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Complementary Alternatives Therapies

Medical cannabis

  • By Brian in TN

    Has anyone tried cannabis, medical marihuana, as a treatment for their migraines? What did you try beforehand? Was it your idea, or suggested by a physician? How did you locate a prescribing physician and dispensary? What success / side effects have you encountered? How has it effected your employment / family? Holding this as a last resort treatment, especially since it’s not currently legal in TN and I would have to find a job at a non-drug free workplace.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Brian,

    I’ve not tried medical marijuana for migraine pain, but there is talk in NYS about making this legal. Of course that still means using it is a federal crime…

    Have you been to see a true expert who treats migraine and headache disorders rather then just a general neurologist who says they are ‘headache specialists’ because there is a big difference. Migraine/headache disorder specialists have extra board certification in headache medicine and while neurologists may be fine doctors they have a hard time being experts in one area because they treat so many different conditions like multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, stroke, Parkinson’s and others. Here is information on what makes these doctors so special and how to find one; https://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/ and https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/. You are in luck, there are at least five of these board certified doctors in TN!

    Nancy

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    Brian T,

    I have no personal experience, however at a meeting got into a discussion with a famous researcher/Migraine specialist about it. In his experience, some patients do well, others don’t. Like everything else, it is different for each person. I’ve talked to some patients it helps, others it doesn’t. There are different species and different chemicals, so the different results could be based somewhat on inconsistency for those reasons?

    I do know there are two basic chemicals in MMJ, and the species you want has not got high levels of THC which is what makes you high. It’s the other chemical that helps with pain. If you get Netflix, there’s an interesting documentary there that explains much about it’s use for pain and other medical purposes, as well as dispensing, etc out of California at least. It’s called (I hate this title) Weed Wars.

    ~Ellen

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  • By Anthony

    Hi Brian,

    I just got my medical cannabis card actually, but have yet to start medicating. I live in CA, so the process to get a recommendation and then a card was very easy. It was my idea to try this route as I haven’t had success with prescription meds. I’ve been trying natural remedies to relieve my pain, but so far nothing has really worked. I’ve tried accupuncture and although it may have very slightly helped, it was expensive. My diet change hasn’t helped much (gluten free and pretty much refined sugar free). I followed the diet in the book, Heal Your Headache, The 123 Program. I’ve also read the Magnesium solution and tried a citrate form for a month, but that didn’t help either. I may try a chelated form of magnesium to see if that helps at all. I’ll keep you and the community posted on my results from the medical cannabis.

    By the way, I have a friend with MS who says medical cannabis really works well for him. He’s had a card for a few years now. It’s worth a shot!

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  • By Brian in TN

    Nancy, Ellen & awest, thanks for the feedback. I spent Feb trying the FAILSAFE diet from Australia, it’s designed to find food sensitivities in children suffering from ADD, ADHD, autism, etc. But it was recommended by several here as a quick way to eliminate all preservatives and some other chemicals from your diet, unfortunately it didn’t change my daily chronic migraines (not the classic hide in a dark room and pray for a comet strike kind, but definitely obnoxious). March has been Magnesium month and I started feverfew and butterbur in the middle of the month, along with switching to magnesium citrate, so I’m in this holding pattern for at least 2 months. I’ve lived with waking to a daily headache for 19 years now and I’ve decided to give legally unrestricted therapies until Dec 2015 to find an efficacious treatment. Jan 2016 will find me trying cannabis regardless of the impact on my job or location and Jan 2017 will find me trying more restricted psychoactive substances regardless of the legal implications.

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  • By Amylove

    I would live to hear more from those who’ve tried medical marijuana for migraines. It’s not legal where I live…yet. I’ve heard that you can benefit from the part of the plant that doesn’t contain THC and that it can made into lotions and oils.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Brian,

    It’s important to note when we start new medications and/or supplements it can take up to three months before we see an improvement in our migraine frequency and severity. As our body adjusts to new medications, some potential side effects may dissipate.

    Have you had a chance to investigate a TRUE migraine/headache disorder specialist?

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  • By Kerrie Smyres Moderator

    AmyCarl,

    There are strains available without THC, but they are pretty difficult to come by. As more parents report that their children are benefiting from marijuana, the more available such strains will likely become.

    Kerrie

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  • By Brian in TN

    Thanks for all the feedback and yes I’m working on the patience thing, one month is a short trial for anything migraine related, I’m planning on 3 month trials for any supplements (that don’t make it worse). I do encourage everyone to email their Representatives and Senators to let them know there is no logic behind keeping cannabis on schedule 1 of the CSA, as soon as the first child benefited from CBD and cancer patients started reducing their nausea that nonsense should have ended. The current hold up is the head of the DEA, but of course she is most likely only the mouth piece for monied interests that profit from prohibition. I would love it if President Obama would tell her to move cannabis or resign but I don’t see that happening.

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  • By laurel

    I’ve had daily chronic headaches/migraines for the last 14 years due to viral meningitis in 2000. I live in CA and started using MMJ two years ago. For me, it reduces enough of the pain so I can actually get some chores done around the house for about 1 1/2 hours before the pain starts creeping back in. I do not extremely altered. I do as much as I can before my head says that it’s time to stop. Please be smart and don’t drive. Like alcohol, buzzed driving with either drugs or alcohol is not only illegal but endangers the lives of everyone around you. There is a medication called Marinol that contains some of the pain reducing properties of MMJ. Might want to mention it to your doc. Best wishes for some relief.

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  • By Luna

    MMJ not only did not help with the migraine but I had a bad reaction to it and ended up in the ER. I’ve never been to the ER for migraine. Weird. It also too me a month or so to get completely over the effects of the MMJ.

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