Studies On The Effectiveness Of Cannabis For Migraines
The field of research on the consumption of medicinal cannabis is still very recent. However, as laws become more flexible around cannabis use for therapeutic purposes, we begin to see a substantial increase in studies. Studies show that medicinal cannabis has overall positive effects, including how it can possibly help with migraines.
A retrospective analysis of the effects of cannabis among people affected by migraines was published in 2016. The researchers looked at 121 adults with the primary diagnosis of migraine headache, who had been recommended by their doctors for migraine drugs or medical marijuana.
The researchers results suggested that medical cannabis had been able to significantly decrease the number of migraine attacks per month, from 10.4 to 4.6. However, they recognized that more study is needed to analyze the exact cause and effect relationship between migraines and medical cannabis. They also suggested researching different strains, formulations, and doses of marijuana to better understand its effects in preventing and treating migraines.
In another study published at the European Academy of Neurology Congress in 2017, Italian researchers also defended the use of medicinal cannabis as a viable possibility for the future of migraine treatment and prevention.
Blue Dream Cannabis Strain
Blue dream is a high THC strain with a legendary status on the U.S west coast because of its rich medicinal value.
This high in THC content sativa-dominant hybrid strain does not have substantial sedative effects and is therefore popular as a treatment for pain and depression .
Myrcene is the most abundant terpene found in this strain, with its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties making it a good choice for headaches and migraines.
Should I Consider Cannabis As A Treatment For Migraine
At present time, there is not enough evidence to support the use of cannabis for migraine. There is also no evidence to guide which THC/CBD content to use. If some cannabis products help with anxiety and sleep, the effect on migraine could be positive.
But there are multiple risks of cannabis use that should be considered before deciding to use it.
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Schedule A Doctor Appointment For Medical Marijuana In Boston Ma
If you are an adult Massachusetts resident who suffers from chronic migraines, and your current medication is failing to provide adequate relief, you may be an appropriate candidate for guided Cannabis therapy under Dr. Tishlers medical supervision. The states medical marijuana law, the Act for the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana, permits under Section 2 physicians to recommend medical Cannabis for various conditions as determined in writing, including disabling headaches and migraines. Moreover, several conditions which can produce headaches and migraines, such as Parkinsons disease and multiple sclerosis, are explicitly named as qualifying conditions within the Act.
Please do not hesitate to contact Inhale MD for a confidential discussion about migraine relief with medical marijuana. For a consultation with Dr. Tishler, call Inhale MD at 477-8886.
Facts About Cannabis And Headaches
Not a lot of research suggests that cannabis can cause migraine headaches, and especially not after smoking a single joint. The studies that have been done on marijuana causing headaches, including one done in 1998, dont link cannabis use to the onset of a headache after smoking.
However, both the study from 1998 and the one done in 1985 included very small subject groups, so it wouldnt be accurate to base the conclusion on those studies. On the other hand, various studies have concluded that weed may help treat migraine headaches.
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Cannabis Reduces Headache And Migraine Pain By Nearly Half
- Washington State University
- Inhaled cannabis reduces self-reported headache severity by 47.3% and migraine severity by 49.6%, according to a recent study. The study also found no evidence that cannabis caused ‘overuse headache,’ a pitfall of more conventional treatments. The researchers did see patients using larger doses of cannabis over time, indicating they may be developing tolerance to the drug.
Inhaled cannabis reduces self-reported headache severity by 47.3% and migraine severity by 49.6%, according to a recent study led by Carrie Cuttler, a Washington State University assistant professor of psychology.
The study, published online recently in the Journal of Pain, is the first to use big data from headache and migraine patients using cannabis in real time. Previous studies have asked patients to recall the effect of cannabis use in the past. There has been one clinical trial indicating that cannabis was better than ibuprofen in alleviating headache, but it used nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid drug.
“We were motivated to do this study because a substantial number of people say they use cannabis for headache and migraine, but surprisingly few studies had addressed the topic,” said Cuttler, the lead author on the paper.
Purple Kush Cannabis Strain
Hailing from California, this pure indica strain has a sweet and subtle aroma that produces a blanket of euphoria that can help to reduce the symptoms of migraine headaches.
This relaxing indica marijuana strain is the result of a cross between Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani. Like many indicas, the aroma of this plant is quite earthy with sweet overtones typical of the Kush family.
Purple Kush contains a standard serving of THC at around 15% and is said to be an ideal stress killer. This marijuana strains relaxation effects are said to be long-lasting and can also help to remove any stress and sleeplessness in the body. Purple Kush has high levels of pinene and myrcene, thought to be responsible for the strains anti-inflammatory properties. Beta-caryophyllene is helpful with mood-related disorders such as depression and anxiety.
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I Heard About Thc And Cbd Are They Different
They are very different. They act on different receptors and have different actions. Actually, CBD has more than a dozen chemical actions on our brains receptors, some may be in theory positive for migraine, and other may be negative. THC and CBD influence one another as some of their effects are opposite.
Are There Scientific Reasons That Could Support The Use Of Cannabis For Migraine
Yes. The cannabinoid system does regulate pain, emotions and sleep. Acting on the cannabinoid system may in fact influence every neurological disease because it is a generic regulator of our brain networks. The problem is that this system is very adaptable, extremely complex, and the final result of modulating many systems is not always clear.
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What Benefits Might I Expect For My Migraines With Cannabis
Medicinal cannabis is still considered an experimental medication, and its effects vary from person to person.
However, the evidence for migraine sufferers suggests that medicinal cannabis may help reduce how often they occur, as well as how bad they are when they happen.
From experience though, it is unlikely to get rid of migraines entirely.
has been mapped out. Whilst there are still many details that we dont know, we have found that this system helps the body keep in check how different nerves and chemicals in the body work. There is some suggestion that this system can be
*Rhyne et al, 2016
What Is The Process To Obtain A Medical Cannabis Prescription
The laws that allow cannabis for medical purposes in Canada currently are called Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations . Patients must first meet with a physician or other licensed medical provider and have cannabis recommended for medical purposes.
Dosing cannabis depends on the patients physiology, prior cannabis exposure, the cannabis strain and the formulation. The average amount used for medical purposes is 1-3g of dried leaf per day.
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Symptoms And Side Effects Of Migraines
Migraines tend to start during childhood or early adulthood. They often progress through four stages which include:
You might not experience all four of these stages. A couple of days before you get a migraine though, you might experience subtle warning signs. These symptoms include:
- Drastic mood change
- Frequent yawning
- Increased urination and thirst
Some migraines are accompanied by extreme sensitivity to sound and light as well as nausea and vomiting. Some people get a warning sign that a migraine is imminent. They receive an aura or visual sign that comes in the form of a blind spot, flashes of light or tingling in the leg or arm. Auras can sometimes be sensory, verbal or motor disturbances. You might feel like someone is touching you, for example, or that your muscles are weak.
These symptoms tend to come on gradually, build up over a few minutes and last anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes. Migraine aura examples include:
- Vision loss or blind spots
- Visual phenomena like bright spots, various shapes or flashes of light
- Trouble speaking
- Sensitivity to sound and light
Because of the debilitating symptoms of migraines, they can be a financial burden for migraine sufferers. Healthcare and productivity costs from migraines are estimated at $36 billion in the U.S., while the cost of treating chronic headaches alone is more than $5.4 billion. Most patients with migraines more than 90 percent are also unable to work when having an attack.
How Does Cannabis Work In The Body
The endocannabinoid system is located throughout the human body. SEC is a biological system made up of endocannabinoids , as well as cannabinoid receptor proteins found in the central nervous system and brain. The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in regulating many physiological functions such as pain, digestion, appetite, and mood.
And this is where marijuana comes in this plant contains phytocannabinoids, like THC and CBD, which also bind to our bodys receptors, in the same way as endocannabinoids. This suggests that cannabis compounds influence the way the SEC regulates physiological functions, including pain control. Next, we will analyze the research that delves into the topic of cannabis and migraines.
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Is There Research Showing A Benefit Of Cannabis For Migraine
No. The only study available at present time was performed in Colorado. It is of very poor quality. On the surface, it reports an improvement of 85% in migraine frequency with cannabis, but looking more closely at the results, only 20% of people suspected a benefit for migraine frequency. Only 10% found that cannabis was helpful to treat an attack. More research is definitely needed.
What Types Of Marijuana Are There And How Do You Know Which One To Use
As discussed at the beginning of the blog above, there are many types of cannabis chemovars that vary widely in the composition of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds. These components work synergistically to produce wide variations in benefits, side effects, and chemovar characteristics. Different chemovars have different ratios of these compounds, and thus have different characteristics.
The older cultivar classification system was based on strain appearance, smell, and clinical effects. Cannabis Sativa strains were generally described by patients as uplifting, energetic, creative, euphoria, spacey, cerebrally-focused effects, and better for day use, while cannabis Indica strains were typically described as calming, relaxing, sedative, full body effects such as body buzz, and better for night use. Cannabis ruderalis strains were considered predominantly or purely high CBD without any real clinical use effects.
The older cultivar classification system has evolved to the newer and more scientific chemovar classification system, and is divided into type I-III chemovars. This system allows medical users to find a chemical profile better matching their pharmacological needs.
Type III chemovars are CBD predominant. They are low THC , and high CBD . They have low to no intoxication side effects. There is little to no cognitive impairment for most, but there can be possible mild effects in sensitive users, depending on the THC content.
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How Does Marijuana Work To Manage Migraines
Marijuana affects your endocannabinoid system. The body makes endocannabinoids naturally. These tiny protein loops affect your perception of pain. The endocannabinoids bind to receptors in the brain and spread throughout your body. The cannabinoids in marijuana will bind to endocannabinoid receptors. There is evidence that marijuana also reduces general body pain, nausea, anxiety, and muscle spasms.
Another way cannabis is thought to manage migraines is by reducing the inflammation of the dura mater, the protective cover of your brain. When this cover is inflamed following infections and some brain disorders, the inflammatory substances trigger a migraine. By reducing inflammation, marijuana reduces the number of inflammatory substances and consequently cures or prevents a migraine.
Another mounting body of evidence contributing to answers on CBD can help with headaches points that anandamide deficiency is one cause of migraines. Anandamide is among the two cannabinoids that are naturally produced by the brain. It reduces the activation of the brains pain centers and inflammation. When reduced, you will suffer from an increased perception of pain and inflammation, elements that trigger a migraine. Owing to the similarity of the chemical structures of THC and anandamide, marijuana can reverse the effects of anandamide deficiency.
Using Marijuana For Migraines
There are thousands of cannabis varieties out there, each with a unique chemical profile that contains not only different amounts of THC and CBD, but also other minor cannabinoids and also different terpenes. This makes finding the best marijauna strain for migraine a potentially challenging endeavour. But with the help of the current scientific literature, you can at least narrow down your possibilities.
As we can see from the medical research on cannabis and migraines, THC has more evidence as a migraine treatment. And when it comes to terpenes, in his rich review on marijuana for migraines, Russo suggested BCP and pinene as potential terpenes that could alleviate migraines thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties.
And indeed, in a more recent study, migraine patients testified that the chemovar OG Shark was their preferred choice. This THC dominant chemovar is characterized as BCP dominant, with myrcene as the secondary terpene.
So it seems scientifically speaking, if youre trying to choose a marijuana strain for migraines, the evidence supports the use of high THC/ low CBD with BCP as the prime terpene, and myrcene as the secondary one.
Note that a lot of the scientific knowledge we have about cannabis components such as cannabinoids and terpenes is based on preclinical research ie not on human subjects. Though they are mostly defined as GRAS , you should consult your cannabis physician before choosing your treatment.
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What Else It Could Be
Migraine and sinus headaches are commonly confused with each other because the two conditions share many of the same symptoms which makes it hard to distinguish one from the other. In fact, nasal symptoms are experienced with many types of migraines. Cluster headaches too are mistaken to be migraine headaches as they have overlapping symptoms such as a one-sided headache. However, cluster headaches arrive and depart rather swiftly unlike migraines that can last for several hours to days.
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Learn The Cannabis Basics
Once youve surveyed the neighborhood for local dispensaries, its a good idea to educate yourself on some of the different strains and products they have available. When treating a medical condition, its particularly important to learn about strains, delivery methods, and dosing.
Luckily, Leafly has an answer to almost every cannabis question you might have. Here are a few of the most common, along with a resource chock-full of answers.
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What Side Effects And Symptoms Of Rebound Headaches Can Medical Marijuana Treat
Researchers have been studying medical marijuana and its cannabinoids for other conditions, and marijuana shows effectiveness in treating:
Researchers also associate these conditions with the experience of headaches qualitatively and mechanistically. They find it reasonable to believe the effectiveness of medical weed and cannabinoids can carry over to headache disorder treatment as well.
For instance, the painkilling properties of cannabis that can be seen in neuropathic pain treatment will likely help with chronic headaches. The antiemetic properties seen in chemotherapy-related nausea treatment may also help with nausea caused by migraines, and the antispasmodic properties seen in multiple sclerosis treatments may work well in muscle strain-inducing tension headaches.
Medical weeds cannabinoids go into your body when you use it and look for the receptors. These cannabinoids change the workings of these receptors, calming down pain signals.
- Other health problems
The cannabinoid, THC, is the main reason cannabis is popular. Its the compound that gives you the high or relaxed state you get after using the herb. However, cannabidiol is the other compound in cannabis helping to ease pain without the high feeling. CBD is now legal in several states to use for medicinal purposes such as fighting fatigue, nausea, pain and trouble sleeping.
Current Treatments Available And Their Side Effects
Treatments for acute migraines may vary from prescription drugs to over-the-counter medications like:
- Ibuprofen, also known as Motrin or Advil
- Acetaminophen or Tylenol
Triptans are also used for migraine relief and include:
- Temperature change
- Hot flashes
Some medications are ideal for home use, while others require you to visit the emergency department or your doctors office. Traveling to the doctor or emergency room during an attack, however, is difficult for patients without someone to accompany them.
Other available treatments for migraines include:
Many doctors recommend tracking how often your migraines occur by using a digital headache diary to log your triggers, pain levels and symptoms. By doing this, you can help identify any potential patterns that come before your migraine and identify factors that could be contributing to the development of your migraines. These factors can help both you and your doctor develop a treatment plan.
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