Marijuana treatment for headaches is nothing new. Centuries ago, doctors prescribed cannabis to their patients to relieve various kinds of pain, and migraine headache is not an exception to the rule. A new study conducted at Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado Anshutz Medical Campus may provide reasons for the return of cannabis prescription for migraine headaches in the 21st century.
The study shows that weed is able to reduce the intensity and frequency of migraines. Thus, 39,7% patients treated by cannabis demonstrated positive effects. About a fifth of the participants reported a decrease in migraine frequency, and about a tenth of them showed complete termination of migraine headaches. The only negative results were experienced by patients who used marijuana edibles as opposed to other forms. The thing is that vaped or smoked cannabis is immediately absorbed by lungs into the blood stream and heart, then quickly moved to the brain, helping to relieve pain in just a couple of minutes after consumption. So, inhalation can provide the quickest relief of the ongoing migraine. The result may be caused by the entourage effect (the combination of different cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) or THC for additional medical benefits). But, despite the great amount of health advantages of smoking cannabis, many states with legalized marijuana still forbid selling and using raw weed for smoking.
Moreover, it is a well-known fact that common methods of pain relief, such as opiates, may cause a range of side effects. Among the most widespread side effects are gastrointestinal ulcerations, gastritis, nausea, cramping, heartburn, abdominal pain, upset stomach, and even bleeding. These side effects are much more harmful to patients than the ones associated with marijuana usage. That is why the natural, safe cannabis may become an alternative to painkillers sooner rather than later.