Marijuana May Heal Migraines Better Than Prescription Drugs

If the pretzel logic of the federal government’s illogical stance on medical marijuana is giving you a migraine, here is a remedy: Medical marijuana.

Yet another study, this one conducted by Italian researchers and published in June, suggests that cannabis may be more effective at reducing migraine pain than pharmaceutical drugs.

The research found that patients suffering from “cluster headaches” only found relief if the symptoms began in childhood.

“We were able to demonstrate that cannabinoids are an alternative to established treatments in migraine prevention,” wrote Dr. Maria Nicolodi, the study’s lead author. “That said, they are only suited for use in the acute treatment of cluster headaches in patients with a history of migraine from childhood on.”

According to clinical trial data presented at the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology, daily marijuana consumption can lead to a reduction in migraine headache frequency.

The study examined the medicinal impact of oral cannabinoid treatments compared to amitriptyline, a pharmaceutical commonly prescribed for migraines. Patients treated daily with a 200 mg dose of a combination of THC and CBD achieved a 40 percent reduction in migraine frequency – a result that was similar to the efficacy of amitriptyline therapy.

Subjects also reported that cannabinoid therapy significantly reduced acute migraine pain, but only when taken at doses above 100 mg.

More than 5 million Americans experience migraines at least once a month.

This is not the first time a study found a connection to cannabis and reduced migraine symptoms.

study from the University of Colorado, published earlier this year, showed that the frequency of migraines in patients who used cannabis dropped from 10.4 per month to 4.6.

This study indicated that smoked marijuana, which hits the bloodstream almost instantly, was best for treating acute migraines. Edibles, which take much longer to metabolize, helped prevent headaches.

Could an Arm Patch Be the New Cure for Migraines?

A wireless arm patch that is controlled by a smartphone app might be the most fascinating new breakthrough in health technology. When a patient begins to experience a migraine, they can activate the patch, which uses rubber electrodes and a chip to produce electric impulses that block pain signals from reaching the brain. The patient can then control the intensity of the electric impulses through the app.

Dr. David Yarnitsky, the chair of neurology and lead researcher at Rambam Medical Center in Israel, explained: that “you can use skin stimulation at an intensity which is not painful and be able to stop or substantially diminish the development of a migraine attack, as long as you do it early enough in the migraine attack.”

Dr. Yarnitsky went on to discuss that other than a delicate tingle in your upper arm, there are no side effects when using the patch. It has already been tested on 71 migraine sufferers—and trial results were successful. Participants applied it to their upper arm soon after the start of a migraine, then used it for 20 minutes with no additional medication. Two hours later, results were recorded.

Of those who received the highest levels of stimulation, 64 percent experienced pain reduction of at least half.

In coming months, the patch will undergo further clinical study and, hopefully, FDA approval, which could make it available to the public within the next year.

Dr. Yarnitsky supports its future success, saying “people with migraines are looking for non-drug treatments, and this new device is easy to use and has no side effects.”