Marijuana for migraines
Marijuana is sometimes used as a migraine herbal supplement. It comes from dried flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves of the Cannibis sativa hemp plant. The plant, which can grow more than 15 feet tall, has a very distinct smell. Its green leaves grow in an easily recognizable pattern of five to nine leaves on stem and each leaf has jagged edges.
It is one of the oldest plants grown by humans. In the U.S., it is has been illegal to buy, sell, grow, own or use Marijuana since 1937.
Marijuana has been used for centuries as a natural remedy. Traces of its active chemicals have been found in ancient Egyptian mummies. Ancient Chinese cultures wrote about its use more than two thousand years ago.
Medical marijuana uses includes:
- Easing symptoms associated with HIV and cancer
- Improving appetite
- Controlling nausea and vomiting
- Decrease eye pressure
- Relieving pain
Marijuana headaches and migraines
There are practically no studies on medical marijuana for migraines. Therefore there is no concrete scientific evidence on marijuana’s effectiveness, the proper dosage or the best method to ingest it.
Medical marijuana and chronic migraine headache
In the late 1800s marijuana was often used by doctors for treating migraines and other types of headaches.
The most popular way to use marijuana is to smoke the dried leaves. Smoking quickly gets Marijuana’s chemicals into the bloodstream. When Marijuana is eaten, it leaves a lower level of chemicals in the body but it has a longer lasting effect.
Can medical marijuana treat migraines?
The Cannibis sativa hemp plant contains more than 400 chemicals. The chemical responsible for many of marijuana’s qualities is called THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol. It binds to receptors found throughout the body’s brain and other parts of the nervous system. THC acts on these receptors that impact pain, appetite, pleasure, memory, thought and coordination.
More than a dozen states have laws allowing medical use of marijuana in certain cases, although it is not a U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved drug. In the state of California, migraine is listed in the state’s health and safety code as an illness that is acceptable for marijuana use.
Side effects and other precautions
Marijuana is not a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drug. Therefore its strength and purity are not regulated. It is also considered an illegal, illicit drug. Some states allow its use for certain medical ailments with a doctor’s recommendation. Because marijuana is not tightly regulated the way approved drugs are, it is difficult to list side effects because its strength and purity may vary with each use. Below are some side effects seen in studies:
Side effects from smoking marijuana
- Breathing problems
- Increased risk of lung infection
- Dry mouth
Other marijuana side effects
- Impaired memory
- Increased heart rate
- Possible physical or psychological dependence or addiction
- Loss of coordination
- Problems thinking and solving problems
- Red eyes
- Increased appetite
Who should not take Marijuana
If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding, you must consult your doctor before taking any supplement. It is well-known that smoking endangers the health of developing babies and should be avoided by pregnant women.
As always, the best source for advice on treating your migraines is your own migraine specialist. These descriptions of natural remedies are provided only for informational purposes. You should begin no medication or supplement without first checking with your physician. Again, this information should in no way substitute or be mistaken for medical advice.