Those who don’t have migraines might not understand how serious and incapacitating they can be. Most migraine sufferers will only experience them once or twice a month, but for more than 4 million people in the U.S., it’s a chronic problem persisting throughout the month.
Migraine headaches aren’t simply bad headaches though. Scientists refer to the condition as a neurological disease. The experience is described as a severe throbbing pain on usually just one, but possibly both sides of the head that reoccurs frequently.
Interestingly, migraines affect women more than men. Three times as many females as male adults suffer migraines. 9 out of 10 migraine sufferers has a family history of the condition, and about ten percent of children will experience migraines.
Pain is rooted in perception and our bodies have specialized systems for informing our perspective, or perception. However, for many people, pain is a problem without apparent causes, and doctors have a hard time explaining to them why.
Scientists suggest that migraines, and other pain disorders, could be caused by abnormal brain activity affecting nerve signals, chemicals and blood vessels in the brain. Migraines can also be triggered by stress, anxiety, and depression. Tiredness, poor sleep, and posture, muscular tension, are also all physiological factors involved in triggering migraines. Other triggering factors could be dietary, such as caffeine, or environmental, like bright lights, smoke, and loud noises.
Dr. Roger Cady, headache specialist is quoted in a recent WebMD article saying, “Even the best [a migraine] medications are only effective about half the time.” Results from other studies support the statement. A study on middle-aged women suffering from chronic migraines found that migraine medications only relieve pain in twenty to forty percent of those who take them.
Most migraine sufferers aren’t diagnosed with the disorder and go untreated, or rather self-medicated by over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol and ibuprofen. Most physicians know now that these drugs, NSAIDs, increase the risk of heart disease and liver damage. The most commonly prescribed medications for migraines are drugs called triptans, which alleviate painful migraines via the [endocannabinoid system].
Studies on migraine patients using triptans found that 66% of patients delayed taking the drugs due to concerns of adverse effects like fatigue, cognitive impairment, dizziness, weakness, chest pressure, warm sensations, and trouble functioning. When patients stopped taking medication, their migraines rebounded worse and lasted longer than before.
The American Academy of Neurology and The American Headache Society currently are recommending two types of antiepileptic drugs and two beta-blockers for adult migraine prevention. However, there are similar or worse adverse effects related to these types of antidepressants. Read more on the adverse effects of these drugs in our other articles on epilepsy and depression.
Cannabis has been used for centuries as a remedy for a headache and pain problems. Author of The Use of Cannabis for Headache Disorders, Bryson Lochte, wrote an extensive review of cannabis use for headache treatment. In the paper, the author cites various preclinical and scientific studies, concluding that cannabis is likely to emerge as a potential treatment for headache disorders, even though the FDA and federal government continue its prohibition.
Medical marijuana may be able to stop a cascade of processes in the pathogenesis of migraines, preventing them from occurring, and it may do so in a safer and more efficient manner, than traditional migraine pharmaceuticals. Cannabis is able to do so because of the cannabinoids and terpenes found naturally in the plant’s flowers. The compounds interact with our body’s innate systems, activating processes of homeostatic regulation like sleep, appetite, and pain and anxiety.
There are no cures for migraines, and for now, sufferers can only treat the symptoms. Millions of people are unaware that there is a safe alternative to synthetic drugs for their chronic pain. Medical doctors and Big Pharma are fonder of synthetic isolated compounds than whole plant medicine, which may explain continued lobbying against comprehensive medical marijuana programs. For now, consult with a physician and medical marijuana professional about some of the strains linked below that have been reported to alleviate and possibly prevent migraines.
· [[Abusive OG]]
· [[Blue Goo]]
· [[Blue Magic]]
· [[Blue OG]]
· [[Blueberry Blast]]
· [[Blueberry Cheesecake]]
· [[Blueberry Diesel]]
· [[Blueberry Haze]]
· [[Blueberry Headband]]
· [[Charlie Sheen]]
· [[Charlotte’s Web]]
· [[Cotton Candy Kush]]
· [[Critical Kush]]
· [[Crown OG]]
· [[Crown Royale]]
· [[Dairy Queen]]
· [[Dream Star]]
· [[Emerald OG]]