The world is a noisy and busy place. It comes as no surprise that in recent years mental diseases are on the rise. A common symptom of many of these illnesses, like anxiety and depression, is migraines. If you have ever experienced this unbearable pain, you know how frustrating and debilitating it is. I can’t even recall how many times I laid in bed just wishing it would finally be over. Luckily for us, research suggests a new treatment that could help with this problem: marijuana for migraines.
Marijuana has forever been a taboo topic in our society. However, that doesn’t mean we can turn a blind eye to the fact remedy has plenty of medical benefits. It is high time we leave our biases behind and take a look at what this can offer. Let’s see how marijuana might be helpful!
What Is Migraine?
“Migraine” isn’t just another way to call a headache. Migraines are much more severe. The excruciating pain they produce of sensory symptoms, such as blind spots or seeing flashes of light. Typically, the pain is focused on one side of the head. They may also endure tingling in their extremities and sensibility to sound and light. For example, they have to turn off the lights and stay in a quiet room until the discomfort goes away.
Do you think this is bad enough? This isn’t even it! During those painful moments, people who suffer from migraines may also experience other frightful symptoms. Nausea, vomiting, sweating, changes in temperature, and diarrhea are all physical manifestations of a migraine. As you might have already guessed, most people cannot continue with their everyday routine during these episodes.
While migraines start in the blue, people often experience a change of perception before the episode begins. What does this mean? Symptoms like feeling confused, disturbed vision, problems speaking, or stiffness warn of an oncoming migraine. Auras usually last 20 to 60 minutes. Shortly after, the migraine will begin.
How Does Marijuana Work With Migraines?
The saddest part about all of this is that specialists have yet to find a cure for migraines. Of course, there are medications available that can mitigate the symptoms. The problem is that, though sometimes effective, they hardly ever make you feel ultimately better. Many people have even said that taking medication is useless in alleviating the pain.
Life isn’t easy for people who suffer from chronic migraines. This illness takes a toll on these people’s health and lifestyle. Many small things become a challenge, from taking time off at work to missing out on quality time with their families. That’s why several people are turning to marijuana to treat migraines.
Marijuana eases pain thanks to its natural compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol, best known as CBD, is one kind of cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Though it comes from the hemp plant, CBD doesn’t make you high. Research suggests that medical marijuana benefits abound. From marijuana pills for anxiety and depression to CBD oils for arthritis and inflammation, cannabis works for many health-related issues.
Marijuana is a possible treatment option for migraines because of how it improves piercing pain. Many patients are turning to CBD products. The goal is to relax and mitigate pain without getting any psychoactive effects. But, how come pot can succeed at what medicine is struggling to achieve? Cannabis works through the Endocannabinoid System, preventing receptors from sending pain signals to the brain.
Does it sound complicated? Worry not! Keep on reading to fully understand what the ECS is and what it has to do with alleviating migraines.
What Research Says About Marijuana For Migraines Relief
There is little research done on this topic. However, one study carried out at the University of Colorado proved that marijuana could benefit patients. They gathered 121 people who usually struggle with this ailment. After consuming marijuana daily for a significant amount of time, 40% of them show good results. They suffered from migraine attacks, half more minor than they did before consuming cannabis.
Moreover, it is worth mentioning that 11.6 percent of the participants experienced side effects. While the most common problem was experiencing fatigue, some others struggled to control the timing and dosing of marijuana. Though information is limited, there are some thoughts that we can take away from this.
According to the patterns provided by this research, marijuana can be helpful for some people with migraines. However, problems with dosing and timing shouldn’t be overlooked. Considering everything, we still have a long way to go until the medical community concludes.
Does Marijuana Help With Migraines Symptoms
Marijuana can help with migraines in two different ways. It can either reduce its symptoms or prevent it from ever happening at all. CBD, one of marijuana’s key components, holds the promise of pain relief. But is it true?
Many patients who have given cannabis a try report that their lifestyle has improved since they started consuming. However, there is too little data-based proof of this treatment working. Marijuana is emerging as a potential therapy for migraines. We shall wait and see what this plant has to offer.
How To Use Marijuana For Migraines
There are many ways to consume marijuana. Here are some of the two main and most popular ones:
- Edible Marijuana
Usually, it is recommended for patients to try edible CBD at first to avoid inhaling smoke. Also, it becomes easier to dose when administered in this way. CBD comes in plenty of ways: gummies, chocolate, among many other fun products.
- Inhaled Or Smoked Marijuana
This seems to be the most beneficial way to consume this product. Why? Many people have agreed that marijuana works faster when smoked. Also, if you don’t mind the psychoactive effects, most strains can relax you in a matter of minutes.
The good thing about marijuana is that you have plenty of products to choose from. Apart from the usual edibles and inhaled marijuana, there are some other ways to consume it. Products such as tinctures, oils, and capsules are also top-rated in the industry.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Marijuana has both pros and cons. It is necessary to see if the benefits of cannabis outweigh its side effects. Here you have a list of potential harms consuming marijuana can bring about:
- Mood changes
- Memory lost
- Lowered IQ
- Heart and lung diseases
Even though the list seems long, it is worth remembering that most of these problems are linked to long-term or daily use. Also, a marijuana overdose might cause serious effects, leading to hallucinations, psychosis, and heart rhythm abnormalities. However, if taken with professional guidance, short-term use rarely has an impact on your health.
The Role of Endocannabinoid System in Migraine
To answer this question, we first have to discuss the Endocannabinoid System, also called ECS is. This is a system in our body that works by regulating all sorts of functions and processes, including:
- Pain and inflammation
The ECS is active in your body all the time. Our bodies generate molecules called endocannabinoids. These are pretty similar to cannabinoids, a natural component found in cannabis. Endocannabinoids bind to the receptors to signal that the ECS needs to regulate whatever needs adjusting.
The receptors receive the message and deliver it to our brains. Research shows that low endocannabinoids levels might cause migraines. If no molecules remind the ECS to do its job, the body will be prone to chronic illnesses. Evidence suggests that, because of its similarity to endocannabinoid, taking cannabis can help relieve migraine pain. Specialists believe that cannabis might help by reducing inflammation in the brain.
Lowering the amount of pro-inflammatory substances that our bodies release makes us less likely to get a migraine. Also, if the migraine has already struck, cannabis helps decrease the symptoms. So, all in all, medical marijuana works on migraines through the ECS.
Best Marijuana Strains for Migraines Relief
Not all cannabis strains have a positive effect on our brain. It depends on all sorts of things. That’s why, before choosing a cannabis treatment, you should always consult your physician. When it comes to marijuana strains, there is a sea of options available. Worrying about choosing the best cannabis strains for migraines is quite a challenge. Unless today is your lucky day, we have researched, so you didn’t have to stress about it.
Here you have our top picks of marijuana strains for migraines:
Being one of the most common ones, almost every dispensary offers this strain. This hybrid cannabis strain has a strong sedative effect, which helps reduce migraine symptoms. It contains a high THC of up to 20%, providing a quicker relief. It is essential to clarify that, with this strain, you have to catch the migraine before it is too strong to fight off.
- ACDC Marijuana Strain
Do you worry about the excessive psychoactive effects? Then this strain is perfect for you! Due to its low THC level, it is uncommon for this strain to get you high. ACDC is mainly made of CBD and is Sativa-dominant. It reduces migraines by decreasing inflammation. It is also helpful for treating anxiety and depression due to the calm feeling it provides.
- Harlequin Marijuana Strain
This strain, unlike many others, makes you feel more alert and clear-headed. Being a 75% Sativa-dominant hybrid helps you ease the pain enough to carry on with your life. If you suffer from excruciating migraine pain, this train will alleviate your pain without feeling high. This is thanks to its balanced THC and CBD. Once again, this strain won’t work if you use it when the migraine has already become full-blown. To maximize its effect, use it beforehand.
- Purple Kush Marijuana Strain
Have you ever laid in bed just wishing that unbearable migraine would finally go away? Yes, some migraines are just that bad. The only thing left to do seems to be waiting for them to go over. If you have ever experienced this, you know that there is only one way to kill that time: sleeping. Purple Kush creates a numbing sensation that will help you fall asleep.
This pure indica strain is the cross between the Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani. Never have I seen a better crossover. Take into account that this strain won’t allow you to move on with your day, making you feel sleepy. It is better only to consume it before bed or if you are waiting off the pain. Waking up with a weed hangover is a possibility with this strain.
- Remedy Marijuana Strain
Its name doesn’t lie. This indica strain works as an excellent remedy for migraine pain. It contains minimal THC and has typically around 15% CBD. Unlike Purple Kush, this strain will relax you without knocking you out. This comes in handy whenever you need the pain to feel less agonizing but still function. One disadvantage of this product is that it is not that easy to find. Not every dispensary sells it.
If there is something we all need to take from this article is the importance of being responsible when consuming marijuana. Though it seems to be helpful to treat migraines, we can’t overlook its side effects. It is not advisable to self-medicate or start with a high dose.
However, consult your physician if you know all its effects and think it is worth giving it a try. Marijuana might just be the remedy you have been hoping for, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Your physician will tell you if this treatment is the right fit for you. Moreover, it is crucial to see which strain and method will be convenient for you. Once you are ready, marijuana benefits will most likely give you the ease you so desperately want.