I’m hoping that since medical marijuana is now legal in many states, my question will be considered socially acceptable. Marijuana has proven useful for other types of pain and for nausea as well, so it doesn’t seem a far jump to try it for migraines.
It is legal in my state but unavailable due to some stupid glitch, and migraine is not one of the approved diagnoses.
I just keep thinking how great it would be if the only side effect of a great abortive was a bad case of the munchies.
No, unfortunately I have not had much success over the 44 years I’ve had migraines. At least not much has worked at preventing the attacks, though I’ve been fairly lucky at aborting them once Imitrex hit the market. Just recently though, the triptans no longer seem to help much.
Thank you for the link, I’ll check it out!
I just found this very cool article about migraines and marijuana in Psychology Today. I couldn’t figure out how to get a link to it, so I copied and pasted it. Mea culpa Psych Today.
Migraine sufferers have few options for reducing their headache pain and most of the medications available have unpleasant side-effects that limit their long term usefulness. About twenty years ago a new class of drugs, the triptans, was introduced as an effective and safe alternative treatment. This class of drug works effectively for most patients but must be taken at the first sign of a headache and are often associated with unwanted side-effects such as feeling hot or cold, weak, or “strange” in some way. The strange feelings are often given the term “serotonin syndrome” and also include changes in mental status. These changes in mental status can be quite significant in individuals who carry a genetic vulnerability, such as people with bipolar illness or schizophrenia. The assumption has been that these drugs work by acting upon serotonin receptors leading to a constriction of cerebral blood vessels or by some unknown mechanism(s). This assumption may be incorrect
One potentially important “unknown mechanism” that was initially published in 1987 described how migraine headaches developed in some people shortly after they abruptly discontinued their long-term marijuana use. The implication was that marijuana was preventing the onset of migraines in vulnerable individuals. In addition, marijuana has long been known to possess analgesic properties. Possibly, the marijuana was somehow masking the pain of the migraines. A recent publication from the University of California, San Francisco, in The Journal of Neuroscience, has offered a fascinating explanation for why the use of both triptans and marijuana prevent migraine headaches.
Our brain’s own endogenous marijuana-like chemicals produce analgesia by modulating the entry of pain signals into the brain at the level of our spinal cord. Future generations of pain relievers will likely be developed based upon the action of marijuana in the body. The advantage of targeting the endogenous marijuana system is that only noxious or painful signals are blocked; normal touch sensation is normal.
This recent study made two significant advances: it confirmed the role of the endogenous marijuana neurotransmitter system as a potential target for treating migraines, and their results suggest that triptans may produce their migraine relief by activating the brain’s own endogenous marijuana-like chemicals. This study may lead to the development of more effective migraine prevention and treatment. The challenge will be to find a dose of marijuana that produces pain relief without disturbing normal cognitive function.
That was quite an interesting thread, thank you for directing my attention to it.
You know its kinda funny, although I often refer to myself as an aging hippie, I never did try weed until I was in my late 40s. By then my migraines had become so bad, and of course my 4 kids were all moderate users who insisted I try it to help my headaches. They made sure the weed I used was safe, and stuck around to be sure I didn’t use too much. They have refused though, to supply me with any, even though we have ascertained that it truly does help.
Since we live in a state where medical marijuana is for all intents and purposes illegal, and my husband disapproves, I only use once a year. A very close friend of mine and I both have kids in Atlanta, and we take a yearly road trip (ROAD TRIP!!) to see them. She just happens to be the friend who is driving me to Jefferson in 2 weeks. I still don’t believe I mustered up the courage to do this, but I actually called Jefferson and asked if testing positive for marijuana would be a deal breaker for getting into the inpatient clinic. The answer was yes. So, since road trips always trigger migraines and triptans don’t much work for me any more, I guess I’ll just have to settle for my ice pack instead of my one hitter and a bag of Bugles. Bummer man.