In November 2019 a study was published in the Journal of Pain. The study reports that using cannabis can help reduce the severity of migraines and headaches by up to 50%. It also noted that using concentrates appeared to offer more pain relief than cannabis flowers.
In another study published in Neurology, they found that 88.3% of 279 patients experienced an improvement in their headaches and pain after they consumed cannabis. Of those, more than 50% also mentioned they had a reduction in headache frequency, and almost 40% found an improvement in their sleep.
What are some of the best ways to take advantage of these benefits cannabis has to offer those in pain?
The endocannabinoid system and migraines
Dr. Jim Polston holds a PhD in neuroscience and is the Chief Science Officer at Helius Therapeutics. According to his research, cannabis works on migraines via the endocannabinoid system in our body.
“There is mounting evidence that the endocannabinoid system can directly reduce migraine pain when activated by naturally produced cannabinoids or medical cannabis taken by patients,” said Polston. Cannabis can also reduce inflammation in the dura mater tissue covering the brain and helps minimize the release of pro-inflammatory substances. Both of these tend to contribute to migraines.
When do you dose if you feel a migraine coming?
Although the science that supports using cannabis for migraine treatment continues to grow, there still isn’t much information regarding how to dose and when. Luckily there are experienced individuals that have been sharing their experiences to help us all along the way.
“I use cannabis both as a prophylactic, to prevent migraines by reducing stress and relaxing muscles, and as a rescue remedy once migraine hits, to reduce intense pain and nausea,” Boston Marathon survivor Lynn Crisci was quoted as saying.
Dr. Debra Kimless, MD, who is Chief Medical Officer at Pure Green said “The patients I have treated using cannabis enjoy tremendous success in reducing and eliminating the acute onset of their migraine symptoms, especially if they can dose when they first experience symptoms,”.
Evidence shows that cannabis can work in both preventative treatment and reduction of symptoms.