Medical Marijuana Significantly Decreases Migraine Frequency, Study Shows

Medical Marijuana Significantly Decreases Migraine Frequency, Study Shows

People who suffer with migraine headaches had a significant drop in their frequency when using medical marijuana, according to a study published in the journal Pharmacotherapy.

Researchers from the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus examined 121 patients diagnosed with migraines and treated with medical marijuana between January 2010 and September 2014.  They found the frequency of migraines dropped from 10.4 to 4.6 headaches per month, which is both statistically and clinically significant.

Of the 121 people studied, 103 reported a decrease in monthly migraines, 15 reported the same number of migraines, and three people saw an increase in migraines.

“There was a substantial improvement for patients in their ability to function and feel better,” said the study’s senior author Professor Laura Borgelt, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS. “Like any drug, marijuana has potential benefits and potential risks. It’s important for people to be aware that using medical marijuana can also have adverse effects.”

About a two-thirds of the patients studied had a history of or were currently using cannabis at the time of their initial visit.  Inhaled marijuana appeared to be the favorite for treating acute migraines while edible cannabis, which takes longer to impact the body, helped prevent headaches.

Borgelt said cannabinoid receptors can be found throughout the body and appear to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. These cannabinoids also seem to affect critical neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.

“We believe serotonin plays a role in migraine headaches, but we are still working to discover the exact role of cannabinoids in this condition,” she said.

The study is one of the first to reveal a drop in migraine frequency due to medical marijuana, noting that the results were remarkable.  The study authors stressed the need for more controlled clinical studies in the future.

“If patients are considering medical marijuana they should speak to their health care provider and then follow up so we can track the impact of their overall treatment,” Borgelt said. “Open communication is necessary because we need to know how all of these treatments work together.”

A migraine headache can cause intense throbbing or a pulsing sensation in one area of the head and is commonly accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.

Migraine headaches can cause significant pain for hours to days.  Some migraines are preceded or accompanied by sensory warning symptoms (aura), such as flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling in your arm or leg.  Migraine symptoms often include a pounding headache, nausea, vomiting, and light sensitivity.

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Authored by: Staff

There are 6 comments for this article
  1. Elton L. at 7:17 pm

    Out of my other chronic pains, now my doctor has diagnosed me with another. Several years back I had suffered from a massive head injury that I want expected to survive from but I did. I had an appointment last week and I had received my recommendations today that I am now suffering with chronic migraines and it’s becoming too be a serious problem now. So now I’m looking for ba solution to my continuing headaches. I really need some recommendations for this problem.

  2. Pingback: Medical Marijuana Significantly Decreases Migraine Frequency, Study Shows | Marijuana Funding Services
  3. Ron McCune at 10:25 pm

    Fact: there is only certain types of people who want to smoke pot, legal or illegally. The rest of the population won’t smoke pot legally or illegally. Fact: Most potheads don’t do hard drugs and most hard drug users don’t smoke pot because pot forces your brain to face realities otherwise not faced. Hard drug users hate smoking pot and having to face the reality of what is happening to their lives. Fact: Economies improve with the legalization of pot because all the money that went to dope dealers will then be going into the economy through taxes. If one grows their own pot the savings they derive will go into buying things they need like cars, furniture, clothes, food and much more which will create jobs and improve the economy, Fact legalization will cut the cost of government in many ways as courts, jails and police time will no longer be needed to deal with pot. Fact: Pot is a lot less harmful than alcohol, cigarettes and overeating which cause much harm in many ways to all of us through health care cost and other cost. Fact: Pot makes you drive more cautious thus lessening accidents unlike alcohol which is legal. Fact: The Straights legalized alcohol and not pot because many love to drink but can’t cope with smoking pot because they will see how ridiculous their way of thinking is and want to control the minds of people and they know potheads can’t be mind controlled by them! Fact: Pot has many benefits such as relieving disabling illnesses by certain children and adults; helps nausea and lack of appetite due to cancer, stomach problems and other body illnesses, Fact; pot helps people who have a hard time sleeping to get sleep. Fact; when animals get sick from certain illnesses they eat pot in the wild because they know something in pot makes them feel better. Fact; pot helps greatly with depression because after feeling good from smoking pot one doesn’t feel so bad about whatever makes them depressed. Fact; the medical community and drug companies don’t want pot legalized because pot will legalization will mean less customers for them which means they will lose money when pot is made legal. Fact; Many don’t want pot to be legal because they say some people end up in the hospital from smoking pot but those people are experiencing a strong physical rush from smoking HYDRO pot for the first time in a long time which causes a very strong high that doesn’t happen again when they smoke it again. Just like heroin addicts experience a better high the first time they do heroin the body gets higher from the first time one smokes pot be it the first time or after not smoking for a while. Instead of telling people to take only two puffs of smoke from pot the first time they smoke so that they won’t experience the intense high that first time smokers get thus saving lots of medical care money and worry the straights just say nothing because they know nothing about pot! Also how can you get someone to understand something that they have never tried! Fact; Politicians are very very slow to legalize pot because many of those that oppose pot like doctors, drug companies, police, religious people and others give monetary contributions to politicians who feel compelled to promote attitudes of contributors! Fact; President Obama has shafted the pot heads of America because he has unleashed the terrorist watching police upon the illegal drug trafficking in America which resulted in the worst times in American history for potheads because these police have successfully shut down most of the pot smuggling in America because pot is so big of a drug to transport compared to other drugs like heroin which now is easier to get because drug smugglers can transfer these smaller drugs. Most of the many different kinds of pot can’t even be gotten anymore since Obama became president. Also potheads wonder why the Democratic party and Obama hasn’t done anything to address the unfairness of pot laws in the last seven years since Obama was president and even before that! Talk about being used by politicians! Obama says he wants to see how states address pot before he acts but Obama will be out of office before the issues are resolved about pot. In fact Obama alone is standing in the way of pot being turned into a Class 2 drug instead of a Class 1 drug which would let the medical community investigate pot more freely. Potheads are the last discriminated class of people in America to have their issues addressed. Are YOU going to put an end to this discrimination in any way shape of form! Improve your economy by legalizing pot or pay the consequences for not doing so! Facts count!

  4. Kristine (Krissy) at 10:49 am

    Agree! Don’t “they” realize that money can be made? It all seems to be about money and power, so let’s show them statistics. Colorado for one, has a great economic base and consistent stream coming from MMj (and recreational). If I had MMj, I know I would feel better! The feds need their share? Give it to them. But I think the biggest problem is that more studies are needed (according to the government) even though we all know it’s safe and effective.

  5. misti m at 10:12 am

    I wish that Wisconsin would approve the use of MMJ
    I have MS,Fibro ,Scoliosis, and DDD and with it frequent headaches mine start out like my side vision is seeing through a kaleidoscope a full on migraine with it the migraine meds I have tried make me sick to my stomach I know if I had access to MMJ it would improve my life GREATLY thank you so much for the study the more that MMJ is studied the better those of us who do suffer……………. the Greater the chance we have of it being made a Schedule 1

  6. PhDScientist at 9:51 am

    Please contact the white house comment line at (202) 456-1111 and ask that the President get Medical Marijuana removed from Schedule 1 immediately, so Physicians in all 50 states can prescribe it on the same basis as every other medication.

    Knowing what we do now, it’s immoral and its nuts to leave Marijuana illegal for even one second longer.

    Medical Marijuana is a “Wonder Drug” for Cancer patients undergoing Chemotherapy, and the biochemicals in Marijuana fight Cancer six ways —
    1. Medical Marijuana is anti-angiogenic — it prevents tumors from growing new blood vessel networks
    2. It causes Cancer cells to undergo apoptosis, where the cells commit suicide, which is a way that many chemotherapeutic agents work, but its much more specific to only cancer cells so its much gentler on the rest of the patient’s body and doesn’t case secondary Cancers years later like many Chemotherapeutic agents do.
    3. It causes Cancer cells to undergo autophagy, where the defective cells “eat themselves.”
    4. It’s anti-metastatic — it stops Cancer from spreading.
    5. Its anti-proliferative, It stops Cancer cells from over dividing.
    6. Its synergistic with Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy, increasing their effectiveness.
    Because it fights Cancer in multiple ways its much more difficult for the Cancer cells to mutate in a way that defeats the treatment — that’s one of the reasons that modern Chemotherapy uses multiple drug “cocktails,
    Patients around the world are seeing amazing results against a wide range of Cancers, even at stage 4, using High Dose Medical Marijuana Oil Therapy — HDMMOT.
    .
    We need to get large scale clinical trials of HDMMOT going IMMEDIATELY.
    In a recent survey, 82% of American Oncologists said they wanted their Cancer patients to be able to use Medical Marijuana as part of their treatment regimen.
    We need action of the federal level on this important issue NOW.
    This year 1.7 Million Americans will be diagnosed with Cancer, and half of them will eventually die from it — after going through “Hell on Earth”
    Every American with Cancer deserves the right to have safe, legal, access to Medical Marijuana.
    Every. Single. One.