A migraine is the most common headache disorder among many people. It is a chronic condition for many patients. They experience severe pain which becomes more debilitating when occurs frequently. Usually, this headache disorder affects only one side of the head.
A migraine is difficult to treat. Even prescription or over-the-counter drugs do not effectively work on its associated symptoms like pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light etc. These drugs produce harmful side effects in our body.
To overcome these problems, we require to have some other option which can treat a migraine without harming our body. Is there any other option?
Yes, it can be “marijuana” because many scientists have studied its positive effects on migraine patients. Now, many people of LA are looking at marijuana for managing symptoms of a migraine. They are obtaining medical evaluations from marijuana doctors in Los Angeles.
Does marijuana really help relieve symptoms of a Migraine? Did any research study prove cannabis a better option than other drugs?
Read below to learn about a migraine and how it can be managed with marijuana.
What is Migraine?
A migraine is a neurological condition characterized by painful, intense, recurring, debilitating and severe headache. Its associated symptoms include vomiting, numbness or tingling, nausea, difficulty speaking and sensitivity to light and sound.
Scientists estimated that usually, 20% of the population suffer from common migraine weekly or daily. A data from the American Migraine Association reported that a Migraine headache affects more than 37 million Americans.
Extreme pain episodes caused by a Migraine can last for hours, days or even weeks. It affects all ages and could transfer from generation to generation. More often Migraine occurs in women than in men. If we calculate in percentage, only 8% of men suffer in comparison to 25% of women.
A migraine attack can be initiated by several triggers, including certain food items, bright light, and alcohol. Sometimes, uncontrolled triggers include a change in weather and menstrual cycles.
The people who are sensitive to light, they like to stay in a dark and quiet room. And, sometimes they experience sweating, diarrhea, and change in body temperature on exposure to light.
What are Migraines symptoms?
Initial symptoms of a migraine start one to two days before headache encounter itself. And, these early symptoms occur in the prodrome phase of a migraine or before the actual attack. We may say that these are usually warning signs which include:
- Fatigue or low energy
- Food cravings
- Frequent yawning
- Neck stiffness
The prodrome phase followed by aura, the next stage of a migraine. During this phase, you:
- Temporarily losing your vision
- Feeling a prickling or tingling sensation in your face, arms, or legs
- Difficulty speaking clearly
- Seeing shapes, light flashes, or bright spots
Next phase is called an attack phase when the actual or severe pain of a migraine occurs. The symptoms of this phase can last for hours or days, which include:
- Pain on one side of your head (either on the right side, left the side, back or front or in your temples)
- Increased sensitivity to light and sound
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Pulsing and throbbing head pain
Following the attack phase, a person will frequently experience postdrome phase. Symptoms of this phase include changes in mood and feelings which can range from feeling high and awfully happy to feeling very tired and uninterested.
The duration and severity of all the above phases can vary from person to person. It may be possible that sometimes you are not experiencing any one of these symptoms. And, you may experience a migraine attack without a headache.
Causes of a Migraine
The exact cause of a migraine is unclear. However, some contributing factors like change in brain chemical, such as a decline in serotonin level can activate this condition.
Other factors which may trigger a migraine are severe heat, bright light, stress, smoking, skipping a meal, alcohol use, traveling, unusual smell and loud sound.
Severe cases of a migraine usually detached themselves from social activities due to intolerable pain. Even, treatment options for the disease are not very effective because they produce other harmful side effects in the body.
Looking at all these problems, scientists have been explored better option than prescribed drugs. And, that option is medical marijuana. What is marijuana and how does it help to reduce migraine symptoms?
Do you know about marijuana?
Marijuana is a natural herb which possesses various therapeutic properties. Because of this, it is legal to use for health benefits in many states. It has been growing significantly in the healthcare industry for the last few decades after legalization.
Several studies prove that cannabis can treat symptoms of many health conditions.
On consumption, the first place in a body where marijuana shows its effects in the brain. So, it is more effective in treating those conditions which primarily affect our brain or central nervous system. And, Migraine, being a neurological disorder (diseases of the brain), is one among those conditions.
Cannabis can help treat various symptoms of a migraine. For relieving pain, CBD from marijuana, consider being the key active components which can significantly reduce pain. Additionally, CBD doesn’t make a person feel high as another component of marijuana, THC, which is responsible for that.
Presently, we have enough research evidence which shows that marijuana has positive therapeutic effects on headache disorders, including migraines.
Studies confirm Marijuana Can help Migraine Sufferers
A lot of research has been done on cannabis role in a migraine. The data of recent research studies have shown significant effects of cannabis on slowing down the symptoms of a migraine.
Researches also explained that cannabis treatment can produce many positive side effects, including stopping the pain in the muscles and stomach aches.
One study about the effect of marijuana on migraine was conducted at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus over four years. During this period, migraine patients were treated with medical marijuana.
The other objective of this study to investigate the effects of the various form of medical cannabis. For example, effects of smoking versus edibles cannabis.
In 2016, a study posted its results, which showed a migraine was effectively reduced in a large percentage of patients. And, inhaling is beneficial or the best way to use marijuana for a migraine.
Later, one more study, presented at the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology. It confirmed that cannabis was effective in reducing a frequency of severe migraine pain. And, it worked better in comparison to other prescribed migraine drugs with negligible side effects.
Researchers found that active chemicals of marijuana had reduced migraine pain by around 44%. And, for cluster headaches, marijuana was also effective in reducing pain. However, here they worked for those participants who had a childhood history of migraines.
The above studies proved that medical marijuana is the best option to manage migraines. It can be a remedy for the disease itself and can help relieve migraine symptoms or possibly keep them from the beginning.
But, more prospective research is still needed to conduct for finding the positive and negative effects of different strains, formulations, and doses of marijuana. It will help to better understand the benefits of medical marijuana on migraine headache treatment and prophylaxis.
Best Marijuana Strains For a Migraine
Every strain of marijuana has a specific effect in a body for various health conditions. Let us discuss specific strains Which will be beneficial for managing symptoms of a migraine.
It is a potent hybrid strain that contains about 20-27% THC concentration. It has the ability to reduce or kill pain which makes patients happy. This marijuana strain really helps to fight migraine-associated symptoms. OG Kush is a common strain and can easily be found in every dispensary.
It is a Sativa dominant strain which contains CBD and THC in 5:2 ratio. The great balance of CBD and THC makes this strain good pain reliever for migraine patients. It is beneficial for high levels of pain without an intense high.
It is a Sativa dominant and high CBD strain. It contains CBD and THC in 20:1 ratio. This strain is well known for reducing inflammation, which makes it efficient to reduce symptoms of migraines. Furthermore, due to a low concentration of THC, this strain does not produce a psychoactive high.
ACDC strain is perfect for treating chronic pains such as migraines as it provides a happy and calm feeling.
It is a pure Indica strain which contains 17-22% THC and 0.07-0.1% CBD. The high concentration for THC will work on an intensity of a migraine as long as a patient is feeling high. It is best to use this strain before bed or if a patient has time to relax and wait off a migraine.
This strain has the ability to offer quick relief from pain, therefore, it is loved by migraine patients. The ideal time to use Sour Diesel is daytime.
So, Medical marijuana is more effective than existing drugs for the prevention of a migraine. Now, people are taking more interest in this natural treatment due to its negligible side effects.
Based on the recent research, marijuana is going to replace the existing treatment of a migraine in the future. Despite marijuana is beneficial in preventing migraine without any side effects, you should not self-medicate yourself for this condition. Because until now, the standard dose and dosage of marijuana are not discovered.