human brain

Does Cannabis Help Treat Headaches?

Alberta, Canada: Patients suffering from headache disorders frequently experience relief from the use of cannabis, according to survey data published in the Canadian Journal of Neurology.

Researchers surveyed 200 patients associated with a tertiary headache clinic in Calgary regarding their use of cannabis products. (Cannabis is legal in Canada for both medical and adult use.)

Over one-third of respondents (34 percent) acknowledged currently engaging in the use of cannabis. Of these, 60 percent perceived cannabis to be effective at reducing the severity of their headaches, while 29 percent said it mitigated headache frequency. Subjects most frequently reported consuming liquid cannabis preparations or inhaling cannabis flowers.

“The findings of this survey document patient’s perceived benefit of cannabinoids in the management of headache,” authors reported. “The results of this exploratory survey will aid neurologists and headache specialists in understanding the current trends in use of cannabis products in more severely affected headache patients and inform treatment parameters when designing controlled studies of cannabis in this setting.”

Numerous other surveys similarly report that those suffering from migraines often turn to cannabis for symptomatic relief, and many patients say that it is more effective than prescription medications. A recent literature review of 12 previously published studies involving 1,980 participants concluded that cannabis preparations likely provide for the prophylactic and abortive treatment of migraines.

Full text of the study, “Cannabinoid use in a tertiary headache clinic: A cross-sectional survey,” appears in the Canadian Journal of Neurology. Additional information on cannabis and migraine is available from NORML.

Source: NORMLmake a donation