New Hope for Migraine Sufferers
Migraine is usually a severe form of reoccurring headache felt as a throbbing pain at the front or side of the head. Surprisingly, new findings showed that marijuana can effectively treat migraines and bring relief to migraine sufferers from this painful condition.
Researchers examined 121 patients diagnosed with migraines and between January 2010 and September 2014, they were treated with medical marijuana and found that their migraines were dropped from over 10 a month to less than five per month. The researchers called these results both clinically “significant" and "statistically."
According to Laura Borgelt, senior author, a professor in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus said, “There was a substantial improvement for patients in their ability to function and feel better." She added, “Like any drug, marijuana has potential benefits and potential risks. It’s important for people to be aware that using medical marijuana can also have adverse effects." While the results were “quite remarkable,” much more research is needed, Borgelt said. But given current federal laws, designing a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial is not likely to happen, she conveyed.
The trial participants used marijuana in different ways including, inhaled and edible preparations. In addition to this, inhaled marijuana was shown to be the most preferable way to treat current headaches while edibles seemed to be more effective at preventing headaches. Of the 121 people studied, over 100 participants in the study reported a decrease in monthly migraines, 15 reported the same number of migraines and three people saw an increase in migraines.
“If patients are considering medical marijuana they should speak to their health care provider and then follow up so we can track the impact of their overall treatment,” Borgelt conveyed. “Open communication is necessary because we need to know how all of these treatments work together."
But how exactly marijuana works to treat migraines is not fully clear to researchers. Cannabinoids are the active ingredient of Marijuana ans its receptors are located throughout the body. Cannabinoids may also affect neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, brain's chemical messenger that help in communication between the brain and body. “We believe serotonin plays a role in migraine headaches, but we are still working to discover the exact role of cannabinoids in this condition,” Borgelt concluded. This new study was published in the journal Pharmacotherapy.