What Marijuana Does to Migraines

January 15th 2016

I've never had a migraine, but from what I've heard and read, it sounds awful. These severe headaches can last hours or days — a throbbing pain that causes nausea and makes you sensitive to light, noise, and smell. But the next time you feel like you're about to have a migraine attack, here's some useful information: marijuana appears to be an effective treatment option.

A new study from the University of Colorado found that 85 percent of patients reported a notable drop in the number of migraines they experienced each month — from 10.4 to 4.6 attacks per months on average — when they used medical marijuana. About 12 percent of the study's 121 participants also said that marijuana stopped migraines in their tracks.

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All study participants had been previously diagnosed with migraine headaches and received recommendations for medical marijuana by a physician.

"The most remarkable finding in my opinion was the decrease in migraine frequency," Dr. Danielle Rhyne, the study's lead author, told ATTN:."There were some patients who reported more than 15 migraines per month before using cannabis. After using cannabis, they were reduced to one to two migraines per month."

Rhyne and her colleagues believe that cannabis offers a natural solution to the neurological disease. Earlier studies have linked chronic migraines to deficits in a person's endocannabinoid system — a group of receptors that regulate mood, appetite, digestion, motor coordination, development, and reproduction. This system also responds to components of marijuana known as cannabinoids.

"I believe this finding helps support further research for the endocannabinoid system and a deficiency in that system, potentially resulting in cannabis offering benefits in patients with this deficiency," Ryne said.

RELATED: Here's What Marijuana Does to Pain

Smoking marijuana proved more effective at preventing migraines from forming and treating symptoms than taking it in edible form, but the researchers emphasize that further studies are needed to determine the optimal dosage and stain for migraine sufferers.

It should also be noted that components of cannabis have been shown to treat several symptoms associated with migraines, including pain and nausea. Both THC (the main psychoactive ingredient of marijuana) and CBD (a non-psychoactive ingredient) have shown significant potential in reducing chronic and neurological pain, as ATTN: previously reported.

ALSO: You Can Safely Ride Your Bike Under the Influence of Marijuana

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