Would Cannabis Be the End of Migraines

Ever experienced searing pain in your head that makes you want to curl into a bed and never come out? Do you have a splitting headache that makes you want to put yourself away from any form of life, whether it be noise or light?

You may suffer from a migraine. If so, get ready to spend your life fearing the things that trigger your migraine to avoid the horrible, dreaded pain. Generally, pain in any part of the body consumes our thoughts.

Even minor inconveniences and slight injuries occupy our thoughts and send us panicking for a minute, fearing a bigger issue. However, the real challenge is concurring your nerves during a migraine episode.

When the very source of your pain is your head, probably affecting your vision and making your sense of smell and hearing sensitive to the tiniest abnormalities. At times, you are even stimulating the stomach to empty its contents.

With so much going on, the only thing the sufferer wishes for is a cure. The latest research is being conducted on the use of cannabis as a treatment for migraines.

With its wide popularity and effective results in chronic pain, it is not unnatural to expect positive results in this experiment.

An interesting read on Science Alert cites all the details of the experiment being conducted in this regard.

Migraine- Details to Know

Migraine is an intense headache that causes a throbbing sensation in one side of the head. It is a medical condition that is often accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound. Moreover, it may cause nausea and vomiting as well.

Migraine episodes last for variable periods for different people, lasting from anywhere between a single day to an entire week. The severity, symptoms, and triggers are also variable for people like its longevity.

Before the actual episode, many people experience some symptoms that are called an aura. Seldom, it acts as a warning to the person.

An aura includes tingling in one side of the face or limbs, difficulty speaking, and visual disturbances. Visual disturbances include dark, blind spots, abrupt flashes of light. 

Migraine – What Are the Symptoms?

Some series of events that take place before, during, and after a migraine episode are:


Often a day or two before a migraine episode, some symptoms warn of its upcoming arrival. This is called the prodrome. These subtle changes include:

  • Abrupt and extreme changes in the mood
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Stiff neck
  • Bloating
  • Severe thirst
  • Frequent urination


Following this period comes the aura, which the headache itself may accompany. Reversible symptoms of the nervous system characterize the aura. These include visual changes and sensitivity of smell or hearing.

Moreover, weakness, numbness, and pins and needles sensation may also be felt in one side of the face or body. It can also cause difficulty in speaking and twitching in muscles.


Migraine attack lasts for a variable period depending on the person and the management of the condition. The frequency of the attack also varies from person to person.

However, a few common symptoms you may experience during a migraine attack are:

  • Pain that particularly affects one side of the head but often affects both sides as well
  • Throbbing or pulsing sensation in the head
  • Experiencing a sensitivity to light, smell, and sound
  • Vomiting and nausea


Once the attack has passed, it leaves the person drained and exhausted. A sudden movement of the head may also cause pain. Sometimes, the effect of migraines on the mood lasts for some time.

Migraine- Risk Factors

The American Migraine Foundation has stated that approximately 38 million Americans get migraines.

The following factors contribute to increasing the risk of migraines:

  • Gender: Women are three times more likely to have a migraine.
  • Age: They can begin at any age; however, they tend to peak during the 30s.
  • Family History: Migraine is passed on within the family.
  • Hormonal changes: The onset of menstruation may trigger a migraine episode in women who have a migraine.

Other medical conditions, including sleep disorders, anxiety, epilepsy, etc.

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Migraine- Causes

The root cause of migraines is unknown. However, scientists suspect its relation to genetics and relate it to the changes in brain activity. Current speculations on the cause of migraines are inflammation and pain caused by neurotransmitters.

Scientists believe certain activity in the nervous system stimulates the production of chemicals such as serotonin and calcitonin gene-related peptides (CGRPs) that swell the brain’s blood vessels.

Migraine- Triggers

Episodes of migraines have a range of triggers. However, triggers vary for each individual. Some common triggers that stimulate a migraine episode are:

  • Changes in hormones
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Stress
  • Some sensory stimuli
  • Alteration in sleep schedule
  • Medicines
  • Tobacco

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Cannabis for Treating Migraine

With all the rage surrounding cannabis, it is no surprise scientists turned to it to find a lasting solution to this hardly bearable pain. 

An article in Science Alert gives details of the research being conducted at the University of California San Diego relating to the effectiveness of cannabis as a treatment for migraines.

Until recent years, the only support to the effectiveness of cannabis for headaches is its history of being used as a medication for headaches. Based on these claims, many people prefer to self-medicate using cannabis to treat their migraines.

Moreover, in 2020, 86 percent of patients suffering from headaches and migraines saw an improvement in their symptoms after using cannabis in a 30-day trial.

Another recent survey in California suggests approximately 10 percent of the people suffering from headache disorders rely on plants as medication.

Researchers are conducting a new study for a more insightful and detailed result. For this study, researchers will divide volunteers into four randomized groups. One of which will receive a vape with sham cannabis.

The second group will take four puffs of cannabis flower containing THC. Next, scientists will give the third group four puffs of cannabis flower containing CBD. Lastly, the fourth group will vape a mix of both THC and CBD.

Researchers will study the effects of each on relieving the symptoms of migraine to determine the best medication.

End Note

Cannabis use as a medicine is becoming more and more prevalent by the day. Therefore, scientists need to conduct studies that assess both the advantages and hazards of cannabis for different medical conditions.

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