Medical Marijuana and Migraine Headaches

Published by Jan

 

Migraine headaches can be extremely severe and debilitating. Scientists and doctors are not sure exactly why some people get migraines but it appears that genetics and environmental factors both play a role.  About 15% of the population suffer with migraines. They are more common in women.  About 80% of people who have migraines have a family member who also has migraines.

Migraines are possibly caused by changes in the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway. Imbalances in brain chemicals also may be the culprit.  One of our neurotransmitters, serotonin — which helps regulate pain in the nervous system — also may be involved.

There are a number of factors that can be the starting cause of migraines;  these are called triggers.  Some well known triggers for migraines are hormonal changes (menstruation, menopause, pregnancy), certain foods (MSG, chocolate, cheese, nuts, alcohol), missing a meal, change in weather, or very commonly, stress.

About 20% of migraine sufferers have an aura (usually a visual disturbance) before the onset of pain.  More often there is just the onset of pain which becomes severe and debilitating.  Although migraine pain usually appears on one side of the head, 30-40% of migraineurs have them on both sides.  One can have nausea, vomiting, light-sensitivity and sound sensitivity.  Migraines can last anywhere from 4 hours to 3 days.

Many of the medications currently used for migraine headaches have significant side effects and often do not prevent or relieve all of the symptoms. Marijuana was used to treat migraine headaches for many years in the nineteenth century, however due to the political climate and attitude towards marijuana in the twentieth century, it was not researched or promoted as an effective treatment for migraines. Many people who suffer from migraines found on their own that marijuana either prevented or lessened the intolerable pain from this condition.  Recent research has shown that THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, inhibits the release of serotonin from the blood of migraine sufferers during an acute attack, thereby reducing symptoms of pain.

Although further scientific research is needed, many patients are using medical marijuana safely and effectively to prevent and treat their migraine headaches.  Many patients have found that they no longer need prescription medications with adverse side effects in order to treat their migraines.  Others have found that the other benefits of medical marijuana, like improved sleep and less stress and anxiety, reduce the frequency of their migraines.  Overall, medical marijuana patients who have migraine headaches find that their quality of life is improved with this treatment.

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1 year 5 months ago polkadots91Hi I'm Amelia I'm 21 and i have chronic migraines and i would completely agree with this i use Marijuana for recreational uses and it helps me with my Migraines right now I'm on Topiramate and i don't like the sides effects. I was diagnosed with a Seizure disorder which caused these migraines.. i hope my doctors will allow me athave mmj only becasue i would really benifit from it

7 months 18 days ago Warrant36I was brainwashed in school about MJ and I always apposed it. As I grew older and matured a bit I began researching it and its benefits and health qualities- but I never touched it. I always suffered with migraines, for as long as I can remember- but I say it began in Jr. High. It was not until college that I began to smoke it and finally have relief from the pain of migraines and relief from anxiety. Keep in mind, I did not go to college right out of high school- I began full time college later in life, as I found I needed it to be able to move onward and upward. My goal is law school. But I began college when I was 34 years old- it was being around all the younger people and finally being convinced by them it would help me- and it does. I love the friends I made in college, they opened me up to a new world of relief and I am forever grateful.

3 months 16 days ago Shortfairy2Because of so much animosity and fear of prison or jail I quit smoking it 7 yrs ago. During those 7 yrs after quitting I've been diagnosed with chronic migraine disorder, cluster headaches, fibromyalgia, PTSD, and insomnia. Before quitting I needed no medications just a few tokes an everything was back to normal. Now I'm on propanalol, amitryptaline, baclofen, Xanax, imitrex, and with clusters butorphanol. I would flush every one of these to be able to smoke again. I'm sick of my inability to deal with the pain of everyday life not accounting what it's doing to my children. If I could smoke again I could guarantee all symptoms of all of it would disappear. It also made it easier to deal with having anti social disorder. What I would give to be pain free an give my family the attention they deserve instead of having to see me go in an out of hospitals taking pill after pill just to tolerate everyday chores. I want my life back an until they legalize medical in Florida I'm screwed an so is my family. All I want is just to be without so much pain and anxiety just enough to participate better in my kids lives.