Cannabis therapy for headache | CBD project


Migraine is one of the most common diseases in the world. About 39 million people in the United States and 1 billion people worldwide suffer from migraines, that is, one in eight men, women, and children living on the planet today. Nearly half of women will suffer from migraines at some point in their lives, most often between the ages of 35 and 45.

There are many treatment options available, including a lot of preventative medications and painkillers. Some patients have even gone through it psychedelic drugs to be relieved, which is not so surprising when you learn this LSD was first developed as a vasoconstrictor, a class of drugs used to treat migraines.

Cannabis is also promising as a convenient and effective treatment for migraine pain and other headaches. According to a review article published in August 2021 by a group of researchers based in Florida, current evidence indicates that cannabis use “decreases the duration and frequency of migraines” through the pathways of glutamine, inflammation, opiates and serotonin.1 Two of the 34 studies included in the review are discussed in more detail below.

In addition, two other recently published articles suggest that terpenes, the compounds responsible for the fragrance of the cannabis plant, may have something to do with this therapeutic effect.

THC-Rich cannabis flower for migraine & headache relief

A study published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine2 in September 2020 he found that inhaled cannabis was very effective for headaches. Researchers at the University of New Mexico used data from the 2.5-year-old Releaf digital app to study the real-time links between cannabis intake and migraine and headache symptoms. Patients used the app to record pain intensity on a scale of 0 to 10 before and immediately after cannabis use.

Ninety-four percent of users experienced relief of symptoms within two hours after cannabis use, with a mean reduction in pain intensity of 3.3. Men reported greater relief than women, and patients under 35 tended to improve more than older patients. This study found that THC levels above 10% (as reported by app users according to product labels) were the strongest independent predictor of symptom relief.

Concentrates are more effective than smoked flower

A team based at Washington State University (WSU) examined the archival data of another medical cannabis application called Strainprint to study the impact of inhaled cannabis on headache and migraine. The researchers also assessed the impact of gender, type of cannabis (flower or concentrate), dose, and concentration of cannabis. THC i CBD on this effect.

After collecting data from thousands of sessions of hundreds of users of the application, the WSU The researchers concluded that cannabis inhalation halved the reported headache and migraine. His findings, published in May 2021 in The Journal of Pain,3 revealed that larger reductions were associated with concentrates than with the flower. The authors also found that men made more profits than women.

However, they also observed a tolerance effect with continued use: “[Cannabis’] efficacy appears to decrease over time and patients appear to use larger doses over time. ”

Terpene-based drugs for brain health

So what does cannabis do that helps improve the symptoms of migraines and headaches? It is mainly THC, as the first study suggests? Or is it THC i CBD together, that other tests indicates that it is better to relieve acute pain?

Another factor may be terpenes, the plant compounds that protect and impart flavor and fragrance to cannabis (and many other botanicals). Terpenes are increasingly being studied for their therapeutic effect in humans.

In an article published in August 2021 in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry,4 Researchers based in Australia reviewed evidence of the relevant benefits for neurological and psychiatric disorders associated with two prominent cannabis terpenes, pine and linalool. These compounds influence multiple neurotransmitters, inflammatory and neurotrophic signals, the authors write. And existing data (mostly preclinical, i.e., unverified in humans) suggest that migraine is among the conditions, along with stroke, ischemia, and other forms of inflammatory and neuropathic pain, that may be helped by these. terpens.

Terpenes inhibit neuroinflammation

An August 2021 review of Mexican researchers at Frontiers in Pharmacology5 considers terpenes as anti-inflammatory agents and evaluates their potential as alternative treatments for inflammation of the brain and skin. In the first category, inflammation is a typical feature of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, the authors write. They also observe a recent study by Iranian scientists6 which found an antidepressant-like effect in mice of limonene, another terpene present in numerous varieties of cannabis, which appeared to be mediated by inhibition of neuroinflammation.

What else does neuroinflammation play a role? migraine. Although the authors do not specifically mention headache or migraine in their discussion of terpenes and neuroinflammation, it is an area that deserves further research. Considering all these findings together, what is beginning to take shape is as good a case for the environmental effect as you are likely to find: THC, CBD, and at least a handful of cannabis terpenes are likely to play a role in the treatment of migraine pain.

Nate Seltenrich, a freelance science journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area, covers a wide range of topics such as environmental health, neuroscience and pharmacology.

Copyright, Project CBD. Cannot reprint without permission.


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