t just confined to the cannabis plant. Nearly all vegetables have low levels of natural metals such as lead. But, if a vegetable is grown in an area that has lead-contaminated soil, the vegetable should be deemed toxic. This risk is higher for the fast-growing cannabis plant. There are also mold toxins that can grow easier on a cannabis flower than say on a tomato.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t completely safe hemp extracts on the market. These risks are completely avoided by companies that use good manufacturing processes. This is why third-party testing is critical. It will show cannabinoid and terpene levels as well as the absence of toxic levels of metals or mold. Good companies pay a whole lot of money to make sure this process is done correctly.
CBD isolate completely removes all of the other nutrients and impurities from the cannabis plant. A company can use a lower quality of hemp because it doesn’t need the other cannabinoids and terpenes. Plus, all of the impurities can easily be stripped away. You’re left with a CBD powder that is pure, tasteless, odorless, and easy to store or ship. And now that hemp is completely legal, we will start to see large quantities of CBD isolate produced for a fraction of the cost of a full-spectrum hemp extract. For example, the Democratic Republic of Congo is now shipping pure CBD to Canada at a cost that is 96.34 percent off the current market rate of CBD. Yes, CBD is about to get a whole lot cheaper for migraine sufferers.
1. Why CBD is The Best Cannabinoid for Migraine Relief
There are a number of cannabinoids and nutrients that are likely to help migraine sufferers, but none are as established in research as CBD.
Multiple studies show that injury to the brain causes oxidative stress and drastically increases the risk of migraine. Oxidative stress is associated with nearly all migraine triggers and likely the cause of migraine. CBD is patented by the US government as a neuroprotectant and antioxidant (US Patent 6630507 B1). Oxidative stress triggers migraines and CBD gets rid of oxidative stress.
Seizure medication treats migraines, and there is substantial evidence that CBD has powerful anti-seizure properties.   CBD is currently saving the lives of epileptic children who would possibly die of seizures without CBD.
CBD is well known as a pain reliever with anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation triggers migraines. In many cases, CBD reduces the need for or eliminates the need for morphine.  Opiates such as morphine are often prescribed to migraine sufferers, although it is against migraine protocols because of their severe side effects. CBD is a better option.
Nausea is the telltale sign of a migraine and CBD is one of the most powerful anti-nausea treatments on Earth. CBD blocks the 5-HT3 receptor that triggers migraines. This research led to the development of Zofran, which is used to prevent nausea in emergency medicine. CBD can also help with gut health, which is essential for migraine prevention. CBD also helps with anxiety by raising serotonin levels, which is how many migraine treatments work.
The list goes on and on.
Get Some CBD
There are many nutrients found in the cannabis plant that
may help with migraines. If you decide to choose one, CBD is it. It has all the
makings of a top-notch migraine treatment and comes without any of the serious