Despite inquiries and requests over the last few years, I've dodged the topic of marijuana and migraines - Well, just the topic of cannabis altogether. After last night's results in Washington state and Colorado, I decided it's worth bringing up the topic. Sorry Mom and Dad, but this one's about the Devil's Weed. For the rest of you, try to stay focused and read on.
Now before we begin with the fun stuff, let me break down migraines for you. Although there are many projects, foundations, and additional support investigating the cause and cure of/for migraines, there's barely any conclusive data. However, there have been certain triggers found to provoke a migraine. These are not just choices you make, but choices that were "made" for you. It's important to keep track of your personal triggers, but the most common are the following:
1. Use of tobacco or caffeine.
3. Women relate their migraine episodes to hormonal imbalances.
6. Changes in temperature or environment.
7. Anxiety, stress, etc.
Some of my personal triggers are:
1. Possibly genetics.
2. Changes in temperature or environment.
3. Anxiety, stress, etc.
4. Eye strain (I stare at a screen for both my day job and dream job.)
5. Changes in lighting patterns (i.e. too many strobes) and a prevalence of overlapping shadows (this is why I have to wear glasses during bright and dark parts of the day, despite 20-16 vision).
Please note I am a heavy caffeine user, but through various experiments, I have found no coincidence between a cup or two of coffee and migraine episodes. If anything, caffeine treats the pain. It's what makes Excedrin stand out. However, a smokey room will sometimes trigger a migraine.
Now, there are a thousands "treatments" for migraines, but they are all drugs. It is becoming more commonplace to find an opiate within the chemistry of migraine medication. Since we're talking about drugs here, let's move on to cannabis.
The American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC) found:
"History shows that cannabis preparations in the 19th century were widely prescribed for migraine. In England and America, cannabis was the primary drug used to treat "sick headache". Today tinctures are available that are absorbed under the tongue (sublingual) and work in minutes. Inhalation through a vaporizer or smoking can produce even more rapid relief. Absorption of cannabis through the lungs or sublingually is independent of the GI tract so is unaffected by nausea or vomiting.
Cannabis contains a variety of cannabinoids that act synergistically to help relieve migraine symptoms. Cannabis is both anti-inflammatory and analgesic in addition to its known anti-emetic properties. Recent research demonstrates that cannabis is also a mild vasodilator that can lower blood pressure. Cannabis can provide relief from muscle cramps that can accompany migraine (particularly of the neck and shoulders). Patients whose headaches may be anxiety related need to be cautious about cannabis as it can aggravate symptoms of anxiety in some patients."
In short, cannabis worked and still works for a lot of migraine sufferers. However, if one of your triggers is anxiety - like mine - you want to be careful with dosages and overall usage. In many American states and territories like . . .
California, Washington, Colorado, Washington D.C., Alaska, Arizona, Michigan, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont . . .
. . . many laws pro-medical-cannabis have been enacted. Out of the states with some legal supply of the drug, many neurologists find it's a mostly effective and safer alternative to regular migraine medicine, such as . . .
Ultram, Imitrex, Treximet, Ergomar, Demerol, Codeine, Compazine (for migraine sufferers with "morning sickness"), and so on. Many of these drugs affect blood flow, vessel dilation, and provide nothing more than the equivalent of an anti-inflammatory (which actually helps quite well) latticed with drugs only legal in the form of a pill. By the way, here's a cool study:
Outside of the White House's release studies of marijuana and cancer cell growth, there isn't a lot of information without a bias. Either the writer is a migraine sufferer or a pro-medical-marijuana support group. If you have any awesome, neutral investigations, please leave them in the comments below.
The point of this is to show that, like many other ailments, migraines can be "treated" with cannabis. Now if it wasn't for that damn sense of euphoria! Who wants that? Wait, two of my prescribed medicines provide the same sensation mostly due to the fact they are lab-created forms of scheduled substances.
Migraines & Stroke
Again, I apologize for most of this information coming from biased sources, but the upcoming video explains the connection between the sweat leaf and stroke.
What's important to note about this section is the connection between migraines and stroke. I wrote about this before, so make sure to check it out.
Don't let the "rat problem" scare you. All medicine is tested this way. It's far too dangerous to have someone smoke a joint, which is fair considering the following advice.
That's it. I provided some information, now you provide the conclusion. I need to nurse this migraine coming on . . . with ultram because I live in Indiana and drugs are bad. All jokes aside, I'm really am going to use my prescribed ultram (which is 40 cents a fill after insurance and ~$456 without. The enigmas of health insurance).
Episodes and Information Related to Migraines.