People who suffer from migraines spend significant time and energy to prevent, manage and recover from the painful ailment. Here is a remedy becoming available to more of those afflicted: Medical marijuana.
Yet another study, this one conducted by Italian researchers and published in June, suggests that cannabis may be more effective at reducing migraine pain than pharmaceutical drugs.
The research found that patients suffering from “cluster headaches” only found relief if the symptoms began in childhood.
“We were able to demonstrate that cannabinoids are an alternative to established treatments in migraine prevention,” wrote Dr. Maria Nicolodi, the study’s lead author. “That said, they are only suited for use in the acute treatment of cluster headaches in patients with a history of migraine from childhood on.”
Related Story: Science: Why More Marijuana May Equal Fewer Migraines
The study examined the medicinal impact of oral cannabinoid treatments compared to amitriptyline, a pharmaceutical commonly prescribed for migraines. Patients treated daily with a 200 mg dose of a combination of THC and CBD achieved a 40 percent reduction in migraine frequency – a result that was similar to the efficacy of amitriptyline therapy.
Subjects also reported that cannabinoid therapy significantly reduced acute migraine pain, but only when taken at doses above 100 mg.
More than 5 million Americans experience migraines at least once a month.
This is not the first time a study found a connection to cannabis and reduced migraine symptoms.
A study from the University of Colorado, published earlier this year, showed that the frequency of migraines in patients who used cannabis dropped from 10.4 per month to 4.6.
This study indicated that smoked marijuana, which hits the bloodstream almost instantly, was best for treating acute migraines. Edibles, which take much longer to metabolize, helped prevent headaches.