Cannabis Is Now The Best Solution For Migraine Headaches According To 3 New Medical Studies

This article was originally published on Cannabis.net and appears here with permission.

Migraine sufferers drop prescription drugs at record pace and switch to cannabis for headache pain!

Ask anyone who’s ever suffered from chronic migraines, and they can tell you that these headaches can rob you of quality of life. Migraines are by no means just any type of headache: they can result in symptoms such as irritability, nausea, and fatigue on top of the migraine pain. These symptoms, in turn, can be triggered by simple things such as lights, movements, and sound.

While some individuals experience acute migraines, there are many who suffer from chronic or long-lasting migraine episodes. These can last for several hours, making it impossible to continue with work and play. Migraines are also extremely common, affecting some 15% of the worldwide population.

Since there are so many different factors that can cause migraines, it can be difficult to treat. There are many things that can cause migraines, such as hormonal fluctuations (for women), alcohol use, lack of sleep, side effect of medications, and even genetics. There are a range of specialized pharmaceutical medications that have been developed to treat migraines, such as beta blockers and triptans such as eletriptan, sumatriptan, triptan, rizatriptan, and many more.

However, these migraine medications also may come with side effects. Triptans, in particular, are commonly associated with limb heaviness, fatigue, tightness in the jaw, chest, or throat, and myalgias.

That said, cannabis has been shown to be as effective as prescription medications without the side effects, or are even more effective!

The good news is that cannabis has been shown to be extremely beneficial for migraine sufferers. The human body has several endocannabinoid receptors, many of which are concentrated in the central nervous system as well as the brain. When you have a migraine and medicate with cannabis, the cannabinoids bind with these receptors to provide relief.

There are several studies that back up these claims, too.

In March 2024, the results of a study conducted by researchers from Yale University’s School of Medicine was published. The investigators polled feedback from 1,373 patients at a tertiary headache clinic, with less than a third of them reporting that they are current cannabis users.

For the cannabis consumers, a majority said that it either improved symptoms or at least reduced the frequency of migraines. Meanwhile, 63% of respondents said that cannabis consumption also helped them decrease or completely eliminate their prescription medications for migraines. “This is the largest study to date to document cannabis product usage patterns and perceived benefits for migraine management in a clinical headache patient sample” concluded the study authors. “A majority of patients surveyed reported using cannabis products for migraine management and cited perceived improvements in migraine characteristics, clinical features, and associated risk factors” they added.

Other Studies Back Up Cannabis’ Safety And Efficacy For Migraines

Researchers from the University of California at San Diego published results of a clinical trial last February 2024. The trials involved analyzing the safety and efficacy of herbal cannabis for 92 patients who suffered from persistent migraines. The cannabis flower used for the trial contained both CBD and THC.

The patients were randomly given vaporized cannabis in various ratios, containing a range of THC and CBD, as well as placebo after they experienced migraines. They researchers found that out of the 4 cannabis chemotypes, the vaporized cannabis with both THC and CBD were the most effective.

“Vaporized 6% THC + 11% CBD cannabis flower was superior to placebo for pain relief, pain freedom, and MBS [most bothersome symptom] freedom at 2 hours as well as 24-hour sustained pain freedom and sustained MBS freedom and 48-hour sustained MBS freedom” said the authors. In addition, they found that the THC/CBD flower was more effective than placebo when it came to providing relief from photophobia, or light sensitivity, as well as sound sensitivity caused by migraines.

It's also good to note that the participants did not report any adverse side effects during the trial. “Future research should include multicenter studies and long-term studies of benefits and risks with repeated use” concluded the investigators.

There are also studies that validate the safety of cannabis in treating migraines. For one, let’s take a review conducted by investigators at the California Institute of Behavioral Neurosciences and Psychology. The investigators analyzed 9 recent studies which assessed more than 5,600 subjects.

“All the studies showed encouraging findings on the therapeutic effects of medicinal marijuana in migraine treatment. Additionally, medical marijuana is well-tolerated with fewer side effects and is safe to use in migraine patients” the authors reported.

“The studies demonstrated that medical marijuana has a significant clinical response by reducing the length and frequency of migraines. No severe adverse effects were noted. Due to its effectiveness and convenience, medical marijuana therapy may be helpful for patients suffering from migraines” they concluded.

Conclusion

If you suffer from migraines and want to give cannabis a try, check out options available in your neighborhood dispensary. Based on research, cannabis flower and other products that contain both THC and CBD are the most effective. However, cannabis isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and there is no standardized dosage recommendation for migraine patients just yet.

You may have to experiment with various products and doses to find one that works well for you. Of course, you can also ask your doctor or budtender to provide recommendations. Be open and you might just find the perfect cannabis product for your medical needs.

This article is from an external unpaid contributor. It does not represent Benzinga's reporting and has not been edited for content or accuracy.

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