Cannabis can be a great, all-natural way to alleviate migraine headaches
If you’ve ever had a migraine, you’ll know how debilitating it can be. In the US, it is estimated that a large number of people suffer from these throbbing headaches that are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and hypersensitivity to light. Fortunately, cannabis can help alleviate the headaches and, as research into the plant’s characteristics continue, the reasons become clear.
The endocannabinoid system is located throughout the human body. The ECS is a biological system made up of endocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced by the body that bind to cannabinoid receptors) as well as cannabinoid receptor proteins found in the central nervous system and brain. The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in regulating many physiological functions such as pain, digestion, appetite, and mood.
This is where cannabis comes in; this plant contains phytocannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), that bind to (or influence) receptors in our body in the same way as endocannabinoids. This suggests that cannabis compounds influence how the SEC regulates physiological functions, including pain control.
Several studies among migraine sufferers have shown positive changes in this community. The researchers’ results suggested that medical cannabis had been able to significantly decrease the number of migraine attacks per month, reducing almost half of them. Other experts have also advocated the use of medical cannabis as a viable possibility for the future treatment and prevention of migraines. They found that with an oral dose of 200mg, acute migraine pain had decreased by 55%. In addition to the decrease in migraine frequency, many patients also mentioned other beneficial effects, such as reduced muscle pain and stomach aches.
While cannabis can improve pain and symptoms in an individual suffering from full-blown migraine pain, it can also actually prevent the immediate onset of a migraine altogether. As serotonin release increases immediately prior to a migraine, the use of cannabinoids at this point can inhibit the abnormal increase and prevent the resulting processes that lead to migraine generation.