Migraines are one of the most painful and debilitating conditions that people can experience. But the truly terrifying aspect of this prevalent neurological disease is that it affects 39 million men, women and children in the US, not to mention one billion people globally.
What is a Migraine?
A migraine is marked by intense head pain, nausea and vomiting. The side effects can also include sensitivity to light, sound and smells, as well as extreme fatigue. The good news is that there’s hope in sight for those who suffer from migraines: cannabis.
Cannabis has been used medicinally for centuries to manage chronic pain, nausea, migraines and seizures. As it turns out, this also includes migraines.
How Cannabis Can Help with Migraines
Since potentially dangerous prescription painkillers are the most common treatment for migraines, many people have turned to cannabis. It’s been found that cannabis use can relieve migraine symptoms.
The way it works is by activating endocannabinoid receptors in the brain cannabinoids regulate the flow of pain messages from the nerves to the brain.
Endocannabinoids are responsible for appetite, mood, memory and more. Anecdotal evidence highlights how cannabis even has the potential to prevent a migraine altogether by regulating hormone production. Between the cannabinoids and terpenes, the therapeutic effects of cannabis are pretty impressive.
According to Healthline, migraines may even be caused by an endocannabinoid deficiency. Since the endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates many physiological and cognitive processes, a lack of endocannabinoid production can cause an imbalance, resulting in an increased risk of health issues. This can include migraines.
The Benefits of Using Cannabis to Treat Migraines
Cannabis for migraine treatment is sometimes the better option. Traditional medicines tend to have various side effects, which can be unpleasant and even dangerous.
The use of cannabis as a treatment for migraines has been highlighted in many research studies over the years. One study involved patients inhaling and ingesting cannabis in various doses. The patients reported six fewer migraines per month with the addition of cannabis to their regimen.
During a clinical trial published in European Pharmaceutical Review, researchers analyzed cannabis use for preventing and relieving migraines. The results revealed medical marijuana’s efficacy for migraine treatment at a 200mg daily oral dose of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) was comparable to a 25mg daily dose of amitriptyline—with a limited likelihood of severe side effects.
Side Effects of Using Cannabis for Migraines
Medical cannabis for migraines isn’t totally free of issues. The side effects can include dizziness, nausea and vomiting. But this is tame compared to the potential side effects other pharmaceuticals can encourage.
The potential for addiction is also a concern. But, while this can happen, the truth of the matter is that most people who use medical cannabis don’t become addicted or dependent on the drug.
However, since cannabis is a viable option as an alternative to traditional pharmaceutical treatments, many doctors recommend this treatment option. The less severe side effects and lack of addictive qualities make medical cannabis worth trying for those suffering from migraines.