A migraine headache can be very distressing, and painful. In fact, more than 30 million Americans suffer from pulsating headaches which are accompanied by vomiting and nausea.

Prescription pain relievers, over-the-counter medications, and other pharmaceutical drugs are widely used to treat the condition. However, these medications and drugs are not without side effects which range from mild to severe. Luckily, a growing body of evidence suggests that cannabis can efficiently alleviate migraine symptoms sans harmful side effects.

Migraines

Individuals suffering from migraines experience painful headaches, vomiting, nausea, and heightened sensitivity to sound and light among others. People with migraines can feel disoriented and experience coordination issues. Actually, a migraine attack can cause a person to lose consciousness and make them paralyzed. Usually, symptoms can last for hours or even days in some cases. Migraines can dramatically impair the quality of life of people affected by the condition.

Migraines are induced by a myriad of environmental and physiological triggers. Most likely, they are rooted in the nervous system and brain stem that interacts with the biggest trigeminal cranial nerve responsible for modulating motor pain sensation. Migraine triggers probably stimulate nerve cells in the trigeminal nerve and affect the dilation of cerebral blood vessels. This, in turn, stimulates receptors for inflammation and pain. Experts theorize that migraines may also originate from imbalanced levels of the chemical serotonin which plays a pivotal role in pain signaling pathways.

Cannabis

The endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is located throughout your body, comprises of cannabinoid receptor proteins. The ECS plays a vital role in regulating mood, appetite, pain, and other bodily functions.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which are phytocannabinoids present in the plant, bind to the same receptors that the endocannabinoid system works with. It means the substances found in cannabis can also influence bodily functions such as pain control. Medical experts believe that cannabis eases migraine symptoms by this mechanism. However, there are more ways the herb can ease migraines symptoms.

Research

In a retrospective analysis, scientists examined 121 participants suffering from migraine headache, who were recommended migraine medicines or medical cannabis by their doctors.

They discovered that participants who took cannabis reported a significant reduction in the number of migraine attacks. However, scientists acknowledged that more studies are required to investigate the precise cause-and-effect relationship between cannabis and migraines. According to researchers, different doses of marijuana strains should be studied to comprehend the effect of the drug on migraine prevention and treatment.

In another study, Italian researchers treated 48 participants with chronic migraines with different doses of a solution containing CBD and THC. Both are active cannabinoids found in cannabis. They observed a 55% drop in acute migraine pain at a dose of 200 mg. The study participants experienced a 43% reduction in pain intensity and a 40% reduction in their migraine attacks every month. Additionally, several participants experienced a reduction in stomach aches and muscle pain.

Vaporizing Cannabis

Vaporizing cannabis is extremely effective in easing headache pain, relieving nausea and other symptoms related to migraine. What’s more, its relaxing effect helps to reduce the stress that plays a role in migraines.

You can choose from several different cannabis strains available on the market. Strains such as Og Kush, White Widow, Sour Diesel, and Chocolate Haze. They differ in morphology and taste. In addition, they have terpenes and cannabinoids in varied concentrations.

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Can Dronabinol Help Treat Migraine Headaches?

Dronabinol, a synthetic form of THC, is one of the first legal medication based on cannabinoid chemicals.

However, it doesn’t work for some users. In fact, several users have experienced drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea after taking Dronabinol. Further, the medicine can take two hours to show its effect. Occasionally, migraines can happen suddenly and having to wait for two hours for relief is a major problem. Additionally, Dronabinol is very expensive.