Taking Queues From the Past: Medical Marijuana can Provide Migraine Relief

A migraine is an excruciating type of headache that is usually
accompanied by other symptoms, such as extreme light sensitivity,
nausea, and even vomiting. Some migraines are so severe that they can
cause people to completely halt their daily lives. Medical marijuana, or
cannabis, might be a solution for many migraine sufferers.

Statistics from the Migraine Research
Foundation

estimate that more than 10% of the population suffers from migraines,
making it one of the top 20 debilitating medical conditions in the
world. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, someone in the
United States goes to the emergency room every 10 seconds as a result of
migraine, with more than 90% of those suffering from the condition
unable to function in a normal capacity.

The use of medical marijuana for migraines is not a new concept. A 1998
study
by the neurology department of the Western Montana Clinic explains that
cannabis has been used for centuries to manage the effects of migraines.
Ancient Greek, Chinese, Indian, Roman, and Egyptian literature all make
reference to cannabis’s efficacy for headaches, and it was the remedy of
choice for migraine treatment well into the mid-twentieth century.

Tension headaches are the most
common
kind of headache that are associated with migraines. They can be
triggered by fatigue, flu, alcohol use, eye strain, emotional stress and
anxiety, insomnia, or excessive smoking. This type of headache is the
result of the tightening of muscles in the neck and scalp, and medical
marijuana, which helps in the relaxation of these muscles, can help
manage the headache.

The use of cannabis may also help reduce the frequency of headaches
since it can act as a prophylaxis or preventive measure. Usually, those
who suffer from migraines have very little recourse for the treatment of
this condition. Available medications often have unpleasant side effects
which tend to cancel out any perceived benefits.

Cannabis acts as an analgesic and can help in the reduction of the pain
from migraines. The reduction of endocannabinoids is suspected to be an
underlying reason for migraines. A migraine trigger sets off a chemical
reaction in the brain, causing the release of endocannabinoids to
maintain balance. In individuals where this component is lacking, a
dilation of blood vessels will result in intense migraine pain, which
may explain the therapeutic benefits of cannabis in managing migraine.

Photo Credit.

References:

Russo, E. (n.d.). Cannabis for migraine treatment: The once and future
prescription? An historical and scientific review. Retrieved June 26,
2015, from
http://www.maps.org/research-archive/mmj/russo_98_migraine_pain.pdf

Tension headache: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved
June 26, 2015, from
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000797.htm

Marijuana For Migraines. (n.d.). Retrieved June 26, 2015, from
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-brain-food/201309/marijuana-migraines

Smith, S., & Wagner, M. (n.d.). Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency
(CECD) revisited: Can this concept explain the therapeutic benefits of
cannabis in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and other
treatment-resistant conditions? Retrieved June 27, 2015, from
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24977967

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