An estimated 2.7 million Canadians suffer from migraine headaches, a number that is likely underestimated, according to Statistics Canada. With rising concern over prescription drug addiction and relative lack of relief for migraine sufferers, many have looked to marijuana to ease their headaches—and it’s working better.
Those who suffer from migraines or cluster headaches (severe pain on one side of the head) have long used marijuana to help treat their condition, and science is closing in on the reasons why.
With changing public sentiment no longer viewing cannabis as a danger, legal cannabis may hold the key to reducing acute migraine attacks, symptoms, and side effects.
THC + CBD = Relief
The two main active ingredients in marijuana that researchers have studied as it pertains to migraines are THC and CBD. THC, the ingredient that induces the “high” when users smoke, and CBD, the ingredient with many therapeutic benefits, have long been recognized in the alternative and mainstream medical community for their benefits.
More Relief—Fewer Side Effects
According to the Mayo Clinic, many of the drugs used to treat migraines in mainstream medicine also come with dangerous side effects, an issue that has long troubled the medical community and sufferers of migraines and cluster headaches.
Some side effects include:
- Adverse reactions at the injection site (for injected medicines such as Triptans)
- Muscle weakness
Antidepressants and anti-seizure medication, drugs commonly used to treat migraines, come with a wide range of dangerous side effects. Weight gain, hair loss, dry mouth, and difficulty thinking just to name a few (source).
Marijuana, on the other hand, has demonstrated fewer of these side effects when used within reason. In fact, it has not only comes with fewer side effects, it is also more effective at treating symptoms and reducing acute migraine attacks.
Research shows CBD and THC work better for migraines
In research conducted at the University of Colorado, the effects of inhaled and ingested cannabis were tested on 121 participants with positive results. Here are just a few of the telling statistics:
- The average number of headaches decreased from 10.4 to 4.6 per month
- Nearly 20% of the participants claimed the marijuana prevented migraines
- 40% of the subjects reported positive effects
- 6% reported that marijuana stopped migraines altogether
- 85% saw a reduction in migraine frequency
This research, along with a heavy body of research from around Canada and the USA have shown the positive effects of THC and CBD. The verdict on marijuana and migraines is in: it works.
Knowing that marijuana can treat migraines and cluster headaches and knowing which strain or dosage you personally would benefit from are two separate things. If you’d like advice from professional budtenders, contact The Buddha’s Sister House of Cannabis for medical marijuana through the mail specifically tailored to your needs!