It is estimated that around 37 million people in the US suffer from migraines. Experts suggest that 2-3 million of these patients suffer from a chronic case of migraines. The problem tends to affect women more than it does men, with females at least 3 times more susceptible. Most of those affected are between the ages of 35 and 55 and come from all socio-economic groups. However, studies indicate a skew in terms of race, with people of Caucasian origin more susceptible to migraines than members of other races.
What are migraines?
A migraine is a persistent headache that comes with varying degrees of pain. For some people, migraines come without a warning while with others, tell-tale symptoms are common place. Doctors do not point to a specific cause of this problem, but there is a general agreement that it all starts with abnormal brain activity. This activity generally alters the patterns of communication in the different areas of the brain and creates a chemical imbalance. Some of the triggers that announce the beginning of a migraine spell include improper diet, medications side effect, emotions, exercise and hormonal changes. Migraine headaches can cause throbbing pain in an area of the head that can vary in intensity, frequency and duration. Nausea, sensitivity to sound and light are also prevalent symptoms.
Medical marijuana and migraines
The use of marijuana to alleviate the problems caused by migraine has been well documented over the last few years. Below are some of the benefits;
1. Reduced instances of migraines – In 2016, Pharmacotherapy reported a study that looked at 48 people that used marijuana as a relief for migraines. After months of observation, 40%of the subjects said that they experienced fewer instances of pain in general. This result is very instructive for the industry, as it shows that the drug has a direct bearing on the patterns patients go through. This does not provide an explicit look into the long-term effect of continued use, but it shows an interesting pattern of interactions to a certain point.
2. Pain reduction – Medical marijuana has for a long time been used as a pain reliever as well as mood enhancer. Generally, migraines tend to be severe and head splitting. People who regularly use medical marijuana to combat this problem report that their headaches reduce in frequency and duration, and they also experience a reduced intensity in the levels of pain they suffer over time. This is believed to be the result of a direct interaction between cannabinoids and receptors in the brain.
3. Improved efficacy – One notable study indicates that while prescription medication works for migraines, marijuana acts faster and is more effective. The study featured 127participants who reported that at the end of their experiments, migraine pain had gone down by 43%. These figures are slightly higher than the reported efficacy of conventional medication.
While the use of medical marijuana continues to be a subject of fascination in scholarly and medical circles, available information shows that the chemicals in this natural product have a good relationship with the way the brain works.
Our Florida clinic now has a staff doctor who is certified in handling migraine cases via the use of medical marijuana, so all patients have to do now is reach out.