Delving Into The Science Of How Cannabis Can Treat Migraines

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

Migraines are severe headaches that are thought to be produced by inflammation in the dura mater, or the brain’s outer casing. This inflammation may result from activation of the trigeminovascular system. MIgraines are also associated with dilated blood vessels, caused by neuropeptides and gas nitric oxide. The endocannabinoid is a key player in regulating the trigeminovascular system, and too few endocannabinoids are thought to increase the chance of developing a migraine. THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, may be able to reducing trigeminovascular activity and reducing the presence of neuropeptides and nitric oxide.

In one rodent model, in which researchers induced migraines in rats, THC effectively reduced symptoms if administered before their onset. In the study, researchers observed that the rats drastically reduced their time spent running on a wheel when in pain from migraine. However, when given THC, they spent more time on the wheel after the migraine was stimulated. If THC was administered after the onset of symptoms, it was not as effective. In a human study from 2016 which was published in Pharmacotherpy, 121 migraine sufferers averaging 10.4 migraines a month began using medical cannabis therapy. Within one to three years, the average migraine frequency was reduced to 4.6 a month, and over 10% actually eliminated their migraines with the therapy. Because of its fast onset of relief, smoking marijuana was considered the best vehicle of administration. Forty-eight percent of participants experienced relief, and side effects were minimal.

This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

What Are The Medical Benefits of Marijuana? - Part 4.

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

After having discussed so many way marijuana can be applicable in medicinal instances, it’s time we conclude our discussion.

Many people may be aware of short spurts of anxiety following marijuana use, but what they don’t know is that marijuana could actually improve anxiety long-term. The non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD, specifically, has been deemed as effective as approved anti-anxiety medications. Studies have found marijuana may manage the overactive immune system associated with lupus. This, as well as marijuana’s inherent anti-inflammatory properties, can help alleviate symptoms of pain and inflammation that coincide with the condition. Many patients have experienced relief from the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, however these results have proven inconsistent in what studies exist, and while the medication is well tolerated, some patients did not experience any relief at all. More research is desired.

Cannabinoids also help stimulate bone formation, prevent bone resorption, and prevent loss of bone mass making marijuana a potentially powerful player in therapy for osteoporosis. By reducing the side effects associated with Hepatitis C treatment regimens, marijuana use encourages patients to complete their treatments and helps lead patients to remission. Its stimulation of certain receptors may also improve treatment outcomes. Marijuana may also help those who suffer from severe headaches like migraines by reducing their frequency and severity. Lastly, researchers have discovered lower prevalence of diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in marijuana users. Marijuana users, in general, have lower insulin levels, smaller waists, are less likely to be obese.

This concludes our post on the many ways marijuana can treat a myriad of symptoms. Thanks for following along for the discussion! This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

What Are The Medical Benefits of Marijuana? - Part 1.

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

Medical marijuana is now being touted for having a wide range of medicinal benefits that allow it to provide therapeutic relief for many different conditions. In this four part series, we will take an in depth look at many of the medical conditions it is capable of treating.

One of the most commonly cited and widely approved conditions for marijuana use is chronic pain. Marijuana is known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in reducing pain and providing relief for the conditions that cause it, like arthritis, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and migraines. Medical marijuana is also used for treating glaucoma, a condition that affects sight and can damage the optic nerve due to increased pressure in the eye. Studies have found marijuana decreases intraocular eye pressure by 25-30%, and scientists believe its neuroprotective properties could prevent the optic nerve from getting damaged. Medical marijuana may also help those suffering from liver disease. The cannabinoid CBD can prevent liver fibrosis, while THC may be able to help improve the symptoms associated with cholestatic liver disease.

Marijuana is also promoted as a hero for cancer patients, mainly for its ability to reduce the nausea and vomiting accompanying chemotherapy treatments. Even more exciting, in rodent models, THC and cannabinoids have been found to induce apoptosis in cancer cells without affecting healthy cells. In other rodent models, THC reduced tumor size. Contrary to what has long been claimed by prohibitionists about cannabis’ relationship to schizophrenia, studies have found non-psychoactive compounds like CBD may actually benefit psychosis. CBD is antipsychotic and generally well tolerated. But be careful, as THC may actually exacerbate symptoms. Lastly, recent clinical trials have found medical marijuana help those with multiple sclerosis by combatting muscle spasticity, reducing pain, and improving sleep quality.

That concludes today’s post on the medical benefits of medical marijuana, but there’s still so much more to discuss! Tune into the following post where we will look at more conditions where medical marijuana’s usage is applicable. This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Cannabis is More Effective at Treating Migraine Pain than Prescription Drugs

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

A new study presented at the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) and conducted by Dr. Maria Nicolodi from the Interuniversity Center in Florence has determined cannabis is more effective than traditional medications when it comes to treating the pain associated with migraines and cluster headaches. Researchers determined participants needed at least 100mg of a combination of THC and CBD before patients would experience any relief. For significant relief, patients received a dose of 200 mg. The amounts of THC and CBD varied. After determining the appropriate dose, researchers administered cannabis to one group, while the other group received antidepressants or blood pressure medications that are common for migraine and cluster headache therapies. Headache patients did not experience significant relief. Migraine sufferers, on the other hand, experienced a 43.5% reduction in pain. Side effects were considered minor and less severe than those experienced from prescription medications. 

Dr. Nicolodi says of the study, “We were able to demonstrate that cannabinoids are an alternative to established treatments in migraine prevention. 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.”

This information has been provided by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Cannabis Could Be Better For Migraines Than Pharmaceuticals: Study

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

A new study conducted by researchers at the Interuniversity Center in Florence, Italy, suggests pills containing THC and CBD can reduce migraine pain by 43.5%. Additionally, the medication can help curb stomach-aches and muscle pain. The study involved 79 migraine and cluster headache sufferers who were given an oral dose of medication containing both THC and CBD over the course of three months. Those who suffered from cluster headaches received either  200mg THC-CBD or 25 mg amitriptyline, while migraine sufferers received 200 mg THC-CBD after the onset of acute pain.

Researchers determined the cannabinoid medication was slightly more effective at curbing the frequency and severity of cluster headaches by cutting incidents by 40.4%. In comparison, amitriptyline cut headaches by 40.1%. Cannabis also cut the severity of migraine pain by 43.5%. Lead researcher Dr. Maria Nicolodi explains, “We were able to demonstrate that cannabinoids are an alternative to established treatments in migraine prevention... 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.”

This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Study: Medical Cannabis Patients Report Decreased Use of Opioids, Anti-Anxiety Medicines

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: The Daily Chronic

New self-reported data published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology reveals patients who have access to medical marijuana decrease their use of opioids, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and other medications. Investigators out of five states looked at the medical history of 1,500 patient-members of state-licensed dispensaries in the northeast and found 77% of respondents reduced their use of opioids after beginning cannabis therapy. Many respondents also decreased their use of anti-anxiety medications (72%), migraine-related medications (67%), sleep aids (65%), and anti-depressants (38%). Additionally, 42% of respondents reduced their use of alcohol. The findings of this study support the findings of previous studies regarding the effects of cannabis on opioids and other prescription medications.

This information has been provided by the Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Does Marijuana Actually Help Relieve Pain?

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Photo Credit: Medicinal Marijuana Association

Medical marijuana is being touted as a powerful analgesic that is as effective as traditional pharmaceuticals and opioids but with a much higher safety profile. Marijuana is effective in treating both acute and chronic pain, and it is a good alternative to traditional treatment options for those who are looking for a long-term solution and new pain management option. Pain is often a symptom of other conditions, so medical marijuana could be helpful for those who are looking to treat pain as a result of MS, migraines, diabetes, and epilepsy. Medical marijuana can change one's perception of pain, affecting how the brain interprets it and how the body reacts to painful stimuli. 

Medical marijuana is able to provide these therapeutic benefits thanks to its chemical properties like cannabinoids and terpenes. The chemical makeup and composition of specific medical marijuana strains determine the effects of the medication, which can range from stimulating bone growth, killing cancer cells, controlling muscle spasms, increasing appetite, and reducing nausea. 

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

MMJ for Neurological Disorders - Part 1

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Neurological disorders refers to over 600 disorders that attack the body's nervous system, affecting the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Neurological disorders can cause muscle weakness, loss of muscle control or poor coordination, paralysis, loss of sensation, spasms, seizures, loss of mental control, loss of consciousness, confusion, and pain. Cannabis has neuroprotective properties that support brain health, spinal cord and nerve health, and prevent or limit the progression of certain disorders. Cannabinoids in cannabis protect neurons, mediate inflammatory responses, and encourage regeneration. Cannabis may halt the progression of neurological disorders, delay their onset, and manage associated symptoms like spasms, seizures, tics, pain, and more. Because there are so many disorders considered neurological, we will divide this post in to a two part series. 

The cannabinoid CBD has been shown to delay the onset of the neurological disorder Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), prolong the neuron survival, and halt ALS progression. Additionally, cannabis has properties that can help manage ALS symptoms of pain, appetite loss, depression, sleeping issues, spasticity, and drooling. Countless studies have shown CBD can help reduce or even eliminate seizures in those who suffer from another neurological disorder: epilepsy. Cannabinoids also help those who suffer from migraines by inhibiting the pain response through the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Lastly, cannabis-based medicines have proven effective at reducing chronic neuropathic pain that are unresponsive to traditional treatments.

This information has been adapted from Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. Stay tuned for part two of the series!