Cannabis Shows Promising Results for Headache Disorders, Review Finds

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A research review headed by Dr. Igor Grant of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego, and published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research suggests cannabis may be able to treat headaches. The review looked at clinical and preclinical findings on cannabis for headaches. Grant writes, “Early reports of cannabis for the treatment of headache appear to be largely positive, with many patients experiencing a decrease in the frequency and intensity of their headache episodes... In some cases, headache was cured entirely even after cannabis discontinuation. Furthermore, these early clinical reports praise the apparent safety of long-term cannabis use, as well as its added benefits of mollifying the nausea and anxiety that often accompany headaches.”

Findings suggest a deficiency in endocannabinoids or an endocannabinoid dysfunction may result in the development of headaches or migraines, so the interaction of the cannabinoids from cannabis and this system's receptors, specifically CB1 receptors, may be able to inhibit the inflammation that causes migraine pain. Researchers hope for future clinical studies to aid in the development of dosing and treatment guidelines for cannabis and headaches, find variables that could predict headache treatment receptivity, examin long-term risks of cannabis treatments for headaches, and look at cannabis as a supplementary treatment option to other traditional headache treatments. 

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. Full text of the review can be found here