Medical Marijuana Can Benefit Migraine Sufferers
Migraines affect 15 percent of the world’s population with about 3.2 million Americans suffering this affliction.
If you are not familiar with migraines, you are very lucky. This excruciating head pain lasts for a minimum of four hours and only gets worse with strong light, smells and sounds. There is pain on one or both sides of the head with throbbing pain, nausea and sometimes blurred vision.
The underlying cause of migraines is presently unknown though there are several theories. One theory posits that migraines are the result of an overload of neural stimulation. Another theory puts forth that there may be a problem with endocannabinoid receptors in the brain. This can affect the level of serotonin released in the body. It is also thought that endocannabinoid deficiency may be cause of chronic pain and migraines.
Endocannabinoids are natural cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body. Chemical compounds from cannabis fits like a key into the body’s natural cannabinoid receptors. We are designed to use natural cannabinoids – our God-given right.
There is some evidence that THC may positively affect serotonin levels. It may help relieve pain, nausea and sensitivity problems. This was a study written up in the January 2016 of the Pharmacotherapy Journal that shows the efficacy of cannabis. The downside of this study was that it was not a double-blind study, it was preliminary. Unfortunately, there are not enough informational studies to confirm or deny these findings.
But a study at the Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus between January 2010 to September 2014 with 121 patients seemed to confirm the efficacy of medical marijuana. An astounding finding is that on average, migraines dropped from an average of ten migraines to half, five a month. One hundred three clients reported a drop in the number of migraines. Eighty-five percent reported a drop in migraines per month. And inhaling cannabis was the preferred delivery method because of the speed of relief. According to recent research, it takes seven seconds for cannabinoids to cross the blood-brain barrier to affect the mind.
Another big pharma compound, triptans, also help with migraines to mediate pain levels. Triptans were introduced about 20 years ago and it was relatively effective with some unpleasant side effects. Triptans are specialized drugs which act on serotonin receptors – a system with extensive connections to the endocannabinoid system. It appears that genetics are also involved.
There are reports that the use of triptans and medical cannabis would be very beneficial to the migraine sufferer. Endocannabinoid deficiency is often pointed to as the cause of chronic pain. To this end, a review of 38 medical publications concluded that 71 percent evinced empirical and statistically important conclusions that cannabis has significant pain-relieving qualities. Suspected is that medical cannabis helps mediate and lessen pain at the spinal cord level. The advantage of targeting endogenous marijuana system is that only noxious or pain signals are blocked, normal touch sensation is unaffected.
Medical cannabis is also theorized to help mental health issues such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, stress, and also neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, epilepsy, perhaps multiple sclerosis. Cancer treatment pain can also be lessened through use of MMJ (medical marijuana). There is also a 50 percent drop in metabolic syndrome which increases blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol to dangerous levels.
So the most effective strains found to help with migraines, in no particular order, are:
Blue Dream; Jack Herrer; White Widow; Sour Diesel; Girl Scout Cookies; Green Crack; OG Kush; Granddaddy’s Purple; AK-47 and Trainwreck among many, many others.
So be adventurous and try different combinations of THC and CBD levels, one may be more beneficial to you than another strain. Experiment, take notes since your memory will be iffy and be good to yourself. Aloha.