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Migraine and Medical Cannabis

Publish Date: November 28th, 2020; Author: Darren M. Jorgenson.

Migraine and Medical Cannabis

Headaches are of several types. Not all the headaches are the same as every type of headache causes pain on different portions, and some might include unwanted symptoms like vomiting, nausea, etc. Migraine headache pain usually begins on one side of the head. It makes you annoyed by high volume sounds and shiny lights and even makes you feel like vomiting and even makes a person vomit in extreme conditions.  Migraine attacks are entirely different from the other forms of headaches and may last from 4 hours to 72 hours. Even ordinary activities like music, light, or any other factor may give a boost to the symptoms. Patients acquiring the medications for treating the Migraine must be aware of the side-effects of the medications as it can temporarily alleviate the symptoms but can leave some side-effects. 

The symptoms of migraines vary from person to person. There are different phases of migraines identified. Let us get familiar with it.

Different phases of Migraine

  • Prodrome: This is the phase where you get a variety of forewarning before diagnosing with the migraine. The symptoms experienced in this phase are the mood-swings, muscle tension, fatigue, and change in noticing smell or taste. Some experience food cravings as well.
  • Aura: This phase is mainly concerned with visual disturbance. People diagnosed with Migraines may experience some blind spots known as scotomas, see colourful lights, flashings or may lose one-sided vision.
  • Headache: Several people diagnosed with migraines may experience nausea or vomit. Several become sensitive to the lights or sound. 
  • Headache Termination: During this phase, people suffering from migraines may feel well with good and sound sleep. 
  • Postdrome: This phase may include several other signs of migraine that include issues with concentration, fatigue, or eating issues. 

How Medical Cannabis and Migraine does relate?

As per the study published in the Brain Sciences, Medical Cannabis is proven as a remedy for long-term reduction of migraine frequency with fewer or no side-effects and facilitates in lowering down the intake of anti-migraine medication. The traditional preventive measures for treating migraines are beta-blockers, anti-depressants, and anticalcitonin gene-related peptides. Triptans and Opioids are the common medications prescribed for treating Migraines. However, these may carry the risk of other health issues due to some side-effects contained by it. Recently the use of Medical Cannabis for treating ample health conditions and mainly for treating chronic pains has emerged. With realizing the ample health benefits of the use of Medical Cannabis, the demand for it has also increased. The use by migraine patients has also got a boost.  The study and shreds of evidence advocate that the contribution of the endocannabinoid system and the potential of Medical Cannabis treatment are considered therapeutic in treating migraine. Endocannabinoids have an inhibitory upshot on the serotonin receptors. These receptors are responsible for modulating the pain and emetic responses. 

Study on THC and CBD concerning Migraine

European Academy of Neurology researched the Cannabis study and Migraine prevention in 2017.  Phase 1 of the study involved the combination of two compounds treated on 48 people experiencing chronic migraine. The combination included 19 per cent THC in one compound and 9 per cent CBD in the other one. In phase 1, compounds were orally administered wherein the doses beneath 100 mg did not affect, and doses of 200mg reduced the pain to 55 per cent.  Phase 2 of the study picked the 79 people suffering from chronic migraines got a dosage of 200 mg of combination to choose from in phase 1. Also, 48 people suffering from cluster headaches got a dosage of the same combination. The treatment was done for three months with appropriate follow-up on the fourth week.  The results were amazing, and the combination reduced the migraine attacks by 40.4 per cent and intensity of pain by 43.5 per cent.  Thereafter, the study concluded that Cannabinoids as an effective remedy for treating migraines. 

How Does Medical Cannabis Ease the Pain?

Medical Cannabis is a bushy plant that facilitates treating ample health conditions due to its natural constituents, namely cannabidiol (CBD), THC, etc. There is a network of cannabinoid receptors present in the human body parts and brain. Cannabinoid receptors are the tiny loops of protein that affect or indicate how you feel the ache. Medical Marijuana has natural cannabinoids that are when consumed and enter the body, search for the cannabinoids receptors. They modify the functioning of the receptors and facilitate calming down the pain.  Medical Cannabis also helps in treating anxiety, depression, chronic pains, nausea, and other health issues that are directly or indirectly connected to the Migraine. CBD and THC are the two essential constituents present in Medical Cannabis that acquires most of the attention. THC is responsible for that high feel and whereas CBD doesn’t make you feel high, or intoxicated but helps to mitigate the pain. This is why the use of Medical Cannabis is made legal for medical purposes. 

What Are the Risks?

Consumption of Medical Marijuana for the long term might leave some other effects and make you feel sleepy or dizzy. Treatment with medical marijuana requires the appropriate dosage with the recommendation of a licensed medical professional. 

Legal Issues

The use of Medical Marijuana is not legalized at every location. The illegal use of Medical Marijuana may put you in some legal issues and even imprisonment. To stay secured under the legal laws and protection given by the state of the federal legislature. Medical Marijuana Card is a legal identification card valid within the particular state-legislature that allows the person to possess and consume medical marijuana for treating health conditions. It gives the legal permissions to the patient to acquire Medical Marijuana with a recommendation from a legitimate health professional. 

Consequences:

As per the research, when a bunch of 300 patients treated with medical marijuana, around 279 that are around 88.3 percent of patients reported an improvement in their headache. The research also compiled the conclusion that Medical Cannabis plays a safe role in treating Migraine patients by improving the headache profile, mitigating anxiety, enhancing mood, and improving sleep quality.

As per the Pharmacotherapy study in 2016, 48 people were surveyed taking the health benefits of using Medical Marijuana for treating migraines, out of which 39.7 percent of people reported fewer Migraine attacks.

As per a research published in science daily, performed by the Washington State University, inhaled cannabis eliminates migraine severity by 49.6 percent.