Chronic pain relieving has long been associated as one of the benefits that cannabis can provide patients. For those of us who suffer with intense migraine episodes will know that conventional pain relief tablets do not adequately counteract the pain that you will experience. Also, these pain medications often come with some rather unpleasant side effects which make them unsuitable for long term use.
A recent study from the University of Colorado makes most interesting reading. The researchers involved examined the different effects that inhaled and ingested marijuana had on migraine sufferers. The results added weight to the already strong body of knowledge that is currently available. From the 121 participants in the study, the following data was collected:
- On the average, the number of migraines that a patient experienced decreased markedly from 10.4 to just 4.6.
- Four out of 10 of the patients experienced positive effects as a result of using medicinal marijuana.
- 20% of the participants were delighted to say that the cannabis helped prevent migraines from occurring.
- Further good news was reported with 11.6% of the participants noting that their migraines stopped completely.
- 85% of the participants said that they had fewer migraines over the month compared to a cannabis free month.
- Around 12% said that by using cannabis, nothing had changed at all.
- Two of the participants noted an increase in migraines. This could have been due to other factors other than the cannabis usage.
From the study, it was found that when participants inhaled the cannabis, they managed to achieve a better pain relieving effect, and were thus more likely to kill the pain. Edible cannabis took longer to work, which is to be expected since it needs to be digested in the stomach. There were also some side effects such as lethargy and tiredness with this method of ingestion.
Whilst this is not the only study which has been completed into using cannabis for migraines, it does add to the body of evidence already collected. Studies which have been completed in the past tried to improve our understanding of why cannabis helps migraines. It was found that migraines sufferers tended to have an overall deficiency of CB2 receptors – although this needs to be backed up with further evidence and study. But, it is really encouraging that around 85% of the participants experienced an overall reduction in the number of migraines they had.
To improve our understanding further, it would be useful for studies to be carried out on the different types of strains that are able to help migraines. This can be done by finding out which cannabinoids are most effective at targeting migraine pain. Until this is completed, anecdotal evidence will need to be used in order to gauge which strain is the best for migraines. If you have your own personal experience, we’d encourage you to share it with us.