Migraine headaches are quite common, affecting 12% of the worldwide population. Migraine headaches usually start in response to a certain trigger. Usually there is mild pain that escalates to severe pain, described as throbbing or pulsing headache, often affecting one side of the head. Associated symptoms include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light or sound. Migraine sufferers may feel sensory warning symptoms, called a feeling, before onset of the headaches. Migraines appear to run in families. The mainstay of treatment is a group of drugs called “triptans” which work by blocking the release of pro inflammatory compounds in the brain. These are fairly effective for aborting or lessening harshness of migraine headaches. Unfortunately, negative effects could be significant and will include rebound headaches, pain or chest tightness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, or warmth, redness, or tingling underneath the skin. Triptans can also be costly, and lots of insurance providers restrict the amount of these medications that can be dispensed to patients. Another group of medicines called ergot alkaloids will also be prescribed for migraines, however are less efficient than triptans.
Unfortunately, little research exists that proves the mechanism through which cannabinoids alleviate migraines, inspite of the overwhelming anecdotal reports from patients suffering with them. Recent reports demonstrate that migraine headaches might be due to endocannabinoid deficiency and abnormal inflammatory response. Remember that the endocannabinoid system exists to keep cellular homeostasis. Often migraine sufferers are convinced that headaches begin in response to a trigger, such as bright light, hunger, hormones, or certain smells or foods. The trigger event causes an imbalance inside the brain, that ought to then trigger the production of endocannabinoids to keep up homeostasis. If an individual is deficient in endocannabinoids, the imbalance continues, ultimately causing growth and development of the migraine headache. The trigger may also cause inflammation, which may become uncontrollable and play a role in the resulting pain.
The few studies who have checked out the hyperlink between migraines and also the ECS are summarized here:
Endocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids inhibited receptors that control vomiting and pain, working to block these symptoms. THC reduces serotonin release (which blocks vomiting and pain) through the platelets of human migraine sufferers.
Cannabinoids were found to bind to parts of the periaqueductal gray matter (an section of the brain that modulates pain transmission) that have been implicated in migraine generation.Three cases were reported of chronic heavy users of cannabis developing severe migraine attacks after abrupt cessation of use; authors suggested that these particular rebound attacks are similar to similar rebound headaches gone through by migraine patients whenever they abruptly stop other migraine treatment. Genes that allow for increased inflammation were found in migraine patients and never present in control subjects.
Endocannabinoid levels were decreased in patients with chronic migraine and medication-over-use headaches suggesting that endocannabinoid dysfunction is involved with these two chronic conditions
Cannabis has been used for thousands of years to treat headaches. Medical cannabis patients are finding relief of pain, less nausea, and sleep. Patients also report less frequency and less harshness of their migraine headaches with medical cannabis use. A number of well-known trigger factors for migraine headaches, specifically sleep deprivation and anxiety or stress, are alleviated with cannabis, thereby reducing the amount of migraine attacks. Patients also are convinced that they spend less health care dollars on expensive migraine medications, have less missed days in school or at work, and also have overall improved standard of living.
There is not any question that THC-rich cannabis can help abort or lessen the seriousness of a migraine, particularly when taken on the onset of the discomfort. Some patients are convinced that low-dose, regular usage of THC-rich medicine significantly reduces frequency and harshness of the headaches. Other patients report that daily CBD-rich cannabis prevents migraine from occurring. Once the headache begins, a rapid delivery method like inhalation or sublingual tincture is liked by most. Specific strain choice results from testing for many patients.
Most cannabinoids are classified under schedule 1 in the Federal Controlled Substances Act 1970, in addition to heroin and ecstacy. So they can not be prescribed by physicians, and by implication, have no accepted medical use having a high abuse potential. Despite their legal status, hallucinogens and cannabinoids are used by patients for relief of headache, helped by the growing number of American states which have legalized medical marijuana. Cannabinoids particularly possess a long history of utilization in the abortive cuudpe and prophylactic management of migraine before prohibition and are still employed by patients being a migraine abortive specifically. Most practitioners are not aware of the prominence cannabis or “marijuana” once held in medical practice. Hallucinogens are now being increasingly employed by cluster headache patients outside of physician recommendation mainly to abort a cluster period and keep quiescence in which there exists considerable anecdotal success. The legal status of cannabinoids and hallucinogens has for a long period severely inhibited medical research, and there are still no blinded studies on headache subjects, from where we might assess true efficacy.