Caffeine can both cause or relieve headaches, because of its ability to narrow vessels and restrict blood flow.
There is currently not much research pertaining to CBD’s effect on headaches, yet research on cannabis for headaches showed promise with patients experiencing a decrease in both the severity and frequency of symptoms with extended cannabis use.
The relationship between caffeine and headaches is a tumultuous one. For some people, a dose of caffeine can provide substantial relief in the midst of a migraine attack. For others, caffeine does the opposite and triggers attacks. Many others walk a fine line; the right amount of coffee can alleviate headaches while too much or too little can cause them.
How Caffeine Causes Headaches
Caffeine can both cause and relieve headaches. This is because caffeine narrows vessels and restricts blood flow, which can be either a good or a bad thing, depending on the current state of said blood vessels. For instance, when exposed to migraine triggers, the brain signals pain centers which in turn prompt the production of chemical messengers. These messengers induce the expansion of blood vessels surrounding the brain, resulting in increased blood flow. As the blood vessels expand with blood, they become tender and start to stretch the nerves around them. This whole process signals the trigeminal system, which controls the pain receptors in the face and head.
As an anti-inflammatory, caffeine can help shrink the blood vessels and reduce blood flow, thereby alleviating pain. In fact, caffeine is so effective at its job that individuals experience 40% more headache relief when they combine the substance with a pain medication. However, as they say, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
As the body grows used to the effects of caffeine, the blood vessels will begin to expand again. This expansion, as detailed above, can lead to pain and tenderness.
How CBD Oil Helps
Now that you understand how caffeine affects the brain, you may want to know what you can do to alleviate symptoms of caffeine-induced headaches. Though much research still needs to be done, CBD oil has significant promise as a long-term treatment option. Early studies on cannabis for headaches found that patients experienced a decrease in both the severity and frequency of symptoms with extended cannabis use. In some patients, headaches disappeared entirely, even after cessation of marijuana use. As a bonus, cannabis has other notable benefits, including its ability to mollify the nausea and anxiety often associated with headaches.