A study presented at the Congress of the European Academy of Neurology in Amsterdam confirmed that cannabinoids are just as suitable as a prophylaxis for migraine attacks as other pharmaceutical treatments. Interestingly though, when it comes to treating acute cluster headaches they are only effective in patients that suffered from migraine in childhood.
Cannabis has long been used for the treatment of migraines, but only in recent years have scientists closed in on the reasons why. A new study published this week from Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado looked at the effects of inhaled and ingested cannabis in migraine sufferers, and the results confirmed what previous studies had begun to unearth.
A study published in the journal, Pharmacotherapy, aims to show that people suffering chronically from headaches could control their condition by using the right type, and amount, of medical cannabis.
Patterns of medicinal cannabis use, strain analysis, and substitution effect among patients with migraine, headache, arthritis, and chronic pain in a medicinal cannabis cohort
Medicinal cannabis registries typically report pain as the most common reason for use. It would be clinically useful to identify patterns of cannabis treatment in migraine and headache, as compared to arthritis and chronic pain, and to analyze preferred cannabis strains, biochemical profiles, and prescription medication substitutions with cannabis.
WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence Pre-Review: Cannabis plant and cannabis resin Section 4: Therapeutic use
1.2.8 Migraine and cluster headaches A preliminary investigation, which was presented at a scientific conference in 2017, found no difference between cannabis and amitriptyline for prophylaxis of cluster or migraine headaches, although the control arm might not represent optimal control therapy. In a subset of participants with a history of childhood migraine, acute administration of cannabis as abortive therapy decreased attack pain from both migraines and cluster headaches (22).
Hallucinogens and most cannabinoids are classified under schedule 1 of the Federal Controlled Substances Act 1970, along with heroin and ecstacy. Hence they cannot be prescribed by physicians, and by implication, have no accepted medical use with a high abuse potential. Despite their legal status, hallucinogens and cannabinoids are used by patients for relief of headache, helped by the growing number of American states that have legalized medical marijuana. Cannabinoids in particular have a long history of use in the abortive and prophylactic treatment of migraine before prohibition and are still used by patients as a migraine abortive in particular. Most practitioners are unaware of the prominence cannabis or “marijuana” once held in medical practice. Hallucinogens are being increasingly used by cluster headache patients outside of physician recommendation mainly to abort a cluster period and maintain quiescence for which there is considerable anecdotal success. The legal status of cannabinoids and hallucinogens has for a long time severely inhibited medical research, and there are still no blinded studies on headache subjects, from which we could assess true efficacy.
Cannabis for migraine treatment: the once and future prescription? An historical and scientific review
Cannabis, or Marijuana, has been used for centuries for both symptomatic and prophylactic treatment of migraine. It was highly esteemed as a headache remedy by the most prominent physicians of the age between 1874 and 1942, remaining part of the Western pharmacopoeia for this indication even into the mid-twentieth century. Current ethnobotanical and anecdotal references continue to refer to its efficacy for this malady, while biochemical studies of THC and anandamide have provided a scientific basis for such treatment. The author believes that controlled clinical trials of Cannabis in acute migraine treatment are warranted.
Endocannabinoids in platelets of chronic migraine patients and medication-overuse headache patients: relation with serotonin levels
Chronic migraine (CM) and medication-overuse headaches (MOH) are well-recognized disabling conditions affecting a significant portion of the headache population attending centers specialized in treating headaches. A dysfunctioning of the serotonergic system has been demonstrated in MOH and CM patients. Here we report on our assessment of the dysfunctioning of the endocannabinoid system as a potential underlying factor in pathogenic mechanisms involved in CM and MOH.
Based on experimental evidence of the antinociceptive action of endocannabinoids and their role in the modulation of trigeminovascular system activation, we hypothesized that the endocannabinoid system may be dysfunctional in chronic migraine (CM). We examined whether the concentrations of N-arachidonoylethanolamide (anandamide, AEA), palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the CSF of patients with CM and with probable CM and probable analgesic-overuse headache (PCM+PAOH) are altered compared with control subjects. The above endocannabinoids were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and quantified by isotope dilution gas-chromatography/mass-spectrometry. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) levels were also determined by RIA method and the end products of nitric oxide (NO), the nitrites, by HPLC….