Medical Marijuana and Migraines
Ah, medical marijuana: the extra-potent plant that everybody’s trying to figure out nowadays. While some people turn to MMJ for help with aching joints, others may find it beneficial for their stress and anxiety levels. But what about headaches? More specifically, is there a benefit to using medical marijuana for migraines?
While the science behind medical marijuana and migraines is still a bit new, there appears to be some significant potential behind this powerful plant. Of course, cannabis cannot (and will not) cure you of your migraines, but it seems as though a few puffs of weed may give you what you need to retake control of your health. Let’s start talking.
Does Medical Marijuana Help Migraines?
So, does medical marijuana help migraines? The efficacy behind medical cannabis for headaches is still being looked into every day, but the science is quite promising. Various studies conducted within the past few decades show cannabis demonstrating significant support for those plagued with constant headaches and migraines. But, how is this possible?
We can turn to medical marijuana for migraines because of our bodies’ endocannabinoid system. This system consists of complex cell signalers that let the body know when it needs something it isn’t getting. On the same note, it enables the body to understand if it is over-producing something and throwing off certain hormone balances.
The cannabinoid receptors within the ECS are scattered all throughout the body, but there is a large amount in the brain — right where migraines tend to be triggered.
Thus, when we consume medical cannabis for migraines, these cannabinoids work to reduce inflammation in the brain and control the production of specific proinflammatory molecules. When these situations are regulated, it can help manage the onset of headaches like migraines. Again, this will not completely cure your migraines, but it helps act as a regulatory precaution.
Marijuana Effects on Migraines
Does weed help with headaches? You bet. But what exactly are the effects of using medical marijuana for migraines?
Every person’s reaction to medical cannabis and headaches will be different. Like any medication, substance, or even vitamin, they will act differently within the body depending on how your internal functions operate. However, a lot of people experience significant headache relief with marijuana usage.
For a marijuana migraine treatment, many people find success in microdosing cannabis to keep their headaches at bay. Doing this means enjoying a low dose of medical marijuana consistently, allowing the cannabinoids to stay present in the body. Typically, consumers prefer a high-CBD, low-THC strain for this.
By microdosing cannabis, marijuana’s effects on migraines are ever-present, making headaches feel less intense when they do come on. With this, migraines are a bit more manageable overall.
Of course, if you don’t want to microdose your medical cannabis, you definitely don’t have to. The benefits may differ slightly, but all methodologies can provide relief in some way or another. Speaking of relief, let’s discuss the specific benefits of turning to marijuana for migraines.
What are the Benefits?
The most obvious benefit of using THC for migraines is the pain relief aspect of it all. Cannabis’s strong anti-inflammatory properties work beautifully in the brain, providing varying levels of relief to your headaches. Pair it with your typical headache treatment regimen, and you may discover a significant difference in your everyday headaches.
Along with the plant’s ability to lower inflammation, cannabis is 100% all-natural. That in and of itself is incredibly attractive to so many consumers — especially those who have been through manufactured medication after medication. The plant’s risk factor is quite low, and even those who experience poor results are not left in any significant danger. Especially when viewing third-party lab-test results, you know exactly what’s in the product you’re consuming, verifying it’s pure and high-quality.
Medical marijuana is also seriously versatile, making it excellent for so many different patients. Whether you’re interested in smoking, vaping, edibles, tinctures, topicals, or even just CBD, there’s a product out there for you.
What are the Risks?
Like any substance, there are a few minor risks that come with combining medical marijuana and migraines. Primarily, the dangers come when consuming products with high THC levels. Some consumers may not be used to or comfortable with THC’s psychoactivity, creating an unpleasant experience. After all, you’re hoping to alleviate your headaches — not get super stoned.
Thankfully, you can easily avoid this by purchasing high-CBD and low-THC strains that produce a very mild (if any) high. But, we’ll talk about those in a minute.
By consuming more THC than your body is comfortable with, you may experience side effects like paranoia, an increased heart rate, dizziness, or nausea. If you begin experiencing any of these effects, do your best to focus on everyday tasks like eating a meal, drinking water, or hopping in the shower. Even smelling a bit of black peppercorn may be enough to bring you out of your uncomfortable high.
Best Marijuana Strains for Migraines
As we mentioned briefly, the best strains for migraines are typically going to be high-CBD, low-THC. However, this entirely depends on you! If you are okay with getting a little stoned while alleviating your headache, 1:1 THC to CBD strains are incredible, as well as high-THC and low-CBD strains. Every person is different!
According to the canna-community, here are some of the best marijuana strains for migraines.
The ACDC cannabis strain is one of the most popular marijuana strains on the market, not only for migraines but for pain in general. This strain is a beautiful 50/50 hybrid of THC and CBD, providing a wonderfully balanced therapeutic experience. Many people turn to this potent, gassy strain for a bit of cerebral relief you can’t get anywhere else.
The Harlequin strain is known for its high CBD levels and low THC levels, making it a wonderful option for those suffering from chronic headaches but who don’t want to get too high. This strain boasts earthy, sweet aromas that fade into head-to-toe pain relief. But, don’t worry: as a dominant sativa strain, Harlequin won’t make you too sleepy.
If you want a little THC (okay, a lot) in your cannabis strains, we didn’t forget about you. One of the best strains for migraines that contains THC is Pineapple Express. This fruity, uplifting strain is great for alleviating pain and helping you get a smile on your face. Often, the strong euphoric effects of Pineapple Express will make you forget you ever had a headache in the first place. But, again, you do have to be okay with getting a bit stoney and a whole lot giggly.
Can You Get a Medical Card for Migraines?
So if MMJ is so beneficial for headaches, can you get a medical card for migraines? In some states, yes!
When getting your medical marijuana card, you will have to meet with a physician who can diagnose you with a “qualifying medical condition” that the state has deemed acceptable for marijuana use. In a few states across the US, their medical marijuana laws outline migraines specifically as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis. As of right now, those states are:
- Connecticut (intractable headache syndromes)
- North Dakota
- New Jersey
If you don’t live in one of these states, don’t panic. Almost all states in the US will accept “chronic pain” as a qualifying condition, and that is 100% something that migraines can fall under. If you want to know more about how to word your qualifying conditions, check out our blog post here.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card (For Migraines or Otherwise)
Now that you know all about medical marijuana for migraines, the next step is to get yourself your own medical marijuana card. While the process may seem a bit intimidating at first, that’s only if you try to get your card through an outdated, in-person process.
Here at Elevate Holistics, we’ve turned MMJ certifications upside-down, providing an effortless, 100% hassle-free way of getting your medical marijuana card — for your migraines or otherwise.
Elevate Holistics is an online medical marijuana service specializing in helping you obtain your MMJ cards when you need them. We’ll work with you one-on-one to schedule doctor’s appointments, walk you through the registration process, and so much more.
The best part about it? It’s entirely online. You don’t even have to leave your home to qualify.
So, whether you’re interested in using medical marijuana for migraines or something altogether different, Elevate Holistics is here to help.