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Prolonged Cannabis Exposure Might Help Treat Migraines

A new study shows that marijuana may contribute to the long term treatment of migraines, reducing their frequency, intensity and the need to consume other medications.

A study from Israel looking into how marijuana use affects migraines showed that continued exposure to the drug may reduce the frequency of these bouts in the long term.

Published in the journal Brain Sciences, the study surveyed 145 patients between the ages of 34 and 54, all of whom had been treating their migraines with medical marijuana for at least the past three years.

The study found that 61% of subjects reported that their monthly migraines had been cut in half. It also found that those subjects who did have reoccurring migraines suffered less impairment than usual, had better sleep patterns, and were consuming less medications in order to treat their symptoms.

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“These findings indicate that MC [medical cannabis] results in long-term reduction of migraine frequency in [more than] 60% of treated patients and is associated with less disability and lower antimigraine medication intake,” concluded the study. Researchers theorized that the endocannabinoid system can influence these behaviors, stimulating the development of serotonin and reducing pain.

Marijuana and migraines have been studied by other researchers in the past, with results showing that the drug can help to prevent these attacks, especially in patients who’ve been experiencing these kinds of cluster headaches since childhood.

While more studies are definitely necessary to get a clearer picture, data continues to fill in the blanks of how our endocannabinoid system functions. The more research that’s conducted, the more we can understand our bodies and why marijuana provides such a wide variety of effects, from treating chronic pain to improving mental health.

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