Medical marijuana could provide significant pain relief for those consistently suffering from migraines, according to a new study.
Published in the journal Pharmacotherapy, the research found migraine frequency was cut in half in subjects treated with medical marijuana from 10.4 times a month to 4.6 times per month.
Out of 121 patients, 103 reported a drop in monthly migraines while 15 reported the same number and three suffered a rise in migraines between January 2010 and September 2015.
The study is the first of its kind to show some positive effects of marijuana use in cutting the number of frequencies. Roughly two-thirds of patients were either currently using or had a history of using marijuana.
“There was a substantial improvement for patients in their ability to function and feel better,” said the study’s senior author professor Laura Borgelt. “Like any drug, marijuana has potential benefits and potential risks. It’s important for people to be aware that using medical marijuana can also have adverse effects.”
The study failed to identify a clear causal mechanism of how marijuana managed to relieve the frequency of migraines. “We believe serotonin plays a role in migraine headaches, but we are still working to discover the exact role of cannabinoids in this condition,” Borgelt said.
The research team said there needed to be more experiments using placebo-controlled trials, using subjects with no cannabis in their system prior to research taking place.
This kind of study would, however, require legislative changes to ensure it can happen given present marijuana laws.
The authors of the study added those considering using medical marijuana should have extensive discussions with their healthcare provider and follow-ups so their progress can be tracked.
Medical marijuana advocates welcomed the results, claiming they add to a growing body of evidence demonstrating the benefits of cannabis.
Jude Widmann, operations director at GreenRush, a California-based medical marijuana delivery platform, told The Daily Caller News Foundation:
“The undeniable medical benefits associated with cannabis have been well-documented, peer-reviewed, and time-tested. Recent studies verifying the healing properties of medical cannabis for migraines reiterate the argument within the scientific community that cannabis can and should be used for medical treatment.”
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