Many have been using medicinal cannabis to treat migraines for a long time with great success. Despite marijuana's obvious efficacy in helping with severe headaches, up until recently there has been very little research that shows us why it works so well. There are several ways that one can consume cannabis for treatment including vaping, smoking, or ingesting it.
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Recent Studies on Cannabis and Migraines
No clinical trials currently exist to demonstrate the effects of cannabis on patients with migraine headaches. With that said, the potential effects of marijuana's active ingredients (cannabinoids) on serotonin levels in the central nervous system indicate that marijuana could be a viable alternative therapy.
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Since there are no clinical trails yet, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado recently performed a study to determine the effects of medical marijuana on the monthly frequency of migraine headache. The study was conducted with 121 adult participants who suffer from migraines and smoked cannabis as treatment for them. Some results included:
Average number of migraines went from 10.4 a month down to 4.6 a month
11.6% of participants said the cannabis stopped their headaches
19.8% of participants said cannabis helped prevent migraines from ever happening
Roughly 85% reported having fewer migraines per month while using marijuana
As expected, subjects found that the effects of cannabis were realized much faster when inhaling the vaporized or smoked marijuana as opposed to ingesting it through infused edibles. While many of the results were positive, as noted above, 11.6% of respondents in the study noticed negative effects. It should be noted that edibles were "reported to cause more negative effects compared with other forms."
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Many studies have tried to help us understand how exactly marijuana helps with migraines. Sadly, the one conducted by Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences recently didn't help to give an explanation. It did however serve as fantastic support for past research that shows cannabis as a powerful treatment for headaches and migraines specifically. Over 85% of subjects seeing a reduction in frequency of migraines is hard to ignore.
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Hopefully in the future, we will have a better understanding of WHY cannabis is such an effective treatment for migraines. In the mean time, there is overwhelming evidence of its efficacy for those who suffer from debilitating, and often chronic migraines. If you or a loved on one is one of those people, speak to you physician about medicinal marijuana as a treatment. They should be able to help you acquire and consume your medicine in the safest way possible.
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