Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is highly regarded for its numerous benefits. From treating nausea to work as an analgesic and easing bad days at the office and more, the marijuana uses are countless.
Among all its benefits, one of the recently suggested ones is that marijuana can treat migraines as well. But does marijuana actually cure migraines? Can it help to treat these throbbing episodes? Here in this article, we will tell you everything about marijuana and migraines.
Before we jump right into the deeper details, bear in mind that this full guide is not intended to replace medical treatment, diagnosis, or prescription by a qualified healthcare provider. Any questions you have concerning a medical problem should be referred to a physician.
Chemical Composition of Marijuana
Cannabis contains more than 100 cannabinoid compounds, most of which are not even
revealed yet. The two of the most important compounds are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
While THC is linked to inducing euphoric effects and relax people, using CBD is mainly about feeling more relaxed. Besides these, Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabichromene (CBC) are some of the other compounds.
Note that often terms "marijuana" and "cannabis" are used alternatively. However, we usually use cannabis to refer to general products. On the other hand, the term marijuana is used to refer to cannabis flowers, leaves, seeds, and stems.
What Does the Research Say about THC Migraines?
Note that there is not much research regarding marijuana and migraines. That being said, there is uncertainty about research findings because they all used different forms and compounds of marijuana.
In 2016, research by the Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy was held and researchers examined 121 migraine sufferers to whom they administered medical marijuana with migraine medications.
Among the participants, 19.8% of the study subjects reported a reduction in migraine frequency and 11.6 percent reported relief in severe migraine headaches On the other hand, 11.6% reported negative impacts of the medication.
The side effects were not adverse since they only experienced fatigue and trouble supervising the marijuana drug timing and intensity.
Another recent study in the Journal of Pain revealed that people who suffer from migraine episodes and other forms of chronic migraines might find that consuming cannabis reduces discomfort by approximately half.
Although, the researchers further stated that some of the study subjects were using marijuana before studies, and chances are they might be biased about the drug use for migraines.
All things considered, there is a clear pattern and, indeed, marijuana does help with migraines depending on the patient and on the medical history.
Marijuana Compounds Vs. Migraine Drugs
Recently, a study was presented at the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology, stating that cannabinoids can work for migraines the same as the prevailing migraine drugs. Let’s elaborate more on this study.
First Phase of the Study on the THC Migraines
In the first phase of the trial, 48 individuals with chronic migraine participated, where the researchers administered a blend of two substances to subjects at different dosages. Nineteen percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was present in one compound, while the other had 9 percent cannabidiol (CBD).
According to the study, adults administered with the THC-CBD mixture at a dose of 200 milligrams or above experienced a 55% reduction in acute migraine discomfort. The scientists also discovered that THC-CBD at levels less than 100 milligrams did not influence acute pain.
Second Phase of the Study THC Migraines
In the second phase, 79 people suffering from chronic migraines and 48 subjects with cluster headaches participated. The individuals with chronic migraine were administered 25 milligrams of antidepressant drugs or 200 milligrams of THC-CBD daily.
Cluster headache patients received 200 milligrams of THC-CBD or 480 milligrams of verapamil. Verapamil is a calcium blocking receptor widely prescribed to alleviate cluster headaches.
Participants were also given an extra 200 mg of THC-CBD when they were in acute suffering.
Patients with persistent migraines and cluster headaches were treated for 90 days and then observed for four weeks following the medications.
In contrast to the antidepressant drug, THC-CBD resulted in a somewhat greater improvement in migraine episodes with reductions of 40.4% and 40.1% respectively.
Finally, the study concludes that cannabinoids of marijuana are effective for migraine attacks just as medications. Although for cluster headaches, the results might be minimal.
The study results are promising for migraine sufferers, but many concerns still need more research. One of the major ones is the dosage and duration for improving migraine conditions.
What Are the Side Effects of Marijuana?
Apart from the potential legal repercussions that you might have in some states, there are some side effects to consuming marijuana that should be considered.
Smoking or eating marijuana can make the user feel moody, sleepy, confused, and dizzy. In addition, consuming it on a regular basis might harm the heart and lungs in the long run and that should be taken into consideration when prescribed for migraines.
Final Verdict—Marijuana and THC Migraines
Migraines can be challenging to cure. Although there are various prescribed migraine
treatments available, most migraine patients find that they are ineffective. As a result, many people are exploring alternate migraine medications.
While looking at these recent researches, the results seem quite promising for marijuana consumption for migraines. The drug can help with migraine headaches up to some extent. Although, now is too early to infer anything since the research on marijuana for migraine treatment is in the initial stages.
Moreover, regardless of the positive results of marijuana for headaches, it does have side effects. Keep in mind that consuming marijuana without any medical supervision is not recommended. The safe or distinct dosage of marijuana and the migraine type that cannabis can help with is unknown.
Lastly, consider that cannabis is not legalized in all states, and breaching any drug rules can result in legal issues and a criminal record and penalties. When taking this medication, make sure you know the cannabis and medical marijuana laws of your state.