Life can be quite hard for people that regularly experience migraines. Unlike normal headaches, migraines can cause extreme pain in the head. While some people may experience them every now and then, others are recurrent sufferers. Stress and tension can easily bring on a migraine if you’re prone, and it doesn’t stop there; migraines can induce nausea and vomiting; and in some cases they can be strong enough to cause psychological disassociation in those patients. Recent promising marijuana studies indicate that cannabis might be an effective treatment.marijuana for migraines

How Marijuana May Help Migraines

In 2019 a study done by Carrie Cuttler, PhD, from Washington State University, was published indicating that marijuana is capable of reducing headache and migraine pain by up to 50%, adding that the effect was much better when used in extract form rather than cannabis flowers. They also indicated that tolerance may become an issue, although there take-away is that consuming cannabis certainly doesn’t cause or make migraines or headaches worse.

The study consisted of 1300 subjects, who took careful note of changes in their headaches and migraines during the process. An app called Strainprint was used, where you can keep note of your symptoms before consuming medicinal cannabis and then compare them to afterwards. The results indicated that consuming cannabis reduces migraine pain by up to 50%, and normal headache pain by up to 47%. This research was done in hopes to expand in the near future, as the results provided by the app could have been skewed by those users that already consumed cannabis before.

Another study published in Neurology magazine in 2019 indicates that out of almost 300 patients, 88% of them found pain relief in cannabis when it came to their headaches. Over half of the patients reported fewer headaches, and almost 40% of them claimed to get better sleep. Additionally, half of the people in the group using harder medications to manage their headaches managed to reduce their dose when taking cannabis. This would seem to indicate that the endocannabinoid system interacting with cannabinoids is causing a reduction in pain caused by migraines and headaches.

It’s also true that one of the main causes of migraines in those that regularly suffer from the condition is stress, and it’s also known that cannabis is often used to reduce stress. However, it should be stated that indica strains are generally more recommended for stress relief, as sativa plants tend to increase energy levels and can cause mental stimulation that may be too much for those prone to intense migraines.

The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids and Headaches

What is the Endocannabinoid System? In short, the ECS is a system in our bodies that regulates quite a large amount of bodily functions such as temperature, movement, mood, food processing – essentially the thing that keeps us working properly inside. The ECS has two receptors, CB1 and CB2, to which cannabinoids can bind.

Our body produces natural endocannabinoids such as AEA (anandamide), which is known to be a cause of migraines when not enough is being produced in the brain. This would suggest that stimulating the same receptors that anandamide stimulates, using cannabinoids, could be a possible treatment for migraines and may be the reasoning behind the lab results indicating that there seemed to be a drastic decrease in both migraine pain and frequency.

CBD for Migraines

If you don’t want to use marijuana for migraines because you don’t want to experience its psychoactive effects, you can still try CBD. While there are no studies that specifically deal with CBD for migraines, there are many studies that show CBD as quite the effective pain-relief medicine and has been proven to allow opioid users to reduce their dosage for pain relief.

Laws surrounding CBD are quite blurred in many areas of the world; make sure to check the legality of CBD in your country or state before consuming or purchasing it as medicine. It can be consumed in food or drinks, by inhaling (vaping or smoking), as a pill, as a spray and as a cream or balm. However, what has proven to be the best way to consume marijuana for migraines?

It’s known that the fastest way to get cannabinoids into the system is by inhaling them; this means either smoking or vaporizing cannabis during a headache or migraine can have almost instant pain relief effects. However, we recommend vaping over smoking, as there’s combustion involved in smoking which irritates the lungs, plus the added toxins from the plant material burning.

When you vape cannabis, it goes through into your bloodstream which means that it gets to the brain much faster. Plus, vaping cannabis doesn’t produce smoke or any type of odor, with vape pens coming in discreet shapes and forms nowadays, making it a great option if you suffer from migraines or cluster headaches on the go and you need to be on the top of your game.

Marijuana Possibly Causing Migraines – Weed Headache

There are a lot of people that consume cannabis out there that have complained about marijuana being the cause of headaches, rather than relieving them. There have been little to no studies done on this issue, simply anecdotal evidence.

In some cases, smokers report a raging headache after consuming cannabis or the day after consuming quite a lot of it. Many people believe that it may be due to dehydration, although contrary to popular belief cannabis doesn’t actually cause dehydration. Cotton mouth, or dry mouth, is caused by the cannabinoids essentially blocking the salivary glands, not by dehydration.

Some theorize that it may be down to how you consume your cannabis. If you roll tobacco into your joints but don’t usually consume it, you may be experiencing a slight nicotine buzz that results in a headache, especially if it’s the day after an intense smoking session. Cannabis that has not been flushed properly or that has been chemically enhanced may also cause headaches. The chances are, you happen to be dehydrated when stoned because you probably forgot to drink water. If headaches persist when consuming cannabis, reduce intake and/or try a different strain. If the problem persists, consult a doctor as it may not be marijuana related.

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Erik Collado

With more than 10 years of background in the cannabis sector, his experience and knowledge are the base of GB The Green Brand’s success

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One reply on “Marijuana for Migraines – Natural Pain Relief”

Indeed there are many studies that show CBD as quite the effective pain-relief medicine.

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