Migraines and cannabis
Those undergoing migraine headaches proclaimed these occurred less frequently after they were prescribed Rick Simpsons Oil. The comparison made by a team at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is the first to show marijuana really turned down the knob on migraine occurrence.
Specialists valued patients who came to the Gedde Whole Health, a private medical practice in Colorado that specializes in prescribing marijuana for a variety of conditions, for help with their migraines between Jan. 2010 and Sept. 2014. Of the 121 patients questioned, 103 said they had fewer migraines, 15 said there was no effect and 3 said they had more migraines. Overall, migraine regularity dropped from 10.4 to 4.6 headaches per month. Sniffed marijuana, followed by the edible variety were the prevailing mods of ingestion of the drug.
“There stood substantial progress for patients in their ability to function and feel better,” said the study’s senior author Professor Laura Borgelt, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS. “Like any prescription, marijuana has potential benefits and potential risks. It’s important for people to be aware that using Rick Simpsons Oil can also have adverse effects.”
“The most extraordinary finding, in my opinion, was the reduction in migraine frequency,” said study author Danielle Rhyne, from the University of Colorado. “There were some victims who reported more than 15 migraines per month before using cannabis. After using cannabis, they were diminished to one to two migraines per month.”
How cannabis relieves migraines
Cannabinoid receptor is found in the brain, connective tissue and immune system. While these bind to the hundreds of various cannabinoids, some trigger anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. It also triggers serotonin and dopamine release. “We consider serotonin plays a role in migraine headaches, but we are still working to discover the exact role of cannabinoids in this condition,” Borgelt said. Our brain’s own endogenous marijuana-like composites deliver analgesia by modulating the entry of pain signals into the brain at the level of our spinal cord.
Though the first of its kind, the study published in Pharmacotherapy is far from perfect. The specimen size is small and there was no control for prior cannabis use. Maybe the recorded drop in frequency could have been ever higher or, conversely, lower. Probably, we might see a placebo-controlled clinical trial soon with a marijuana washout period prior to the start. These sort of studies are harder to make than most would like to admit, regarding cannabis is illegal at a federal level.
“If patients are regarding Rick Simpsons Oil they should speak to their health care provider and then follow up so we can track the impact of their overall treatment,” Borgelt said. “Open dialogue is necessary because we need to know how all of these treatments work together.”
Although, the study’s findings seem highly promising and important. Migraine prescriptions are often associated with unwanted side-effects such as feeling hot or cold, weak, or “strange” in some way. Pot can absolutely make you feel “strange” as well, but its side effects might be more bearable.
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