The use of marijuana to treat and manage pain isn’t something new. Its use and popularity as a medicine can be traced back to ancient times. However, the stigma around the use of cannabis has been prominently there as well.
But with the majority of states legalizing the medical use of the plant and emerging research supporting its medicinal properties and benefits, a significant decline in the stigma has been witnessed. People are considering marijuana as an alternate treatment, getting 420 Med Evaluations, and advocating for its beneficial effects.
A similar response has been received from people who used cannabis to manage symptoms of migraine but is it actually a viable option? Let’s find out.
Medical Marijuana for Migraine: Does it Work?
Yes, medical marijuana for migraine works. There is an adequate amount of anecdotal evidence that suggests the herb is able to offer beneficial effects to the patients.
To understand how and why it works, it is important to understand that the endocannabinoid system of the body has a role to play here. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for pain management. Our body produces endocannabinoids that bind with the cannabinoid receptors and alter the working of the central nervous system. This helps in reducing pain, stabilizing mood, and managing several other health symptoms and conditions.
Cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant have a similar chemical structure as the endocannabinoids produced by our body. This is why cannabis is able to help with pain management and offer soothing, therapeutic effects.
There is another connection as well. In some cases, migraine can be caused by a deficiency of endocannabinoids. It is a condition called clinical endocannabinoid deficiency. When someone is dealing with an endocannabinoid deficiency, their body isn’t able to produce the required amount of endocannabinoid. This can create an imbalance in the body and cause several issues. The cannabinoids of the cannabis plant, because of their similar chemical structure, can stimulate the endocannabinoid system despite the deficiency and help in the management of deficiency-induced migraine and other issues.
What Does Scientific Research Say?
As always, the scientific research regarding the effects and use of marijuana is limited. The plant is still federally illegal which makes it difficult for the researchers to conduct appropriate research but there are studies that suggest the plant was able to reduce migraine pain and even prevent migraine attacks in some cases. There is also scientific evidence that suggests marijuana was able to reduce migraine pain by nearly half in patients.
But it is equally important to mention that the same plant was able to exacerbate the symptoms and worsen migraine in some cases as well. While the real reason is still unknown, it is believed that this might have happened due to the wrong marijuana strain, wrong dosage, high THC content, or high sensitivity of patients towards the plant. Everyone has a different body and it can react very differently to any medication, including marijuana.
How to Use Marijuana for Migraine?
Marijuana can be consumed in several ways. As per the patient’s comfortability, marijuana can be inhaled, ingested, administered sublingually, or topically applied. Some conditions may demand a specific administration method whereas in some conditions a particular administration method would work better than others.
While it totally depends on the severity of migraine and the overall health condition of an individual, it is believed that smoking marijuana can offer stronger and faster effects which can help in both reducing the pain and preventing a migraine attack.
But since smoking is injurious to health and it does not suit everyone’s body and lifestyle, sublingual administration is considered a better alternative to smoking marijuana.
Taking marijuana-infused sublingually can offer stronger and faster effects than ingesting marijuana. Moreover, the effects last longer than the effects induced by smoking marijuana. All one has to do is hold a few drops of marijuana-infused oil under the tongue for around 60 seconds and let it get absorbed directly into the bloodstream. As there is no digestion involved in this method, there will be no delay in receiving effects and since there is no combustion, there won’t be any side effects. This is a total win-win situation.
CBD or THC: Which Is More Effective for Migraine?
CBD and THC are the two most popular primary cannabinoids of the cannabis plant. CBD is known for its medicinal properties whereas THC is known for its psychoactive effects that produce the infamous cannabis high. While most of the research available online studies both CBD and THC as it is primarily focused on marijuana and not CBD oil specifically.
A study published in health suggests that the pain-relieving effects of the cannabis plant specifically on migraine patients may not be because of THC or CBD. The study has found that despite changing the concentration of both the cannabinoids, the results and effects remained similar. So, it can be claimed that other cannabinoids and components such as terpenes found in the cannabis plant have a central role to play in managing migraine.
Also Read: Manage Diabetes with the Help of Cannabis
Best Marijuana Strains for Migraine
Before diving into the best marijuana strains that work well for migraine, it is important to note that migraine is not universally the same for all patients. The triggers and symptoms can be different. That means, while you may have a migraine because of stress, someone else may have it because of environmental change, or disturbed sleeping patterns, or poor diet.
Moreover, as aforementioned, secondary cannabinoids and terpenes also have a significant role to play so it is important to take them into consideration while selecting the right marijuana strain.
Some of the Best Marijuana Strains for Migraine are:
- Blue Dream
- Grandaddy Purple
- Amnesia Haze
- OG Kush
Cannabis has several medicinal properties and it is being widely used as an alternate treatment for several pain-related conditions and issues. While studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that marijuana can be used to manage symptoms and attacks of migraine it is important to note that it may not work for everyone. We highly recommend consulting a medical marijuana doctor online before self-medicating so that you can avoid the repercussions. However, if you choose to use the plant as a medication for marijuana, it is always advised to go low and slow with it so that your body gets the time to adjust and react appropriately.