I started using cannabis recreationally and noticed it was an effective chronic migraine treatment.
Hi everybody! My name is Kody. I got my first migraine in seventh grade and ended up in hospital for it in Minnesota. At first, the doctors thought it might be a mild stroke because I lost nearly all function in my right side. I proceeded to get these migraines about every six months. I have had EKG, MRI, CT scans. The works. And they couldn’t find anything. I was about to embark on a long road of chronic migraine treatment.
After a few years, the migraines started to get more frequent — averaging two big ones every week. With daily chronic headaches.
When the frequency picked up doctors put me on so many migraine meds and anti inflammatory meds that i don’t recall the names of. They didn’t help at all. So they switched the meds to seizure meds. These didn’t seem to help except slow the frequency slightly. Topamax and Sumatriptan are the most recent ones.
Using Cannabis For Chronic Migraine Treatment
I started using cannabis illegally several years ago. This was for my recreational enjoyment, but I noticed that cannabis DRASTICALLY helps my headaches and migraines (for some reason as long as it isn’t purple. Purple makes it worse).
Recently I got my medical cannabis card and started vaping, since Minnesota doesn’t have flowers or edibles yet which also makes our prices extremely high. I find that CBD helps the frequency of the migraines incredibly and stops the progression of one if I can catch it in time. THC helps with the pain of both the migraines and headaches.
From RxLeaf: Cannabis as Chronic Migraine Treatment
Consequently, not only is their patient support for the use of cannabis for migraines, but there is also early clinical support as well. A study published in 2016 explored patient consumption of prescribed medical cannabis for headaches. In this study of 121 participants, all had a primary diagnosis of migraine.
The results, published in Pharmacotherapy (2016) were remarkable. First, headache frequency reduced from an average of 10.4 headaches per month to 4.6 per month. Furthermore, close to forty percent of study participants reported positive results, including reducing in severity and total abortion of the ongoing migraine. Many patients used daily, with multiple methods of ingestion reported.
As detailed by Forbes, another study looked at a pharmaceutical preparation of cannabis for the treatment of migraines and cluster headaches. The pharmaceutical used in the study contained roughly a 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC.
The authors discovered that cannabis was just as effective as the most commonly prescribed medication for migraines (amitriptyline), both in reducing the frequency and severity. The study also indicated that the side effect profile of the cannabis-based drug was preferable to conventional medication.
Do you suffer from migraines, headaches, or cluster headaches? With cannabis’ safety profile, it’s well worth your consideration. Especially if conventional options frustrate you. Speak with your doctor about including cannabis in your migraine-fighting tool kit. You may find relief, like Kody did.
How to Consume Cannabis for Migraines
In certain cases, long lasting methods like edibles can benefit migraine patients the most. Cannabis edibles can provide perhaps the longest pain relief. However, some consumers fear trying edibles. This fear comes from their difficulty to judge and maintain dosage. Thankfully the (eventually) coming legal market mostly solves this issue. Soon, predictable, small-dose, edibles will be routinely available. In some ways, edibles might be one fo the best options for a migraine patient. They last for a long time, promote sleep, and are generally felt throughout the whole body.
Absorption methods like vaping or smoking generally provide the fastest pain relief. Lastly, for a consumer afraid to smoke cannabis, there are other options. This consumer should know that vaping dry bud (instead of vape cartridges) is free from the concerns of the EVALI crisis of late 2019. Further, vaping dry bud also removes any concerns of combustion from smoking. If a consumer were looking for migraine relief, they might want to try popping an edible for later, then vaping to eliminate migraine symptoms before they start.