Migraines and Medical Cannabis Treatment
The American Migraine Foundation details the condition as a recurring “ice pick” of headaches. Short-lived, intense headaches that last momentarily are a primary condition; whereas, secondary types are temporary ice pick headaches that occur due to an underlying cause or problem.
One and four Americans suffer from a migraine condition, with 12% of the population, including adolescents as well as adults, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. The condition, most common between the ages of 18 to 44, is treated in various ways, including medical cannabis, which has proven to work effectively. WebMD details precisely why.
“Inside your brain and other parts of your body, you have a network of cannabinoid receptors. These are tiny loops of protein that affect how you feel pain. Marijuana has natural compounds called cannabinoids. When you use it, these cannabinoids go into your body and look for the receptors. They change how the receptors work, and they can calm down pain signals,” according to the medical news website.
Migraines Causes, Treatments & Symptoms
As a type of headache, WebMD breaks down the various forms, including ice pick, which is the same as migraine. This type of problem that lasts for a short duration can occur a few times a day, often a symptom of an underlying condition. WebMD reports up to more than a dozen causes of a migraine: gene, age, gender, nerve signals and brain chemicals, hormonal changes, emotional stress, certain foods, skipping meals, alcohol, caffeine, sensory overload, changes in sleeping pattern, physical strain, and too much medication.
Due to so many causes, treatment for migraines varies accordingly. While foods regulate blood sugar levels can cause migraines, so can anxiety from emotional stress. The Mayo Clinic reports the most common migraine treatments are pain-relieving and preventive medicines, including opioid medication, which is the last resort method for pain due to the highly addictive nature of the drug.
Utilizing the Power of Cannabinoids for Migraines
The Association of Migraine Disorders reports the most conclusive evidence that medical cannabis can ease the condition. They tell the personal story of Michelle Tracy, aka the Migraine Warrior. After trying all other treatments, Tracy found herself driving two hours to Boston to see Dr. Brian McGeeney, who suggested that medical cannabis may be the answer. It was. After researching three types of cannabis, Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid, Dr. McGeeney suggested “two different strains: one Indica and one Hybrid that was low in THC and high in CBD.”
Her story mattered so much, Boston doctors told it to legislators. “At least two of my doctors voted to legalize marijuana recreationally in our state based on my explanation of how it had worked in my life and my anxieties around using a drug that was still federally illegal,” Tracy writes. “In voting to legalize marijuana at a state level, we believed that perhaps we might come closer to federal legalization or at the very least decriminalization.”
Her testimony brought before Congress by the doctors passed in Boston. “For now, I’m thankful that it’s both medically and recreationally legal in my home state and that I have the support of my doctors and my family,” Tracy writes.
Whether it is WebMD, Tracy’s testimony, or the clinical trials that prove that medical cannabis alleviates migraines, sufferers have newfound hope for relief.