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According to a new study, those who suffer from migraine headaches who use both traditional medicine (such as painkillers) and medical marijuana found that the latter provides them with better relief to their pain. The study was published in the journal Complimentary Therapies in Medicine and is titled Experience of migraine, its severity, and perceived efficacy of treatments among cannabis users. The study was also epublished by the National Institute of Health.

For the study researchers analyzed 161 subjects who reported suffering regularly from migraines. They found that 76% endorsed medical marijuana use for their condition. Those who did not state they use medical marijuana reported getting more migraines.

“Among migraineurs who relied on both cannabis and non-cannabis products, cannabis products led to significantly more migraine relief (90 percent relief) than non-cannabis products (60 percent relief), a finding that, to our knowledge, has not been reported previously”, states the study.

“Our preliminary findings elucidate the experience of migraine and migraine severity in a large sample of cannabis users [and] provide evidence for the utility of cannabis for mitigating migraine-related pain”, states researchers. “Future placebo-controlled studies are needed to determine the cannabis forms, potencies, and dosages that are most effective at mitigating migraine symptoms.”

The study concludes by stating “The present study provides insight into the prevalence of cannabis use for migraine relief in a sample of cannabis users, and suggests that these migraineurs experience a high level of migraine relief from cannabis. Future studies are needed to determine the cannabis forms, potencies, and dosages that are most effective at treating migraine pain.”

Below is the study’s full abstract:

Objectives: As the legal and cultural landscape surrounding cannabis use in the United States continues to evolve, more Americans are turning to cannabis to self-medicate a number of ailments, including migraines. The purpose of the present study was to examine patterns of cannabis use and its associated relief among migraineurs.

Design: Participants were N = 589 adult cannabis users living in states with full legal access. Using a cross-sectional design, participants completed an online survey assessing their cannabis use profiles, migraine experience, and self-reported relief from cannabis and non-cannabis treatments.

Results: 161 participants (27.3 %) reported experiencing migraines. 76.4 % of migraineurs (N = 123) endorsed using cannabis to treat their migraines. 69.9 % (N = 86) of migraineurs using cannabis for migraine relief also endorsed using non-cannabis products (e.g., over-the-counter pain medication, triptans) to treat their migraines. Although their subjective health was similar (p = .17), migraineurs who endorsed using cannabis to treat their migraines reported more severe migraines compared to those who did not (p = .02). Migraineurs reported significantly more migraine relief from cannabis compared to non-cannabis products, even after controlling for migraine severity (p = .03). The majority of migraineurs using cannabis to treat their migraines were not medical cardholders (65.0 %), suggesting that these individuals were self-medicating in lieu of physician guidance.

Conclusions: The present study provides insight into the prevalence of cannabis use for migraine relief in a sample of cannabis users, and suggests that these migraineurs experience a high level of migraine relief from cannabis. Future studies are needed to determine the cannabis forms, potencies, and dosages that are most effective at treating migraine pain.



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