Research Finds Cannabis-Based Medication Successful in Treating Migraines

Photo by Dale Shirley

Research on the extraordinary properties and medical benefits of cannabis is taking off. Yet another study has confirmed that cannabinoids are more effective in reducing the frequency of acute migraine headache pain than currently prescribed medication. And, naturally, there are far fewer side effects.

The study, which included 127 participants who suffered from chronic migraine and cluster headaches, which are severe headaches that occur on one side of the head usually around one eye. Migraine pain usually affects both sides of the head and is often accompanied by sensitivity to light, visual distortions and nausea.

The researchers, who presented their findings at the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology in Amsterdam, gave study participants a cannabis-based medication that was a combination of THC and CBD.

The study, led by Dr. Maria Nicolodi and published in the European Pharmaceutical Review, was done in two phases.

In the first phase, sufferers of chronic, acute migraines were given varying doses of the THC-CBD combination. The results showed that those who received 200 mg doses each day for three months experienced significantly less pain—about 55 percent less—while lower doses did not provide the same pain relief.

The second phase included both those suffering from chronic migraines and those suffering from cluster headaches.

Migraine sufferers were given either the THC-CBD treatment or 25 milligrams of amitriptyline, an antidepressant often used to treat migraines.

The cluster headache sufferers were given either the THC-CBD treatment or 80 milligrams of verapamil, a calcium channel blocker often prescribed for cluster headaches.

The results showed that THC-CBD was slightly better at reducing the frequency of migraine attacks than the commonly prescribed medications.

The THC-CBD combination was very effective at reducing migraine pain, cutting it by 43.5 percent.

It was also effective at reducing the severity of pain among cluster headache sufferers, but only if they had a history of migraines from childhood.

The study reinforces earlier research showing that medical marijuana is effective in reducing the frequency of migraines.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraine headaches are the third most prevalent illness across the globe, affecting around one billion people, making it the sixth most disabling illness in the world.

Amazingly, 12 percent of the population in the United States (more than 38 million people) suffer from migraines and that includes children, who often go undiagnosed. So, when your children complain of bad headaches, pay attention.

Nicolodi’s study is yet another research finding that confirms MMJ to be an effective and far safer alternative to prescription pain medications.

In view of the rush to prescribe opioids and other prescription drugs, which currently has millions of Americans addicted, dying from overdoses or incarcerated, isn’t it time to start looking at safe alternatives?

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