Cannabis has long been used for the treatment of headaches, but only in recent years have scientists closed in on the reasons why.
Headaches can be a real drag. Whether you’re someone who suffers from headaches, tension headaches, cluster headaches or migraines, it can be really tough to get through the day. Causes can range anywhere from hormonal imbalances, to diet, to light sensitivity, to tension and stress. Finding a suitable treatment can be really difficult. But, good news! Marijuana can help.
“In the U.S., more than 37 million people suffer from migraines,” said Marijuana News.
A study done by the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology found that the THC-CBD combination reduced the frequency and pain of headaches by over 40 percent. THC–CBD outperformed prescription medications as a treatment. This resulted in fewer incidences of stomach aches, muscle pain and other issues associated with the medications.
Another study done by the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado looked at the effects of cannabis on migraine sufferers. The study found that the average number of headaches decreased from 10.4 per month down to 4.6. In addition, nearly 40% of the subjects reported positive effects.
The Problem with Headaches and Pharmaceuticals
Headache patients have struggled in the search for the underlying causes of their disorder. To find answers, they tend to spend additional funds for diagnostic testing, lab work, and various prescriptions. In addition, medication such as Ibuprofen (Advil) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can actually be harmful.
Ibuprofen’s side-effects can cause heart, kidney, and liver failure. Not to mention an increased risk of heart attack or asthma at high doses. Other, less serious, side-effects include heartburn, rash, and dizziness. Some may also experience gastro pain. This can be caused by the stomach lining breaking down from the medication. Acetaminophen places a huge burden on our liver, potentially causing severe damage and acute liver failure, especially when combined with other medications, alcohol or when taken on an empty stomach. Not to mention the possibility of overdosing, withdrawal, or death.
The World Health Organization ranks migraines as the 19th most common disability, and migraine sufferers.
“They use twice the amount of prescription drugs and visit doctors and emergency rooms twice as often.”
The Benefits of Cannabis
Cannabis begins to emerge as a viable and far less harmful option. Not only can millions of people find safe and reliable relief but it may also lessen the devastating financial and health toll of the opioid crisis.
Researchers are confident that these findings can go a long way towards replacing opioids as the go-to for pain relief. Eric P. Baron of the Cleveland Clinic Department of Neurology came to the same conclusion in a medical review of marijuana.
“CB1 receptors [one of the body’s cannabinoid receptors] are 10 times more concentrated than opioid receptors in the brain.”
Inhalation methods appeared to provide the fastest effects and were more likely to stop migraine headaches in their tracks. On the other hand, edibles can take up to an hour before any relief happens. For patients, edibles are a great discreet option but not quick enough to eliminate a headache immediately.
CBD – To the Rescue
Some patients are finding recovery methods in CBD. Cannabidiol has no psychoactive effects whatsoever, meaning users won’t get high. Cannabidiol is a potent pain reliever and can be extracted from the marijuana plant and put into pills or oils. CBD seems to have the ability to reduce the frequency and the intensity of migraines.
While other medications are doctor recommended, cannabis still has them beat in terms of safety, no matter what dose! Also, cannabis may create a new market for naturally derived medications.