Welcome to the Marijuana Forum
Welcome to the Marijuana Forum
I would be very interested to know if anyone has had success with marijuana for migraines. I’m surprised that no one has visted this forum in 11 years!
I find cannabis cuts my migraine symptoms by 80 pper cent and lasts for a few hours.its god sentsent.
I know some people who swear by marijuana for migraine prevention. Whether it’s placebo effect remains to be seen. I’ve tried it in the past and didn’t find it influenced my migraines one way or the other.
If your state has medical marijuana it might be worth a try.
I visited my hometown by train for my uncle’s funeral. I asked my cousin if he could fix me up with some weed because I wanted to try it for my migraines. You have to realize that I have intractable migraine, I have tried every preventative, am currently on 600mg topamax and still have daily headaches. I had been taking Nucynta everyday but was asked to stop (by a pain clinic doctor who was going to trial an occipital nerve stimulator….that’s a whole other story). I had to take my Nucynta, my dhe45, my toradol with me just so I could make it thru my uncle’s wake and funeral. Back to the subject: Marijuana
When I got home I told my husband that I had gotten some from my cousin and was anxious to try it for my next migraine. I didn’t have papers to roll it or a pipe to smoke it; lo and behold my daughter comes up with the stuff that I needed. I am no youngster!! The last time I smoked pot was a good 25 years ago! So I tried it and it relaxed every single muscle in my head my face (temple area) as if I had taken a handful of muscle relaxers without the cognitive effect. Yes, I was a little high and that felt a little like an occipital nerve block. I felt great. I went back into our living room and watched the program we had been watching and enjoyed the rest of the evening. Problem: you run out, its not legal, I don’t know where to get more. Plus: after the high is gone, the relaxation was still there and the migraine was still gone. I found it truly remarkable.
My friend has told me to try this, as soon as I get my life back in order and my daily migraines under control, I will eventually get back in school and get my nursing degree. So then he (my friend) mentioned something called K2 for it? It’s like a legal form of weed, but without the THC that doesn’t show up in drug tests? Does anyone know anything about that? I think I would still be kind of apprehensive, just wondering if anyone knows anything about that?
I think I read something about a legalized cannabanoid (I might have nutzed the spelling there) as I was desperate to find something legal to mimic the effect I felt…..but I’ve surfed so many internet pages I couldn’t tell you where I read it. Why don’t you just google K2?
By Brian in TN
No personal experience here in TN (yet) but my research shows that the selective cross pollination of indica / sativa results in many unique strains of cannabis that have vastly different effects especially on medical conditions such as migraines. From what I’ve read it seems most indica strains are safe for migraineurs but many sativa strains can at least interrupt sleep patterns which is usually bad for us. If you can’t find a source that you trust to get you a strain that will help you need to test very small amounts to avoid miserable side effects.
I just had a short conversation with a headache specialist wherein I asked him about medical marijuana and if he had seen patients who had luck with it helping their chronic Migraines. His answer was that yes, some people do find that it is helpful. I also spoke with a girl who used it for her Migraines successfully. Both commented that in their opinion, much more studying needs to be done on its effects. It could potentially be a godsend, but without research it will likely remain out of our hands. Even with research, drug companies may not be clamoring to provide it, causing issues that way. That said, in our state it is not yet looked at as a medication, but still as an illicit drug. Until it is looked at seriously, I fear that its potential as a very helpful drug with few side effects will be ignored.
I really want to try marijuana to see if it will stop the pain from my migraines. The problem is, I’m only 16 and don’t know how to bring it up with my parents. I live in Michigan so we do have medical marijuana, and I have smoked before, but never when I had a migraine. But if I want to try it to use as something for my migraines, I would want my parents to know about it. I’ve been on many things like topamax and used maxalt, toradol, and fioricet but nothing has worked. In my last visit my neurologist bascally said “there’s nothing I can do for you”. I’m just curious to see if it has worked with anyone and if it will work for me.
By Mort Man
As I was surfing the topics, I noticed you were from Michigan. The Detroit Metro area has a Migraine/Headache Group called Look AHead. We can be found on meetup.com at this link… Next meeting is 11/25/13
I hope you have no need for Migraine support anymore. It sure would be wonderful to hear an “It’s gone now” story. But, if you still do have Migraine, and are in the area, please join us sometime.
Hello! I keep a small stash for myself at all times just in case. I don’t find that it makes my migraine go away, and I don’t find that it lasts for as long as I wish.
I find myself using it for the times when my migraine is too terrible to wait 45 minutes for my imitrex to kick in, or if I’m feeling very nauseous from the headache.
I also use it sometimes if I’m in a rebound cycle, can’t take medication and just want to fall asleep. It numbs the pain just long enough for me to get comfortable and fall asleep.
I wish so badly that the government would recognize its medicinal purposes.
To summarize – it’s not going to cure your migraines and it’s definitely not something that you want to use as a substitute for legal medications. But it definitely helps with temporary pain relief.
MEGANMARIEARTHUR – Are you seeing a headache specialist? That is probably the best thing to do to start with. Neurologists are not the best equipped doctors to help you with Migraine and other headache disorders.
Hearing that yet another doctor has told a patient “there’s nothing more I can do” makes me angry. I would much rather a physician tell the patient that they don’t know what else to try, then offer to refer to a doctor who might be able to help.
There are hundreds of things that can be done. I have never yet met a single patient who has literally tried every test, drug or treatment.
Then there is a different viewpoint – what might be exacerbating or triggering your Migraines that might be dealt with? Most patients find very little in the way of help for this, yet most chronics I find seem to have some health condition that was being mis-diagnosed or ignored.
I can’t say whether medical marijuana will be helpful to you – each person is different. I do wish that its potential for medicinal purposes was explored by researchers with open minds.
I will tell you as a parent I have always believed that being truthful is the best policy for my family. Truth builds trust, and if there is one thing a parent wants to have in a child who is taking medicines that could be abused… its trust. Knowing that there might be something “out there” in prescription form (legal) to help my child have a normal life would be a relief. I am not always in the majority however, because I have experienced pain at a level most people can’t begin to comprehend, and understand the need for treatment. Maybe beginning the discussion with your doctor would be the place to start. Only you can decide that though.
Ellen- My dads boss keeps decreasing the insurance so a headache specialist is no longer an option. Neither is a neurologist. And as for triggers ive been keeping a diary to see but mostly they’re brought on by not enough sleep/stress. But in my junior year of high school that means a lot of sleepless nights and stressful days. So they’ve been amped up a lot. I just wish there was some way to stop the pain. And if my parents are on bored with it. Then maybe marijuana will be an option.
Firstly, Carolyn, if imitrex is taking 45 min to work, you could try nasal or subcutaneous forms which work much quicker.
Second, the current concensus on marijuana for migraine is that if it is used frequently like with all other pain medicines in migraine, there is a chance that this can cause medication overuse headache. It is not proven and I’m sure that one could get thousands of people for a study but that most likely won’t happen. Also there are other issues regarding long term marijuana use, especially its effects on the brain.
We live in California, and my husband had a Rx for marijuana for his chronic pain due to another illness. I’ve had chronic migraines for 20 years, and have tried “everything.” It took some convincing to try, but I did finally experiment with it for about a month. I had mixed results with it. At the right “dose” the pain relief was fabulous–mostly numbing, sometimes complete. I did not like the “high,” so was always trying to hit the sweet point where the pain was gone but my faculties were still (mostly) intact. In the end I found that the smoking itself too irritating for my asthma. And long-term, I think the dosing getting-it-just-right would be too problematic.
I see that this is a pretty old post, but I was curious to know if you have tried vaporizing instead of smoking? Going smokeless gives you less of a head high, so you are more likely to keep your “faculties intact.” It’s also more precise delivery, so finding that “sweet spot” is a lot easier to do consistently. I have very bad asthma, and vaping doesn’t bother me in the long term. I’m able to take 1-2 puffs from my Magic Flight Launch box, dull my migraine considerably, and still be able to do my job–which I can’t do on Imatrex or other migraine rescue drugs.
I’m afraid to bring up marijuana to my doctors because of the stigma associated with migraineurs always seeking drugs. the only place I did not get treated like a drug seeker was an actual migraine clinic, world renowned one at that. Unfortunately, I can not go there anymore because it is too expensive and they won’t take my normal mainstream insurance. I have tested marijuana for about a month now only at night because you can’t drive on it. My state is legal for rx marijuana but it’s still a process and exensive – about $300 to get the registration, special doc appt, etc. Then I know my insurance would not cover it and where do you buy it when legal? I’m very confused about this. I think my primary doc would flip her lid and stop giving me vicodin if I asked for a medical marijuana card. Then there’s my neurologist who tries to carefully regulate everything I’m taking so he would be uncomfortable with the lack of studies…I’d have to lie to my regular docs to do this long term or risk loosing them and the other ways they help me. I know I need better docs but where I need to go is two hours away and as I’ve experienced, nothing is ever even 50% neccessarily going to work.You put out the time, the money, the trouble and get maybe 10% relief. Is it worth it? I’ve spent thoudands I don’t have. For what? I’m still in pain…
justanothermigraine – I’m so sorry you’re struggling with this. If marijuana were considered a mainstream medicine, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
I wish I could answer your questions for you, but the truth is that there are no easy answers. If there were, none of us would suffer Migraine anymore.
Migraine is a condition that can be managed, but that requires good doctors. Really, everything starts with good doctors and personal education about the disease. If you don’t have that, you are missing out on the most important part of the equation! Add to that an iron will to do whatever is necessary to get better and that’s pretty much what you need for success.
Success in Migraine management doesn’t come easily, but requires a lot of hard work and a lot of time too… and doctor appointments. We didn’t get this way overnight, it takes time to get better.
I would suggest checking out this link https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/ to see where the nearest Migraine and headache specialist is located, and then getting thee there. 🙂 If you have one within a day’s driving distance, you really are blessed.
You really don’t know if something will work until you try it. The willingness to work hard to get better is necessary to your success.
As to your question, “Is it worth it?” my answer to your inquiry into seeking better care is an unequivocal “YES!” My personal situation is that I have lost most of what made me… well, me. I have virtually nothing to lose and I want my life back. Sometimes we have to hit bottom to be willing to make the sacrifices and changes necessary to make something good happen. That’s human nature, and was my case anyway. I hope you never find yourself in the position of feeling like you have nothing else to lose, but I also hope you seek out help that might be life changing for you too.
I have had great sucess with medical marijuana in managing my chronic migraines. I started using it two years ago. My migraines have decreased in severity by at least 75%. I still get them just as often but they aren’t as dibilatating and my recovery is quicker. I have completely quit taking any Rx’s in conjunction with the medical marijuana.
I have found it to be life changing. I hope to see more sucess stories, I think this could be the answer for alot of people. I am a 49 year old woman who has suffered with migraine as long as I can remember.
NonnyT – I’m glad you are finding some kind of relief, however I am dismayed that although your pain levels have decreased, your frequency has not, and that can lead to the chronification problems that are difficult to get out of.
It’s sad that we can’t test MMJ to know more about how it affects Migraineurs, but we do know that it is pain relief. This means it is not addressing the real question which is the attack itself. I am a proponent for the legalization of MMJ for medical purposes and for medical research. To stop taking preventives is very scary to me however, because it often takes multiple medicines to control Migraine the way we need to control it. MMJ may be a good way for you to help with the pain when an attack is underway, but it is not a preventive, and I think any Migraine and headache specialist is going to want you on preventives to get control of the frequency of attacks to get you on the road to improvement. Pain relief should never be mistaken for a Migraine treatment.
I have never tried preventatives, only the “rescue” meds ie imatrex, maxalt,vicodin ect. I find I am also very suseptable to side effects from rx meds and often feel much worse while taking the meds. As far as my frequency goes I suspect that as time goes on I may have to go the route of a specialist. One of my triggers is weather and with all the weather extremes the frequency of attacks has really ramped up. As you know the search for anything that will help is constant, hence the reason I joined the site.
I also want to add that I do live in Michigan and have only used the legal medical marijuana.
NONNYT – Unfortunately, everything comes with side effects. Whether a particular patient experiences them or not is very individualized. Usually starting with very low doses and going up slowly according to your doctor is helpful in minimizing side effects.
There is a difference in a rescue med (pain meds etc) vs. an abortive such as triptans or ergotamines which actually stop the Migraine process. This is good to know so you can take the appropriate measures when a Migraine attack begins. Stopping the pain helps us to feel better temporarily, but can actually lead to much worse problems down the line, as use of these drugs causes another type of headache disorder called Medication Overuse Headache as well as the chronification of Migraine, which is a serious complication of our disease.
Please talk to your doctor about possibly trying some of the preventives to try to get your Migraines under control so they don’t chronify. Remember too, that a trial for a new preventive means you will likely need to take it at least 3 months on the maximum dosage to know if it will help you. A month of titrating to a max dose is not a trial and will likely yield few if any results. Have lots of patience and also understand that side effects for a lot of these drugs tend to wear off with time as the body adjusts to them. Talk to your doctor about potential side effects before taking a new medicine, and do yourself a favor by looking up all medicines yourself too, so you’ll have all the information you need ahead of time. Epocrates is a good place to start with that 🙂 Hope this is helpful…
By Katie Becc
I am 20, and as much as opinions may differ, I started seeing a neurologist when I was 5, barely in elementary school. They started just a little to often, I would hold my head or say my head has a boo-boo but then they got worse, and by the time i was 10 I was having full blown migraines. Dizzyness, throwing up, the sesitivity to light and sound. By the time I was half way through middle school my parents had to paint my room dark, take out my overhead light and put a lot of money into sound proofing my bedroom because the smallest noise would make my head pound. Horrible story short it remained that way and when i was 15 was finally a decent weight to put me on narcotics, so they gave me oxycodone. Yes, I was 15 and expected to function on dangerous drugs, but since I was pretty much out of school more than 90 days a school year, and had no social life what so ever, my parents would do anything to make me happy, so praying they would make me somewhat functional through the mind numbing pain I was put on a daily dose of medicines NO CHILD UNDER 18 should be on and watched very carefully. And as much as they helped me get through freshman year to my junior year, without being to terrible of a student, having friends for once, and enjoying cheerleading ect. The pain never stopped and my body grew use to my medication so my doctors slightly increased it, which made the side affects horribly worse. I was throwing up to the point of being almost 18 and 80 pounds, I was missing more school and always dizzy or felt to screwed up to get out of bed much less walk around high school and be functional? Then a “dangerous drug” crossed my path. After the intial shock from my parents, they did the research, and saw the percentage of people in our state actually took part and 100% believed in the legalization of it. They spoke to my doctor and he showed them the spike in my weight gain and my tolernece for my medicine, I could take it and not throw up every meal, and I was actually keeping my medicine down for once instead of throwing it right back up before it even disolves. I couldn’t graduate because of my Migraine disorder, I couldnt even live and it ruined my whole life growing up, its quite sad that people in other states are going to jail for doing something that is very well helping them.
Katie Becc – I am wondering if anyone ever tried preventives with you? Did they at least try periactin when you were a child per chance?
Again, although I believe there are definite medical uses for MMJ, I want Migraineurs not to use it as a reason to not treat the problem itself by using preventive medicines that will hopefully help keep the problem from becoming even worse. Seeing a Migraine and headache specialist really is key. I would hate to think that the narcotics you felt you had no choice to take, possibly being the reason for the chronification you obviously experienced. This is a super tough position to be in. You feel like – out of the frying pan and into the fire. I hope you’re looking at preventives in addition to helping yourself with the pain issues and nausea with the MMJ. I wish this was an option for many more patients. There’s so much we don’t understand about it, and its potential is really almost completely untapped.
Hi! I just want to say after a year of being nervous of talking to my parents I finally did. I was missing a lot of school and almost failing out of high school because of my migraines and I finally asked them to try medical marijuana and they let me! I’m so happy for it too. My grades went back up from D’s to A’s again just because the pain was manageable. We have medical marijuana in MI although I do not have a card. I take edibles instead of smoking because the smoke would make my migraines worse. I get them from someone who is licensed with the state so I know that what I’m getting is safe. Also I only take it when I take my prescription meds and the pain is still there. The strain of marijuana in the edibles I get is from someone else who has chronic migraines too so it’s made to get rid of all of the symptoms. I have no sensitivity to light or noise, and my body is numb so I can’t feel any of the migraine. The only downside is that it takes about an hour to kick in since I’m ingesting it, but I’d rather take an hour out of my day than the whole day lying in bed with pain anytime. It is all about knowing how much to ingest. I usually take 1/4 of whatever I’m eating and that is just enough to take the pain away, but makes it so I’m still functional and able to do daily activities.
By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator
Than you will be VERY interested in Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s new point of view on this topic: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/08/health/gupta-changed-mind-marijuana/index.html
I have had migraines now for over 15 years and used to be on like 6 or 8 different medications to try and control them and i still had daily headaches, a few years ago i tried using marijuana again for my migraines and in the past couple of years I have gone off all my prescriptions and the only thing I use now is my medical marijuana and for years I couldn’t work and my husband left me cause my migraines were so bad. I am now back to work full time and i am in a great relationship, and the only medication i am on nowadays is marijuana, it allows me to be the person i am today, without it i would probably still not be working and still on those 6 or 8 medications if not more and be basically a zombie still having daily headaches, now i am able to go days without a headache something that in almost 15 years all those prescription medications were NEVER able to do!! Medical marijuana has been a life changer for me.
I am so pleased to hear of your success. I was wondering what dosing amt, specific type, and method of ingestion eg., smoking or edible you use. Is this daily or do you use marijuana as rescue only?
Thanks for sharing and again, congrats on having managed to get your life back.
By Brian in TN
Don’t forget vaporizing, it is the fastest way to get the THC / CBD into your system while completely avoiding the harmful / irritating tars produced by smoking any organic substance. Vaporizers have shrunk and become much less expensive in recent years and should definitely be investigated by anyone considering using cannabis.
I checked into this. Looked very promising as an alternative method. Didn’t know it existed. Thanks.
I have had a chronic migraine for over 2 years now with only a couple months reprieve. The doctors have tried everything to break it with no success. I’ve been made into a ‘zombie’ and had my blood pressure lowered so much I passed out every time I stood up on medications. I’ve been stuck with hundreds of needles and I’ve had numerous tests done. With NO results!!! I’m frustrated beyond belief….as I’m sure many of you are!!!
Now my counselor has actually suggested Cannabadiol Oil….which she uses herself!! She had a mastectomy and she said this product helps with her pain.
Has anyone tried this for their migraines????? Any success??????
I hope this finds you better. Marijuana has so little downside, besides your local legal issues of course, compared to prescribed meds, I’d recommend you try it. It’s not to be feared. It may help or it may not. It can relax you to enable letting go of anxiety which may be helpful. Get a medical marijuana card. Good luck.
I have had migraines all my life. Even as a child, then later I got menstrual migraines in addition. I’ve tried every drug so far along the last 30 years. I recently moved to CO (by coincidence) 2 days before marijuana became legal here for recreational use. I’ve found a doctor here, and we are starting over at this point with preventatives. I took Topamax several years ago with HORRIBLE side effects. I take Imitrex 100 mg for my headaches now, and I’ve recently started Propanolol as a preventative, I don’t remember it working in the past, but its been so long ago that I figured I’d try again. I HAVE to have a preventative, I can hardly do anything without getting a migraine. On top of the headaches I get a couple of times a week, I always have a 3 day migraine around my period, no matter what. So, I’ve been experimenting with marijuana. So far, they just relax me & don’t really do much for the headache, but I’ve recently started looking for strains that have a higher CBD % than the THC. It actually made me feel better the other night! It took the sting/burn out of the headache. And when its higher in CBD it doesn’t seem to make you as stoned, you can still function, although I did get dizzy after standing up too fast, bad enough to have to go sit down.
I would love to try the CBD oil, too. I’m not sure where to get it but will find out. I think that marijuana just depends on the person, its a hit or miss. I just figured the CBD would be a good idea because I’ve seen stories where this is really helping children with epileptic seizures, so if we all take preventatives that are also used as anti-seizure drugs (such as Topamax, etc) then maybe the CBD part of the plant would help us too. First post, new to the forums, but lifelong member of this horrible club we all belong to as migraine sufferers. Good luck everyone!
By Brian in TN
Cannabis was widely prescribed by Western doctors throughout the latter half of the 19th century. Specifically, the use of cannabis as a treatment for migraines was supported by a number of prominent physicians of the time, including Sir William Osler.
In 1915, Sir Osler wrote that ‘Cannabis indica is probably the most satisfactory remedy’ for migraines and cited others in recommending a ‘prolonged course’ of cannabis treatment.
Ive been getting migraines since my late teens although they didn’t get really bad until I was in my mid 30s and had to go on depakote for several years which I hated. I found that the strain bluedream really helped with prevention and was able to stop the preventative rx. I had fewer attacks just using this particular strain than I did on preventative meds. Since the beginning of this year I haven’t had access to it and slowly the attacks have increased in frequency & intensity and my auras are worse than they’ve ever been (temporary blindness,constantly numb, etc). I haven’t found that other strains work for me as preventatives, although I’m curious about the high C.B.D strains. During an attack it only helps relax me and deal with the nausea, it doesn’t do much for the pain except dull it slightly.
By Katie M. Golden Moderator
A few people recently mentioned CBD or cannabidoil. CBD is a derivative of marijuana, but it extracts out the THC, therefore you don’t get high. It is being studied extensively now for children with epilepsy. There are about 13 states that allow the use of CBD, but I’m not sure which ones allow it for Migraine patients. A New York university is about to start a new study soon and hopefully in a year or two CBD will be more widely accessible.
My boyfriend is actually working on this issue (focusing on its use in children). If I get new info, I will definitely pass it along.
I’m wondering if those who use marijuana to treat their migraines have told their doctors or not. I live in a state that allows Medical Marijuana cards; however, I don’t know how to get a doctor to help me get one (I’m sure they are afraid of the repercussions if they do). I asked my Neurologist what he thought of it for the treatment of migraines and he said not enough studies have been conducted to know. I didn’t tell him that I’ve been using it when the pain gets really bad and I’m afraid to tell him or any doctor. Even though doctors are prohibited by law to disclose drug use to anyone, couldn’t they just cut you off from their treatment if you tell them you are using marijuana and it’s the only thing that really provides relief from misery?
In many states prescrber Docs advertise or lists are readily available thru a google search. Also, marijuana dispensaries almost always have a list of docs. Keeping your neuro happy is not the goal of therapy. But, havng a neuro on the team is clearly to your benefit if that is how you best manage your migraines. Your relief, by whatever means, is the goal. Good luck.
Thank you for the response. Over the years, I have looked into all the requirements and the doctors who dispense prescriptions for the card; however, they all require records from the doctor who diagnosed migraines. So, I’m not sure how to have my records sent from my neurologist to a marijuana prescriber without my neurologist recognizing the doctor’s name and thinking that if I’m going that route, he won’t treat me anymore. I still need the other prescription drugs to get me through the day.
By Katie M. Golden Moderator
I personally believe that you should always be up-front with your doctor about everything you are doing to help your Migraines, which could include doing yoga or taking supplements like Magnesium. In this case, I can see why you are hesitant to discuss with your doctor. If you are in a state that allows marijuana for medical use, I would hope your doctor would be on board.
If you’re really worried that he won’t treat you anymore, you can always ask for a personal copy of your medical records. I occasionally ask for copies of my records just so I have them. You never know if you’ll need them faster than their office can produce them, so I like to have my own set. Some offices might charge to give you copies instead of sending them to another doctor, but it may be worth asking.
You are right. I should discuss many things with him; however, I only see him twice a year because I must drive to a town 90 miles away. So, he really doesn’t know what I experience on a daily basis. I basically just hole up when I’m not well (which is a lot more than I think he realizes). I don’t know how to fit in 6 months worth of what I’ve been going through in a 10 minute session. I do try, though.
I appreciate the idea about how to obtain my records. I had thought of that once and backed out because I was still afraid he’d find out somehow. But, I will try what you suggest and then, if I get accepted, I will tell him. He really is the only doctor I trust to treat migraines.
I just wish it wasn’t so difficult to get the relief we need.
As the details of your dilemma come out, I see the difficult choices that have to be made. I would offer as an alternative, many migraneurs have neck and back issues that can be diagnosed as the basis for a prescription from a doc other than your neuro. I would urge you to seek alternative ways for treatment if you feel they may be of benefit.
I had never thought of that. Brilliant! Thank you for the suggestion! I do have many documented neck and back issues.
Thank you for all of the suggestions from both you and Katie. I will pursue them and see what happens.
I do sometimes worry that marijuana for migraines may cause rebound headaches; however, I’ve never been able to determine that. It doesn’t seem to with me. Has anyone else felt it was causing more harm that benefit?
If anyone is still checking this I have recently gotten off of all my migraine medication except for the occasional imitrex injection using strictly Medical Marijuana. I have/am detailing my experience here http://migrainelifemm.blogspot.ca
10 yr Migraine sufferer also currently in the midst of second set of botox injections.
After suffering from Chronic migraine for at least 15 years (I’ve had them since I was a child and am in my early 20s now), I am off all my migraine medication except for occasional Imitrex injections or tablets using strictly marijuana. My story was published on Migraine.com here: https://migraine.com/stories/pills-cannabis-story/.
That was a great read and I am happy for you. I believe no avenue of relief should be discouraged as everyone’s brand of migraine is different, thus what may work for one may not work for another. I wish you continued success with your management style.
A friend has told me that he is going to get me cannabidoil (CBD) for my migraines. He uses it for his arthritis. After trying to read everthing available about CBD, I found out that the amount used is critical. Too much or too little will not be effective. Does anyone have experience using CBD for migraine. I have had migraines for over 40 years and they seem to be getting worse, not better. I am scheuled to receive my first botox injections in two weeks.
Any relief would be welcome. I appreciate all feedback.
By Katie M. Golden Moderator
I personally have not used CBD for my Migraines, however I have done quite a lot of research on this topic. CBD has been widely studied in children with severe seizures. A certain strain of CBD called Charlotte’s Web has been very successful in reducing seizures. In several cases from hundreds of seizures a day to only a handful.
CBD can be made from the cannabis plant and extracting the THC (which is what makes you high). There are also several pharmaceutical companies who are making it synthetically. I believe CBD can have many different uses for people with chronic pain.
However, it is a fairly new method and has not been studied enough, especially for Migraines. I would warn you to make sure you know exactly where it is coming from as there are several websites claiming to sell CBD, but it is not pure.
As for the Botox injections, check this article out. It will help you to understand what to expect. https://migraine.com/blog/botox-basics/
I have had chronic migraine with aura (from 17 up to 24 migraine days/month) for the last 16 years. I also had them as a teenager but that was only once or twice a year. I am now 55 years old. I started getting migraines almost daily not long after I won my fight with colon cancer at the age of 38. I have tried almost all of the preventative medications out there, some more than once, and am currently taking 300mg of Lyrica twice a day and 75mg amitriptyline at bedtime. I am also prescribed a triptan as a rescue medication.
I am also a chronic marijuana user, which is illegal in my state. Since I also take an opioid medication for chronic pain, my state had me sign a form that I would not use marijuana while using an opiod and will perform random drug-screening of patients who are prescribed an opioid medication. I see my primary care physician once every 3 months, he is the one who prescribes the opioid. I see my neurologist for my migraines every 3 to 6 months. Because of the random drug-screenings I quit smoking marijuana for 5 or 6 weeks before my appointment with my primary care physician, just in case my name has been drawn. Once my appointment is over, I have 6 weeks I am able to smoke again.
I have noticed a pattern between my migraines and my marijuana use. During the month I have an appointment with my primary care physician my migraines are almost every day (off of marijuana 6 weeks now). During the weeks I am able to smoke marijuana, my migraines are down to around 10 a month, cutting my migraine days almost in half! Not to mention that the marijuana also helps with other migraine symptoms. However I cannot tell this to my neurologist, because he shares my medical records with my primary care physician.
I can’t tell my doctors that smoking marijuana helps my migraines, for fear of prosecution.
Everyone should be free to tell their Dr how much Cannabis has helped them. Dr/Patient confidentiality is supposed to be a corner stone of the profession, and if it’s not, then you absolutely should get a new doctor, and report that one you lacked confidentiality with to the authorities so they can get sacked, fired, removed, barred from ever practicing medicine again.
Hippocrates, that ancient Greek healer, would be spinning in his grave at that breach of the Hippocratic Oath all doctors must swear to.
Not to mention what a disservice that is to yourself, to science, to medical care in general, by withholding the facts. You can’t expect the best feedback and care possible if you’re providing misinformation. You’re only helping prop up this harmful prohibition by this harmful lie. I understand the fear, but you should know you have the right to sacrosanct confidentiality with your doctor. (and besides, you shared it with the internet already, where you have no such protection).
(This Paragraph; as mentioned in the ashvagandha thread I just started):
Cannabis, depending on the type [I don’t know what arrangement of cannabinoids, or which specific canabinoids is most effective], can switch a migraine OFF like a light switch. First time I discovered this was 2001, with some “charras”, and over the years have found that not all types were so instantly absolutely effective (and I don’t know how much that’s due to the cannabis type, or the migraine type).
I have CBD (Cannabidiol) since it’s all that’s legal here (yet). I was taking big doses of it, but for my migraine it was as ineffective as most stuff. So I doubt it (alone) has much to do with alleviating migraines, and probably it’s the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) or some other lesser known cannabinoid (CBC? CBG?) that really does the magic. Or needs some special arrangement of cannabinoids in near enough the right ratios for that optimal benefit.
Besides from Ashvagandha (which I only discovered is effective last night / this morning when I woke up), nothing else has ever even put a significant dent in a migraine for me.
Boy I wish it could be that easy. Lucky you to happen to live in a state which has legalized marijuana for medicinal use. I live in a state which is full of republicans who are very straight-edged and very much against the legalization of medicinal marijuana. I cannot just up and move to another state. I have obligations here that, believe it or not, are far more important.
As a patient in this state who uses an opiate painkiller for chronic pain, I was forced to sign a form stating that I cannot/will not use marijuana while taking the painkiller. The form also stated that I would be subject to random drug screens each year. If I test positive then I not only lose the use of the painkiller; I will also lose my primary care physician and it will be hard for me to find another doctor. I have many health issues that I take all kinds of medications for. Now, I don’t know about you, but it has taken me decades to finally find a doctor who actually listens and works with me and my many ailments. If I lose my primary care physician now; I not only lose the use of the opiate painkiller, I lose ALL of the care I currently receive. I cannot maintain the quality of life I now have without the many medications I need to take each day.
As to “the disservice” I do for myself; what may be “a harmful lie” to you is “life-saving” to me.
I wish it were easy too.
Very saddening predicament you’re in. Such unethical coercion on you and on your Doctors must surely end some day. I hear rumors the Federal government over there in USA are inching towards legalization following the results in the states who have been more forward thinking (~ I hope that happens quick, before the next president is sworn in, when it seems less likely).
The history of corrupt industrial hijacking of the political system in USA makes for an interesting read, like the scenario surrounding Randolf William Hearst, and his nephew, Harry J Anslinger, who did so much to shape government policy on cannabis on behalf of his uncle and other industrialists who benefited greatly, at the expense of everyone else, having cannabis/hemp no longer competing against their inferior products. Well worth a few websearches if you’re unfamiliar.
“Lucky you to happen to live in a state which has legalized marijuana for medicinal use.”
I do not. I’m not sure what I said that gave you that impression. All my Doctors have been very positive about cannabis, but diplomatic about it, stating how their hands are tied by the legal situation. Though more recently, there are some conditions which GW Pharmaceuticals’ products can be prescribed, unfortunately migraines (nor any of the dozen other ailments I suffer) are not on that very short list ~ not to mention GW Pharma are extortionate to the tax payer, for what could be grown for pennies.
If I did live somewhere with open legal access to cannabis, I would have cannabis, and I would not have had migraines, and not have bothered showing up here.
Also, it’s Digit, not Didgit. ^_^
I am trying to find relief for my wife she has been diagnosed with intractable chronic migraines she also suffers from fibromyalgia She has Used all the different triptan meds, maxalt etc. With no relief in sight at one point she had a migraine for ten days straight , Can’t take much more seeing my wife suffer curious as to the actual relief gained by using medical marijuana my only issue is that we are in recovery with almost 12 years clean so to consider this is a major decision can I get some feedback here thanks in advance Pro’s and Cons
I know this is not a common held feeling, but I really despise the fact that essentially all cannabis strains are now hybrids. Some of the sativa strains that used to be around in the 70’s and 80’s were, IMHO, the best for migraines. I just can’t find them anymore! If anyone has any knowledge of good, pure sativa strains for migraines, I hope you might be willing to share the names.
Also, for those who doubt the effects of cannabis on migraines, I have this to offer: In the late 70’s, my mother suffered considerably from migraines. I shared some cannabis with her. Since then, she has been smoking most days for the past 40 years. She has been almost migraine-free for the past 30 years. To avoid adverse effects of smoking, she now only vaps. She’s not what you think a daily smoker would be like. For much of that time she was the manager of banks and credit unions. Thank goodness for the fact that she can now go to a store and purchase it legally!
By Katie M. Golden Moderator
Thanks for sharing. That’s so amazing about your mom!
As I am just starting to dabble in using cannabis for migraine management, I don’t have any good strains to suggest, but hopefully someone else will chime in!