Cannabis & Migraines: Can Weed Be an Effective Natural Alternative for Migraines?

Unbearable pain. This is what people suffering from migraine experience. More frustratingly, seemingly innocuous stimuli like loud noise, bright lights, or even stress can trigger a crippling migraine that can drastically affect a person’s day-to-day functioning.

Recently, there has been an increase in the number of patients looking for alternative options to control migraines. It was mostly word of mouth that highlighted the benefits of cannabis for this purpose.

With experts agreeing that cannabis shows tremendous potential in improving symptoms related to migraines and chronic headaches, we decided to find out the extent of its effectiveness for migraine treatments. Let’s take a look…

How Can Cannabis Help Ease Migraine Pain?

Before we talk about the effects of cannabis on the brain, let’s discuss a bit of brain chemistry.

Every human being has a network of cannabinoid receptors inside their brain and other parts of their body. These receptors are tiny loops of protein that, among other things, influence the degree of pain you feel.

Cannabis contains natural compounds known as cannabinoids. When you consume cannabis, these cannabinoids enter your body and interact with the cannabinoid receptors. In fact, cannabinoids have the capacity to alter the working of these receptors, calming down pain signals. It should be noted that the pain signals are only weakened, and not completely blocked.

It’s this interaction that makes cannabis potentially useful for patients suffering from nausea, anxiety, chronic pain, muscle spasms, and of course, migraine.

What Are the Most Effective Methods of Consuming Cannabis for Migraines?

Before we discuss delivery methods, we should emphasize that experts still have to conduct more research to establish the usefulness of cannabis for reducing migraine symptoms. But on the basis of current evidence, inhalation and oral administration appear to be the most effective options.

While inhaling cannabis has a faster onset time that can help you control the pain faster, it’s advisable for users to try out oral administration first to avoid the potentially adverse effects of smoking.

While inhaling cannabis has a faster onset time that can help you control the pain faster, it’s advisable for users to try out oral administration first to avoid the potentially adverse effects of smoking.

Tips for Using Cannabis and CBD for Migraines

You can also use CBD to control the triggers and symptoms of chronic migraines. Here are a couple of tips to help you get maximum benefits from using cannabis:

Talk to a Health Specialist

It’s extremely important that you avoid self-medication when it comes to cannabis and CBD. This extends to your best friend’s advice too, even if he or she seems like an expert or has been using cannabis for years.

Health specialists or doctors who know about cannabis will be able to guide you with regard to the different strains and delivery methods available, as well as with finding the right dosage. So if you’re interested in using cannabis for migraines, talk to an expert first.

Use a Low Dosage

Cannabis for migraine pain relief can be tricky, as not a lot of information is available. And since everyone is unique, a specific dosage that works for someone you know might not work for you.

Trial and error – and lots of patience – can help determine the right dose.

You can start with micro-dosing for a week or so, and then increase the dosage if required. Plus, the delivery method you choose is also important because the onset time will differ from one method to another.

Remember, don’t increase your dosage without understanding how it can affect you. Starting low and slow can be good for beginners.

The Bottom Line

Using prescription medications for problems like migraines can often lead to addiction and headaches triggered by medication overuse. Several studies have highlighted how using cannabis can be an excellent alternative to opioids without serious side-effects.

Now, if you have already been taking prescription medication for your migraine but want to switch to cannabis, it’s best to talk to an experienced health care specialist and explore your options. Whatever you choose, don’t forget our “start low and slow“ advice.

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