By Bailey Rahn
Cannabis has long been used for the treatment of migraines, but only in recent years have scientists closed in on the reasons why. A new study published this week from Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado looked at the effects of inhaled and ingested cannabis in migraine sufferers, and the results confirmed what previous studies had begun to unearth.
Researchers reviewed reports from 121 adult participants and collected the following data:
- The average number of migraine headaches decreased from 10.4 per month to 4.6
- Almost 40% of subjects reported positive effects
- 19.8% of subjects claimed medical marijuana helped to prevent migraines
- 11.6% of subjects reported that cannabis stopped migraine headaches
- About 85% of subjects reported having fewer migraines per month with cannabis
- About 12% saw no change in migraine frequency with cannabis
- Only about 2% experienced an increase in migraine frequency
Inhalation methods appeared to provide the fastest effects and were more likely to stop migraine headaches in their tracks. As expected, edible cannabis took longer to provide relief and was more likely to induce negative side effects like sleepiness and overly intense euphoria (which was reported in 11.6% of participants).
Past studies attempted to understand why cannabis tends to help migraines, citing endocannabinoid deficiencies and activation of CB2 receptors as possible explanations. This particular study didn’t help to answer those questions, but it did add to the growing body of research supporting the use of cannabis as a migraine medication, given the fact that over 85% of participants saw a reduction in migraine frequency.
The next frontier in this field of research is figuring out which cannabinoids, strains, and delivery methods are most effective in treating headaches and migraines. In the meantime, we’ll have to continue relying primarily on anecdotal evidence. If you’re struggling with migraines, be sure to explore all the strains other Leafly users have used to manage their pain here.
Which strains, products, or delivery methods have you found most effective in treating migraines? Share your thoughts with the community below!
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