How Medicinal Marijuana Can Treat Migraines

Photo Credit: The Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: The Medicinal Marijuana Association

In a study published by in Pharmacotherapy, researchers determined medicinal marijuana effectively reduced the frequency of migraine headaches in 103 of its 121 participants. The ability for cannabinoids to interact with and bind to pain receptors in the brain allow it to mitigate pain perception.  Participants reported inhalation as their preferred vehicle of administration due to the fast onset of its therapeutic effects. They also opted for marijuana with higher concentrations of CBD in order to avoid the plant's psychoactive effects and continue with their daily routines. 

This information has been provided by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Can Marijuana Help Treat Migraines?

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Migraines are headaches that consist of severe pain and last for an extended period of time. In addition to pain, migraines can increase sensitivity to light, sound, and smell, as well as produce nausea and vomiting. Most information surrounding the use of medical marijuana for migraines is anecdotal, but one formal study published in the journal Pharmacotherapy in 2016 found regular consumption of cannabis decreased migraine frequency from 10.4 migraines a month to 4.6. The study surveyed 121 adults with migraines from 2010 to 2014, all of whom were prescribed medical marijuana and who attended a minimum of one follow-up appointment.

Patients self-reported their consumption method and dosage frequency, in which researchers were able to determine the mean monthly dosage per patient was 2.64 oz of vaporized cannabis, 2.59 oz of edibles, 2.73 oz of topical applications, and 1.59 oz of smoked marijuana. Patients preferred vaporizing or smoking cannabis because it is easier to dose and offers quick relief, whereas edible are harder to measure and take longer to reach maximum effect. Improvements can be made for future studies. More data is desired on the types of cannabis use and the dosage, patients needed to consistently fill out their forms, and some patients were excluded from the study for not attending follow-up appointments.

At CannaBest Medical, the anonymous self-reported data you submit contributes to our research databank where we are able to determine how patients are using medical marijuana to successfully treat their symptoms. We hope you remember to document your dose by completely filling out the form in the journaling section of our app while the information is still fresh in your mind. This will not only help you to keep track of what works or doesn't work for your specific symptoms, but it will also be used to influence our guidelines which will help patients who don't know where to begin. This information has been provided in part by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

MMJ for Migraines

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

A migraine is a severe type of headache in which a specific area of the head throbs and pulses. Migraines can also produce symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Some research suggests migraines result from fundamental neurological abnormalities cause by genetic mutations in the brain. The fluctuation in neuronal activity might affect the trigeminovascular system, resulting in an inflammatory response that produces pain.

The use of cannabis for the treatment of migraines is nothing new. In fact, it was the most prominent migraine remedy used by physicians between 1874 and 1942. Now, research has shown cannabis can both reduce the frequency of migraines and provide pain relief. Both CBD and THC interact with cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system to inhibit trigeminovascular system responses, which in turn restricts the inflammation that causes migraine pain. In a 2016 study, 103 out of 121 participants diagnosed with migraines witnessed a decrease in migraine frequency from an average of 10.4 a month to 4.6 a month with the use of medical marijuana. In another study, the findings suggested migraines may result from a dysfunction of the endocannabinoid system, leading researchers to conclude the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors would correct this dysfunction and therefore prevent migraine pain.

This information has been brought to you by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Understanding Cannabidiol (CBD) - Part 3

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Today we will continue our discussion of the therapeutic effects of CBD on a multitude of specific conditions.

CBD relieves cardiovascular diseases by reducing myocardial dysfunction, cardiac fibrosis, oxidative-nitrative stress, inflammation, cell death, and interrelated signaling pathways. It also reduces infarct size and myocardial inflammation when administered directly after a heart attack, making it a potential treatment for myocardial ischemia. CBD may fight the progression of cirrhosis by aiding hepatic stellate cell (HSC) death, thereby proliferating and producing excess collagen which allows for the accumulation of scarring on the liver. It also restored liver function in mice with liver failure and it provided protection against ischemia reperfusion, the pivotal mechanism of tissue damage in cirrhosis. Patients who suffer from depression can benefit from CBD's antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties.

CBD's anti-inflammatory properties and ability to control the pro-inflammatory response in the digestive tract make it a potential treatment option for crohn's diseases and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Those who suffer from diabetes benefit from CBD's ability to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines in the blood stream. CBD treatments provide significant protection from diabetic retinopathy. CBD is probably most well known for its effects on epilepsy and seizure disorders because it reduces or eliminates seizures, even in severe pediatric variations like Dravet syndrome, Doose, syndrome, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The cannabinoid also improves sleep, alertness, and mood in epileptic children. CBD's analgesic properties allow it to lower pain levels in a variety of conditions, including headaches and migraines, spasticity, sickle cell anemia, and other acute pain and chronic pain conditions.

This concludes part 3 of our CBD series, and we will continue the in depth discussion of conditions that can benefit from its use in the next post. This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Understanding Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - Part 3

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

In today's post, we will continue our discussion of THC in the treatment of various conditions and diseases.

THC has proven effective in stimulating appetite and stabilizing body weight in AIDS/HIV patients and cancer patients suffering from cachexia. THC further helps cancer patients by reducing tumor sizes, reducing conditioned rejection and chemotherapy-induce nausea, increasing comfort throughout the treatment process, and working alongside CBD to reduce pain levels. THC can help those who suffer from Crohn's disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome through its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to reduce abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea. It has even helped some attain complete remission. THC reduces the brain's response to negative stimuli, so it may be able to help treat depression. THC also reduces the risk of diabetes by reducing glucose intolerance, improving glucose tolerance, and increasing insulin sensitivity. 

THC not only induces apoptosis of leukemia cells, but it also can enhance the power of other cytotoxic agents to increase leukemia cell death. THC's anti-inflammatory properties make it a potential treatment for lupus and other inflammatory disorders. THC can inhibit the pain response from migraines. It can also reduce pain and decrease muscle spasticity for multiple sclerosis patients. THC also manages pain levels from nail-patella syndrome, as well as lowering the risk and the progression of glaucoma and kidney disease. While THC has the ability to stimulate appetite and weight gain in some, it is, quite surprisingly, also associated with a lower rate of obesity than those who do not consume the cannabinoid.

We will continue our discussion of THC in relation to various conditions in the following post. This information has been brought to you by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

10 Common Conditions Treated by Medicinal Marijuana

Photo Credit: The Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: The Medicinal Marijuana Association

Marijuana is gaining in popularity for its ability to treat a wide range of medical conditions. As opposed to pharmaceutical drugs, which generally only target a few specified conditions, medical marijuana is safe to use and can help alleviate the symptoms of a large amount of conditions without the risk of fatal overdose, significant negative side effects, and addiction. The list of conditions medical marijuana can potentially treat may seem never-ending, so the Medicinal Marijuana Association has compiled a short list of 10 of the more common conditions that respond favorably to medical cannabis.

1). Alzheimer's disease currently lacks a cure, but studies have shown THC can prevent acetylcholinesterase from creating protein clumps in the brain, which reduce cognitive function and cause memory loss, and from forming Alzheimer's plaques.

2). Medical marijuana has proven to be an effective treatment option for patients who suffer from treatment-resistant epilepsy. Many patients who turn to medical marijuana witness a significant reduction in seizures and sometimes become seizure free.

3). Clinical trials have revealed medical cannabis can benefit muscle spasticity, reduce arm and leg pain, and even put patients in a better mood, making it an excellent treatment option for those who suffer from multiple sclerosis

4). By relieving and reducing intraocular pressure, which damages the optic nerve in the eyes, cannabis has the potential to combat glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness. Research has also shown cannabis can reverse deterioration.

5). Cannabis is known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, so researchers believe cannabis has the potential to relieve the symptoms associated with arthritis

6). Patients who suffer from Hepatitis C claim it actually boosts the effectiveness of their drug therapy, not only by subduing the negative side effects produced by their pharmaceutical medications, but also by helping the drugs achieve a virological response, in which there are no longer any signs of the virus left in their bodies.

7). Medical marijuana is seen as an effective player in the treatment of various types of cancer due to its ability to combat the nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite produced by chemotherapy while also stopping metastasis of aggressive cancer and killing cancer cells without affecting healthy cells.

8). Marijuana can help relieve and prevent migraines and other severe headaches by inhibiting serotonin type 3 receptors. 

9). Many people suffer from insomnia, or sleeplessness, which often occurs on behalf of other conditions. By reducing pain, pressure, and inflammation, which are symptoms that often keep people awake, marijuana is able to help patients fall asleep.

10). Treating anxiety with medical marijuana can be tricky due to the fact marijuana in high doses can actually create or worsen anxiety. That being said, if a patient uses the right strain, specifically ones high in CBD, and consumes low doses of the medication, then medical cannabis can effectively reduce debilitating anxiety.

This information has been provided by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Can Medical Marijuana Help Migraine Sufferers?

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Migraines are a specific type of chronic and extremely painful headache that can last anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days. Migraine pain is difficult to manage, but now studies suggest cannabis may serve as a safe and effective treatment option for these symptoms due to the fact it has relatively tolerable side effects in comparison with the conventional pharmaceuticals currently available. In addition, cannabis is unique in that it not only relieves the pain of an ongoing migraine, but it also acts as a preventative agent for future migraines. According to the neurologist Dr. Ethan Russo, "At any point in the migraine, [patients] could use cannabis by smoking, vaporizer, etc., and about 80% of these people get significant or total relief... And, if someone has a chronic migraine, daily use in whatever form will often lead to a complete remission."

There is still a large amount of research left to be desired for determining which strains and doses work best for combatting the symptoms of a migraine. Until then, our app allows patients to document the specifics of their dosing regimen so they can keep track of their medication and better understand how each component of their regimen influences the efficacy of the medication. This information has been provided by the Medicinal Marijuana Association and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study: Marijuana Associated With Decreased Migraine Frequency

Photo Credit: NORML

Photo Credit: NORML

Recent data published online ahead of print in the journal Pharmacotherapy suggests marijuana administration results in decreased migraine frequency. Investigators at the University of Colorado, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical scientists looked at the effects of cannabis on the frequency of monthly migraine headache. The 121 participants of the study were diagnosed with migraine headache, recommended cannabis by a physician for its treatment, and had attended a followup meeting. Of the participants, 85 percent reported a decrease in migraine frequency and 12 percent said using cannabis before the migraine began would actually prevent it. The preferred method of intake, dose, and strain of medical marijuana for the use of migraine headache therapy has not yet been determined.

The use of medical marijuana for migraine relief is not a new theory, though very few trials have actually documented the effects of cannabis on migraine patients. Back in 2007, Italian researchers wrote in the European Journal of Critical Pharmacology, noting that patients with chronic migraines possessed significantly low levers of endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol in their platelets. This supports the theory that cannabis and the endocannabinoid system might play a significant role in migraine regulation.

This information has been provided by NORML and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. You can also find an abstract of the study here.

Ethan Russo: Endocannabinoid Deficiency & Medical Cannabis

Ganjapreneur recently sat down to interview Dr. Ethan Russo, former Senior Medical Advisor to GW Pharmaceuticals, and current Medical Director at Phytecs, a company that produces cannabis-based treatments related to the endocannabinoid system. In this Podcast, Dr. Ethan Russo talks about how cannabis could potentially treat Endocannabinoid Deficiency. "Endocannabinoid Deficiency is just coming into general awareness now as a cause behind several conditions including Migraines, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Phantom Limb Pain, Infantile Colic, Glaucoma, PTSD, Bipolar disease, and others." To hear the full Podcast and learn more about the endocannabinoid system, visit this link: http://bit.ly/1BodlIs