Medical Marijuana and Migraines
If you're a long-time victim of chronic pain, always searching for something that can help relieve the pain, you've probably heard about medical marijuana before and wondered whether it could actually help alleviate the pain you're in. The good news is, there is evidence to suggest that marijuana won't merely help treat your pain, but can also help prevent future pain conditions from ever forming at all.
Migraine headaches are a complicated neurological condition which are often experienced differently depending upon the person. However, there are usually a few common symptoms between cases. Over 60% of people who suffer from migraines experience:
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Fatigue or exhaustion
- Food cravings or a complete lack of appetite accompanied by extreme thirst
- Mood swings
- Pain localized behind eyes or temples and often on one side of the head
- Throbbing pain
In 1996 the state of California became the first state in the country to begin offering legal medical marijuana to people. Since that time, more and more states have begun to loosen their medical marijuana laws for those struggling with severe pain.
Medical marijuana is derived from the plant Cannabis sativa. All cannabis plants are made up of two primary components CBD and THC.
CBD —Does not produce mind-altering effects and works within the body to produce other feelings of well-being.
THC —The main psychoactive component of marijuana which produces the feelings of euphoria often associated with getting high.
Many states allow the use of THC under their medical marijuana laws and use of CBD is allowed under federal law.
Depending upon the state you live in, medical marijuana has been approved for treatment for a variety of qualifying conditions including:
- Alzheimer's disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn's disease
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Multiple sclerosis and muscle spasms
- Severe and chronic pain
- Severe nausea
How does Marijuana Help with Migraines?
Your body has a cell-signaling system which is known as the endocannabinoid system. Within this system are receptors, or tiny proteins attached to your cells. Their job is to receive chemical signals from your cells from outside stimuli and help your body respond to them.
CBD Marijuana is made up of natural components called cannabinoids. These cannabinoids interact with your pain receptors in your body and change how they work, calming them down and easing your pain.
A recent study out of the University of Colorado concluded that roughly 40% of the participantswho used medical marijuana during their study reported the number of migraines they suffered every month was cut in half while using the drug.
How can I Take Marijuana?
So, if you're interested in trying medical marijuana, and you live in a state where it is legal to do so, what are your options for consuming the CBD drug to help with your migraines? Marijuana is a versatile drug which may be consumed in a number of ways.
Inhale or Smoke — The study from the University of Colorado seems to suggest that smoking marijuana was the preferred method for migraine control. Participants said it was easiest to control how much of the drug they consumed and reported the least side effects.
Edibles— Just like with smoking, marijuana now comes in a wide variety of edible formats from gummies, to cookies, to smoothies, there's a snack for everyone. For people who are averse to inhaling marijuana or smoke, edibles are a good alternative and allow for a very precise dosage delivery. They also taste great and are long-lasting.
Patches— A medical marijuana patchis a good way to get a low dose of CBD into your body over a long period of time. Patches can also be cut in half for smaller doses and like edibles, there is no smoking required.
Topicals— If you are looking for targeted pain relief, topicals, such as lotions and oils, are a good way to go which also help address skin issues, so that's a bonus! While they may not be as effective for migraines, they may help treat some side effects of the condition.
Sprays and Tinctures — When extracted cannabinoids are mixed into an alcohol glycerin solution (often times coconut oil) the end result is perfect for people who do not wish to damage their lungs with smoke and wish to control their own dosages. Simply spray or it under your tongue, and it absorbs naturally into the thin tissue of your mouth. This system is the preferred one for childrensuffering from epilepsy and has a very mild to no taste, and it also takes effect faster than edibles for immediate relief.
Ingesting the Raw Leaf — For some patients with chronic pain which doesn't seem to respond to any other treatment, ingesting the raw leaf or juicing it seems to work. Perhaps the healing components which are lost during the drying and heating phase remain intact for a more natural delivery of the drug to the system.
It may take time for you and your doctor to work out the correct dosage and delivery system for your migraines and the pain you are in. If you've been struggling with migraine treatment, and you think it may be time to try medical marijuana, contact us today to make an appointment and discuss your options.