Can cannabis be used to treat headaches? What have scientists discovered so far – Inverse

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Before a set of anti-marijuana, xenophobic laws became law throughout the U.S. in the 1930s marijuana wasn’t always accessible It was also common medical professionals to recommend it to treat headaches, migraines and migraines.

The personal physician of Queen Victoria advocated cannabis as an alternative treatment for headaches and based his recommendation by a well-established history. In the past, Greeks and Persians advised making use of cannabis to treat illnesses that were related to the head and the first documented document of Arabic Pharmacology records that cannabis was used to treat headaches. In 1937, when you read the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed, it was resisted in The American Medical Association.

The prohibition of cannabis had slowed research into its potential medicinal and therapeutic uses, but it did not hinder users from taking the psychoactive plant to relieve the pain.

Discussions on the benefits of cannabis for migraines are commonplace on the internet, with some saying that even though migraines won’t be eliminated, it helps make the pain bearable. In a study conducted in 2016 of 1,429 self-identified medicinal marijuana patients, 36 per cent claimed to be that they were using it for headaches and migraines.

The question is: Can the use of cannabis reallycombat migraines in certain people? If so, what is the reason?

The answer isn’t quite clear as explained by Jessica Ailani, a clinical professor of neurology at MedStar’s Georgetown University Hospital and director of the MedStar Georgetown Headache Center in Washington D.C.

“Cannabis requires further research before its the effectiveness of migraine treatment can be broadly understood,” Ailani tells me. “It is not clear if it is beneficial or harmful, and how often it is employed, whether it can cause an effect that is rebounding or is there a specific kind of cannabis the most efficient in treating migraine. We have much to learn.”

Cannabis and migraines

As of now, research based on self-reported findings suggests inhaling cannabis may reduce the severity of migraine by 50% — however its effectiveness is diminished due to the frequency of use perhaps due to a developed tolerance.

The results of preclinical studies on animals suggest that the benefits that people claim they have experienced could be due to the way in which the endocannabinoid systems (ECS) is able to interact and regulate neural pathways associated with migraines. This ECS is a system composed of chemicals and cellular receptors across the brain and body; when a person is using cannabis the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a receptor-binding agent which are part of the network.

“People who suffer from migraines often seek out doctors to know what their opinions about cannabis use to treat migraines , and the answer is always not having the clinical evidence to guide patients in one way or the other,” Nathaniel Shuster tells me.

Shuster is an neurologist who treats pain and headaches in UC San Diego Health and an investigator for the university’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research.

He’s working towards resolving this. Shuster and his coworkers are conducting the first double-blind, randomized study that is placebo-controlled and examines cannabis as a possible treatment for migraines with acute symptoms. As of now, they have recruited 75 participants to the trial and expect to complete enrollment at the end of this summer, at the earliest.

Since they’re “blinded” by the findings and the research team isn’t able to determine which person was treated with what — there’s not any reason to doubt the results however the aim is to ultimately randomly assign 90 people to any of four treatment options including the TCH method, CBD and a mix of both or an uncontrolled placebo. The treatments will be administered using the use of a vaporizer. Vaporized cannabis could be more effective for patients who suffer from migraine-related nausea and stomach problems. The trial is open to anyone who wants to participate. that participants not regularly use cannabis or take opioids.

As of now, Shuster does not recommend the use of cannabis on a daily basis to treat migraines since “we aren’t sure the possibility that frequent use of cannabis could cause migraines to worse, leading to what is known as the overuse of medications and migraine rebound.”

“I suggest that people who don’t have a doctor’s treatment for migraines and are experiencing migraines for more than four days in a month, they should schedule appointments with their physician to discuss treatment options for migraine prevention,” Shuster says.

What is the best method for migraine relief?

Migraine medication is divided into two categories that are pain relief and preventive.

The category for pain-relieving includes commonly used drugs, for example, Advil or Motrin IB — and medications specifically designed for migraines. Preventative drugs comprise, but aren’t limited to antidepressants, antiseizure medicines and blood pressure-lowering medication.

Although these treatments may help however, the issue in treating migraines is that they are not suitable for every patient, Shuster explains. “There remain some patients who are not candidates for these medications. aren’t effective,” he adds.

This has led to a determination to research alternative ways of doing thingsSome of which have proved to be effective. For instance studies have suggested that to cut down alcohol consumption and caffeine intake can benefit and so can diets that are enriched with omega-3 fats.

Biofeedback, relaxation exercises and migraine-focused cognitive behavior therapy may also help reduce the frequency of migraines. Research suggests that mindfulness may help in managing migraines and decrease the frequency of disability related to migraine.

Regular sleep and exercise can also help to reduce migraine frequency according to Ailani. This is a means of exercising moderately and adhering to a consistent routine of sleep.

Cannabis can help relieve headaches? What have scientists discovered so far

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