Marijuana For Migraines Shown To Be As Effective As Pharmaceuticals

marijuana for migraines

A combination of two most potent cannabinoids in marijuana was shown to be as effective as anti-migraine medications currently on the market, according to a clinical study from Italy published in June 2017, proving that marijuana for migraines is a legitimate and effective treatment.

Patients in the study suffered from migraine headaches and cluster headaches, a related form of severe headaches that can happen in short bursts up to eight or ten times per day. Doctors put different groups of 48 chronic migraine patients on either cannabis-based drugs or the current migraine drugs amitriptyline (a tri-cyclic antidepressant) or verapamil (a calcium channel blocker).

The cannabis preparations were a combo of two compounds, one of which had 19 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the other of which contained 9 percent cannabidiol (CBD).

Researchers noted that the pain-reducing and headache prevention for the TCH-CBD preparation didn’t kick in until they upped the dosage to 200 mg.

Over three months of treatment, migraine sufferers on the THC-CBD compound reported greater acute pain reduction and fewer headaches that the ones taking amitriptyline.

Interestingly, those suffering cluster headaches reported similar effects from the THC-CBD preparation, but only the ones who had also suffered migraines as children. Other cluster headache sufferers in the study didn’t get as much benefit from the cannabinoids. This finding insinuates that marijuana for migraines is an effective treatment that may not help those that suffer only from cluster headaches.

Drowsiness and difficulty concentrating were negative side effects, but researchers reported other positive side effects from the marijuana-based combination. Specifically, the study authors noted decreased stomach ache, colitis and musculoskeletal pain in the female study participants especially. These digestive findings should come as no surprise as cannabis has long been shown to be effective for Crohn’s Disease.

Dr. Maria Nicolodi led the research team behind the findings, which she presented to the European Academy of Neurology in Amsterdam.


“Therapeutic Use of Cannabinoids – Dose Finding, Effects and Pilot Data of Effects in Chronic Migraine and Cluster Headache”

Nicolodi, et al.

3rd European Academy of Neurology Congress, Amsterdam

June 2017

About Nicco Reggente, PhD 167 Articles
Nicco is the co-founder and CEO of WoahStork and Strain Genie-- two companies dedicated to bringing to life his passion of bringing personalized medicine to the cannabis industry. Nicco received his PhD from UCLA in cognitive neuroscience with a focus on machine learning applied to neuroimaging datasets. He previously received two B.As from NYU in Psychology and Philosophy.

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