Migraines are extremely painful and disrupt the lives of millions of people every day. Typically, a migraine will cause throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head and can lead to light sensitivity, dizziness and even nausea. There are medications available that help some people manage migraines, whether it be over the counter analgesics like acetaminophen and anti-inflammatories to prescription barbiturate combinations or narcotics.
There are natural alternatives and lifestyle changes that help some people, including diet modification, meditation, acupuncture, and massage. Another popular solution people are turning to is medical cannabis.
Below are three popular questions and answers from HelloMD:
Q: I have anxiety and migraines. Can medical marijuana help me?
Answer: Dr. Olson - HelloMD Doctor
Daily, I use a high CBD, low THC tincture, 28 : 1, which has reduced about 90% of my migraines. I still get breakthrough migraines when I have ingested foods to which I react negatively.
I use the high CBD topical salve on my neck at the first sign a migraine is beginning, and I drink a large glass of water (in case it's dehydration), a cup of black coffee, and I take about one-half scoop of de-ribose, and usually the migraine is gone.
If I still notice the stuffiness in my head, I will do more CBD drops under my tongue. I always reflect on the exposures I've had that lead to migraines because I have rarely found that one exposure to one substance leads to a migraine.
CBD works well for anxiety, but if I have any breakthrough anxiety, I will rely on an oral spray of passionflower in the liposome that crosses the blood-brain barrier and is effective within 10 minutes, and there is no high. With cannabis, we must find what works for us because no one type works for everyone. With all the information we have on the website, you should be able to resolve your challenges successfully.
Be certain you maintain your blood level of 25-OH D, vitamin D3 above 50 ng/ml for optimum resolution of your symptoms.
Answer: Pamela Hadfield, Co-Founder of HelloMD
In my experience, just taking a high CBD spray is not enough to knock out my migraines. It is excellent for reducing inflammation, and as a daily regime, I do this as well.
The solution that has worked best for me and has gotten me off pharmaceuticals 99% of the time is a varied approach using multiple products to attack a migraine as I feel it coming on. I do not experience daily migraines, and I know precisely when I am most apt to get them during the month. The nature of my migraines may be different from yours.
CBD is an analgesic and an anti-inflammatory but THC is also essential for me for pain-relieving qualities, although I must be careful in how I ingest it. It tends to make me anxious if I take too much, and that doesn't feel very good!
If you suffer from anxiety, THC may relieve your anxiety, or it can make it worse. It is highly dependent on the person. For many people it helps soothe anxiety, but you need to go low and slow with any products to test your response.
My daily regime for migraines is to take Vitamin B and magnesium, as studies show that daily intake reduces the frequency of migraines for people (it may take months to feel the effects). I also take an 8:1 ratio of CBD sublingual spray, which is non-psychoactive at that ratio.
I find I like this ratio the best. If I feel the onset of a migraine, I will start to take a low THC tincture. I will also use my high CBD vape pen. I usually will vape consistently throughout the day, and again this is not psychoactive, but it seems to help ward off the heavy onset of a migraine.
Q: I get migraines, and I hear that cannabis can help to relieve this. What strain is best for migraines?
Answer: Dr. Olson - HelloMD Doctor
I also suffer from migraines, and I have studied migraines extensively. My migraines did not start until I was 33 years old and began after a spinal injury. I thought I had a brain tumor! A doctor caused my spine injury so I had no desire to go to a doctor to find relief for my migraines, and I struggled for years.
Migraines are a genetic snp (Single nucleotide polymorphism) on the X chromosome, making one very chemically sensitive. In my opinion, it is necessary to eliminate all the chemicals from your diet and your environment to eliminate migraines.
Migraine sufferers are so chemically sensitive they can suffer a migraine in their emotions that manifests as anxiety, irritability, or depression after breathing chemicals like cigarette smoke or the chemicals used in a nail salon.
Migraine sufferers tend to get irritable bowel syndrome when they eat foods that trigger this allergic reaction, especially cow dairy. One of the most pronounced pains with migraines is the pain in the neck with the muscle spasms, and it can notify you that the migraine is coming. It is a good idea to treat any spasms with topical cannabis salve which may help prevent a migraine.
If you have a migraine, drink a large glass of water, use the cannabis salve on your neck, take a dose of D-ribose (available in the health food store) to support your RNA and take CBD. Depending on your pain level, you might find the 4:1 CBD : THC sublingual spray gives great relief.
Once your migraine has started to resolve, You need to ask yourself, "What did I do to myself?" because the quicker you realize your migraine triggers the faster you can eliminate your migraines if you will avoid those triggers.
More migraines will be precipitated if you allow your vitamin D serum level (25- OH D) to fall to low (below 50 ng/ML), so consider taking approximately 10,000 international units of vitamin D3 with food daily long as your kidney function is normal.
Q: Why are my migraines worse around my period and what kind of cannabis should I use?
Answer: Dr. Bluto - HelloMD Doctor
Headaches in women, particularly migraines, are tied to shifts in the levels of the female hormone estrogen during your menstrual cycle. Estrogen levels drop right before the start of your menstrual flow.
Cannabis has been shown to reduce the frequency of migraines, and it also works quickly to relieve the symptoms of tension headaches as they occur.
Migraines may result from generators such as a bright light or loud noises triggering a chemical reaction in the brain. We also have a built-in endocannabinoid system that produces a substance called anandamidenthat is very similar in structure to cannabis.
Sometimes our endocannabinoids, usually released to restore equilibrium, are low. When this happens, we have endocannabinoid dysfunction, resulting in an inability for the brain to normalize communication. Without these endocannabinoids and their respective functions, a migraine may subsequently occurs.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that has shown the effectiveness of cannabis in treating pain caused by migraines and chronic headaches.
If migraines occur frequently, a very small, daily dose of THC may be helpful. Many people have also successfully used CBD tinctures to alleviate migraines.