Studies Show Medical Cannabis Treats Migraines Effectively

For people with chronic migraine and cluster headaches, medical cannabis may be a safer, more natural substitute to powerful prescription medicines.
According to a study that was recently published in the journal Pharmacotherapy, utilizing the proper kind and dosage of medicinal cannabis could help people with persistent headaches manage their symptoms.

The study’s goal is outlined in its title, “Effects of Medical Marijuana on Migraine Headache Frequency in an Adult Population.” The possible effects of cannabinoids on serotonin in the central nervous system suggest that marijuana may be a therapeutic alternative, although there are presently no clinical trials that show the benefits of marijuana on people with migraine headaches. The goal of this study was to examine how medical marijuana affected the frequency of migraine headaches on a monthly basis.

The study, led by senior author Laura Borgelt, Pharm.D., F.C.C.P., examined 120 migraine sufferers who received medicinal marijuana treatment between January 2010 and September 2014. Cluster headaches and migraines decreased from ten to less than five episodes per month in those participants, according to the study.

People who get incapacitating migraines have endured many long years. Many of them assert that medicinal cannabis lessened their pain, but this study is the first of its kind to provide patients and healthcare professionals with more comprehensive knowledge on the matter.

Despite the fact that more than 20 states in America have legalized medical marijuana, the study did point out that not all migraineurs will get relief from their symptoms from this drug. According to the study, 3 individuals reported that using cannabis made their headache worse, while 15 subjects reported no relief from their pain as a result of doing so.

According to Borgelt, “the patients’ ability to function and feel better improved significantly. Marijuana has potential advantages and disadvantages, just like any other drug. People need to be aware that medical marijuana use can have negative consequences.

However, the study’s conclusion, which reads, “Medical marijuana usage was associated with a decrease in migraine headache frequency,” speaks for itself. To further understand the effects of medical marijuana on migraine headache therapy and prophylaxis, prospective studies should be carried out to investigate a cause-and-effect relationship and the usage of various marijuana strains, formulations, and dosages.

Even more recently, it was stated that marijuana are equally effective as a preventive for migraine episodes as other pharmacological treatments at the European Academy of Neurology Congress in Amsterdam recently.

The efficacy of cannabis in the acute treatment of migraines and cluster headaches was examined by a research team under the direction of Dr. Maria Nicolodi. Finding the dosage necessary to adequately treat the participants was no simple feat for the researchers. When they did, they put it to the test on 48 people who suffered from recurrent migraines and discovered that 200 mg of THC and CBD were required to experience any relief. When that dose was given, the test subjects’ discomfort significantly decreased by 55%.

Phase 2 of the same trial involved giving 79 chronic migraine sufferers a daily dose of either 200mg of the THC-CBD combination or 25mg of amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant that is frequently used to treat migraines.

The results of this study were conclusive as well, as the TCH/CBD combination produced somewhat better results than amitriptyline (40.1%) with a 40.4 percent decrease in episodes, however the severity and frequency of cluster headache attacks only significantly decreased.

“We were able to demonstrate that cannabis are an alternative to established medications in migraine prophylaxis,” the study’s conclusion states. However, they should only be used in patients with a long history of migraines for the acute treatment of cluster headaches.

The two studies presented clearly show that the hypothesis that medical cannabis relieves many people’s migraine headaches is gaining ground. In the expectation that thousands of migraine sufferers could use medicinal cannabis as their go-to when the migraines come, it is hoped that much more research and clinical trials will be conducted.


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