Migraine is a common neurological condition that happens to people of different ages and genders. Statistically, more often migraines hit women between 20-45 years old.
The latest medical studies demonstrate that weekly or monthly migraine attacks affect at least about 20% of the world’s population. According to the American Medical Association, in the US alone, about 37 million people suffer from chronic migraines.
Migraine is a chronic illness that takes the form of severe headache attacks at regular intervals. Migraine sufferers lose their ability to work efficiently and enjoy daily activities. They face weakness and low levels of concentration, suffering from debilitating pain, sudden mood swings, a painful reaction to light as well as nausea, and dizziness. Moreover, a migraine negatively impacts the psychological state, since pain syndrome has an unpleasant effect on the autonomic nervous system, causing anxiety, nervousness, sleep deprivation and loss of appetite. A migraine attack may arise because of multiple triggers, including the lack of sleep, stress, weather changes, sensory stimulation, reaction to some food or drinks, etc.
In addition to the main migraine symptoms, this illness is accompanied by passive symptoms such as:
- Chronic fatigue or depression
- Hyperactivity and irritability
- Changes in appetite
- Temporary loss of vision or visual hallucinations
- Tingling or slight numbness in the limbs
- Forgetfulness and distraction of thoughts
Painkillers, special anti-migraine drugs such as triptans are commonly prescribed as a part of treatment, but they often have side effects including dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, feeling sleepy, and skin reaction. That’s why migraine sufferers never stop seeking alternative solutions, and marijuana becomes one of them. Medical marijuana is known for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. It reduces migraine symptoms and the duration of migraine, making the pain less intense and more manageable. In order to use quality marijuana as a part of continuous treatment, getting a medical marijuana card can be a solution.
With consistent medical cannabis treatment, the frequency of migraines is significantly reduced. Such results of a study by Israeli scientists were recently published in the Brain Sciences Journal. Patients also noted that in addition to reducing pain, they felt positive changes in mood, experienced better sleep and muscle relaxation.
Medical Cannabis for Migraines: How Does It Work?
Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout our body: in the brain, organs, immune cells. Being a kind of bridge between body and mind, the endocannabinoid system is responsible for pain sensitivity, digestion, appetite, and mood. Medical cannabis consists of THC and CBD that are able to create interaction with certain receptors in the human body, thus reducing pain and discomfort. Both these psychoactive compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system but have different effects. Overall, cannabis reduces pain during migraine attacks, relieves dizziness, nausea, and general weakness – inseparable companions of migraines. In addition, cannabis is excellent for relaxing and reducing stress, which is the most frequent trigger of migraines.
Best Types of Medical Marijuana for Migraines
The cannabinoid THC is responsible for the euphoric and relaxing effects associated with marijuana. But another product extracted from cannabis is CBD (cannabidiol) – it is this substance that is mostly used in medicine. It doesn’t make you intoxicated and helps reduce pain. Several US states, including Arizona, Utah, Ohio, have made the use of such types of marijuana legal for medical purposes. Be aware that each state has its own rules and laws about how you can legally buy and consume marijuana.
Some strains with high THC levels may cause nervousness and paranoia when consumed in large doses, which won’t be useful for a person suffering from migraines. Therefore, it’s important to choose a marijuana strain with the right concentration of compounds to provide a desired therapeutic effect. The hybrid marijuana strains with a balanced mixture of stimulating and relaxing effects is the most preferable option. Below are some of the most common strains used in the treatment of a migraine:
- OG Kush
Perfect for reducing headaches in the evening, as it also improves sleep quality.
It has a low concentration of THC, which’s why the extracts of this plant can be used throughout the day.
- Dream Queen
Ideal for the long-term headaches’ treatment and nausea associated with migraines.
- Purple Kush
Another strain high in CBD that not only suppresses migraine symptoms but also improves the quality of sleep.
Balanced strain with an equal concentration of THC and CBD, which gives the plant a relaxing and tonic effect without causing severe drowsiness.
For more detailed information regarding the use of marijuana and qualifying conditions in Utah, check out this page. Though migraine is not on the list, you can still be qualified for a medical card.
BIO: My name is Alice Sava, I am a professional copywriter with more than 6 years of experience. I’ve written on a variety of topics. Now I’m creating a series of posts devoted to psychosomatic, depression/anxiety/migraine treatment, animal therapy, and more. I will be happy to share my knowledge with your readers.