Migraine headaches can be a debilitating condition. Migraines can come on suddenly and last as long as 72 hours. For patients who regularly suffer from migraines, it can be difficult to lead a normal, healthy lifestyle. However, medicinal marijuana is offering new ways to treat an old condition.
Typical migraine treatments are divided into two kinds: prophylactic therapy seeks to minimize the long-term frequency of migraines, while abortive therapy treats a migraine itself. But even with the abundance of pharmaceuticals on the marketplace, there’s still no silver bullet to treat migraines.
Pharmaceutical treatments range from over-the-counter headache medicines to extremely powerful tricyclic antidepressants. Prophylactic treatments require a daily pill regimen, while abortive therapies can often be too little too late.
Both forms of treatment carry serious risks of side-effects, including drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Even the most frequently prescribed and most powerful forms of migraine treatments still have failure rates as high as 30%.
While medicinal marijuana has been used to treat migraines for centuries by physicians in other cultures, its medicinal use in the United States is fairly new. Cannabinoids from medicinal marijuana (in addition to those naturally occurring in the body) have been shown to offer anti-inflammatory, dopamine-blocking properties.
A kind of medical marijuana known as an “indica” is especially renowned for treating physical pain and discomfort. Indicas can be consumed through smoking, eating or creative new products such as liquid tinctures. New delivery methods are regularly being introduced at medicinal marijuana dispensaries.