Anyone who has suffered from migraines knows how debilitating they can be. Pharmaceutical drugs do not always treat symptoms, which may include pulsating pain, blurred vision, and nausea. Now research shows medical marijuana may offer relief by reducing the frequency of occurrences.
“We were not expecting the decrease in frequency in migraines that we saw. It was pretty dramatic,” said Dr. Sarah Anderson with Skaggs School of Pharmacy at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.” Researchers at CU Anschutz looked at dozens of charts from patients treated at Gedde Whole Health, a private Colorado clinic that prescribes medical marijuana for a variety of ailments.
In the study, which included 121 patients, 103 reported a decrease in monthly migraines with the average frequency dropping from ten per month to fewer than five. Researchers believe serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates feelings of wellbeing and happiness, plays an important role in managing migraine pain. Further research is suggested to study the link between brain chemistry and cannabinoids.
“This made us think about a lot more questions that we want answered, and so it would be ideal if we could design those prospective big, randomized clinical trials to look at this in more detail,” Anderson said.
Read the full study, published in Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy, and titled “Effects of Medical Marijuana on Migraine Headache Frequency in an Adult Population”.