Cannabis is continually being studied for its various health benefits, whether for recreational use or therapeutic purposes. If you ask enthusiasts about it, you’ll hear how plenty of people say that puffing on a joint can do many things, such as alleviate stress and anxiety, help you get better sleep, and even take the edge off nausea and severe pain you may feel anywhere in your body.
Yes, these anecdotes are encouraging, and for some people, it might be enough to prove that cannabis can be an effective treatment for severe headaches and migraines. However, for the best results, you need to look at scientific studies to truly evaluate the efficacy of cannabis for pain.
Here are some important things that recent research has shown about cannabis and migraines.
Medical Marijuana and Migraines
Can medical marijuana help combat migraines? Technically, it’s difficult to claim a particular benefit if you generalise them all. The benefits people get from the plant are focused on its resin-covered flowers. They contain a myriad of beneficial compounds like flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids, and they all provide unique effects on the human body.
There are thousands of cannabis strains available, and every one of them comes with different ratios of natural chemicals, which means they all have varying levels of impact on the body. Most studies agree that you should focus on high-THC medical marijuana varieties if you want relief from a migraine.
In a 2019 study conducted at Washington State University, an impressive 49.6 per cent of 1,300 migraine patients experienced relief from the severity of migraine attacks after they used cannabis.
In another study done in 2021, 589 adult cannabis users were asked anecdotal questions about their usage through an online survey. Among these medical marijuana users, 70 per cent agree that using cannabis helped them in handling their migraine attacks. However, the conclusion of the study still agrees that future studies are required to learn more about the relationship between cannabis and migraines.
CBD and Migraines
Many people do not want to take medical marijuana because of its THC content and psychoactive effects. This is where CBD comes in—it is a cannabinoid that binds with the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors.
According to studies, CBD disrupts the function of an enzyme called FAAH. Since CBD inhibits FAAH, it circulates anandamide, which helps in endocannabinoid deficiency. This effect is now being clinically studied to further the research on the effects of CBD as a treatment for migraine.
At present, there have been no human trials looking at the benefits of CBD against migraines. So, if you’re wondering about its efficacy, you should still wait for further research before you rule it out or think of it as a 100 per cent effective treatment.
Based on recent studies, medical cannabis can be helpful for migraine prevention and treatment. Yes, it has the potential to be a cure. But, notably, it’s also not for everyone. Considering that research is continually coming, cannabis enthusiasts can be hopeful for more concrete answers in the future.
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