How Cannabis Helps Migraines
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Who woulda thunk that cannabis can help those debilitating, life altering, close the blinds, turn off the lights and TV kind of migraines? Well, shame on you for NOT thinking that it could because cannabis aids in many aspects of our lives! And migraines are no exception!
Although it has been used for migraine treatments for quite some times, it wasn't until the last few years that doctors and scientists have really figured out why. Studies in the past have attempted to understand why cannabis could be beneficial for migraine sufferers however, the explanation of the possibility of endocannabinoid deficiencies and activiation of CB2 receptors only added to the determination of more research.
A 2016 study from Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado found that the average number of migraine headaches decreased from 10.4 per month to 4.6, with almost 40% of subjects feeling positive effects. 19.8% of subjects claimed medical marijuana helped to prevent migraines, and 11.6% of subjects reported that cannabis stopped migraine headaches. About 12% saw no change in migraine frequency with cannabis and only about 2% experienced an increase in migraine frequency.
The study showed that inhaling cannabis provided the fastest effects and were more likely to stop migraine headaches in their tracks. Cannabis infused edibles are slowly broken down through your digestive system, predicatively took longer to feel relief and was more likely to induce negative side effects like sleepiness.
Another study tested 127 participants who suffer from chronic migraines, cluster headaches, and severe headaches that occur on one side of the head, often around an eye. Researchers gave the participants was a combination of the two active compounds in marijuana; tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). In the first phase of the study, migraine sufferers were given varying doses of the THC-CBD drug. Results showed that those who received a 200 mg dose everyday for three months experienced significantly less pain. That is about 55% less. Smaller doses did not see the same results.
In the second phase, sufferers were given either the THC-CBD drug or 25 milligrams of amitriptyline, an antidepressant medication often used to treat migraines. Results showed that THC-CBD was a tad bit better at reducing migraine attacks than the commonly prescribed med (40.4 % versus 40.1%, respectively) and very effective at reducing migraine pain, cutting it by 43.5%.
As research continues to develop, there are still many speculators and doubters (including the feds) that refuse to believe or refute the current scientific findings that cannabis is beneficial to ones health. However, these results give cannabis another pro, which is seemingly outweighing the cons.