Do you know how common headaches are? On an average, around 75 percent of adults all around the world experience a major headache at least once a year. So, if you don’t feel like going to school or the office today because your head is currently throbbing, you’re definitely not alone. In fact, most people have a headache every now and then.
But for some, this condition can be very extreme sometimes. What to do then?
Most people would say OTC meds. But have you ever tried cannabis for it? 420 doctors say the herb is quite effective in treating even the most debilitating headaches.
Now, you may ask, why use cannabis when there are so many pharmaceutical medicines available for headache?
Well, you probably already have the answer to it. You already know how pharmaceutical drugs may induce multiple side-effects. Furthermore, OTC meds don’t always work, especially if the headache is too chronic. Given this, a lot of people are turning to cannabis nowadays to help them manage this nerve-wracking condition.
Let’s see how marijuana may help you with your headaches.
Different Headache Types
Given that the headaches are so common, there’s probably no chance that it has one single type or reason. In fact, it has more than 150 types. A few types of headaches are primary, which means they aren’t caused by any other condition. While others are the result of some other ailments. These ailments may include:
- Infection; etc.
However, to keep things simple here, we’ll only focus on the most common headache types. These are:
It occurs because of tension in the neck, shoulders, jaw, or scalp and usually affects the temples, forehead, or the base of your skull.
Pain due to migraine occurs on one side of the head and is often very extreme. It may also accompany some other symptoms, such as nausea and problem due to bright light. The migraine pain may last for anywhere between four hours to three days.
It’s a very severe pain around one eye and feels like burning or piercing. And it may last for around 15 minutes to 3 hours.
Headache due to Medications Overuse
Several medications that people use may also induce headaches if taken very frequently. This is what we know as Medication Overuse Headache (MOH).
Why Headache Happen?
In most of the cases, we still aren’t very sure of why headaches happen. But researchers believe it may be because of the narrowing and widening of the blood vessels inside the brain, especially in the case of cluster or migraine pain. Furthermore, some other areas of your brain, such as the hypothalamus, may also have a role to play.
In addition to this, for some people, even a certain food or smell can induce a headache. And in the case of women, their monthly hormonal cycle may also contribute to this.
Conventional Treatment Methods for Headaches
There are several different conventional methods to treat headaches. And the most suitable one depends upon the type of headache you are experiencing, and its severity.
For instance, if you have a very mild headache, you may go for over-the-counter medications and you’ll get the relief. However, if your headache is extreme, or is recurring, you probably need a preventative treatment. This may include medications such as antidepressants or beta-blockers, etc.
However, as discussed above, these traditional pharmaceutical medications have several side effects, especially if you are using them regularly. And this is the reason why so many people are turning to cannabis.
Cannabis and Headaches
Cannabis is being used as a remedy for headaches for the past several centuries. And we have several proofs too. For instance, in the Assyrian manuscripts of 2nd century BC, it is written that cannabis has the ability to “bind the temples.” In the Ayurvedic texts too, which date back to around the 3rd or 4th century, cannabis is defined as the remedy for the “diseases of the head.” There are several such mentions of the herb throughout the history. So, in short, cannabis was considered a very safe and successful substance to treat headaches and many other ailments in the past.
However, when the herb became illegal, things changed drastically. Now, cannabis was considered a very dangerous substance. And this made the research into it very difficult.
Recently, when marijuana was legalized again at the state level, it opened a few doors to the research to find the potential benefits of the herb. And unsurprisingly, the results are quite positive.
Research on Cannabis for Headaches
There was a study conducted in 2019, which reviewed the effects of marijuana on headache by conducting around 7441 cannabis sessions for migraines and 12293 sessions for headaches. The results showed that out of the total number of participants, around 88 percent got relief from migraines and approximately 90 percent saw an improvement in their headache symptoms.
A study in the year 2016 also supports the use of cannabis for migraines. The study included 121 migraine patients. And they were given medical marijuana on the recommendations of a qualified physician. After a few days, the average number of migraine incidents per month in these patients decreased from 10.4 to 4.6.
For cluster headaches, however, the research results weren’t very good. In a study in the year 2013, out of 139 patients, 27 patients were given cannabis. The results showed that only around 25 percent of these people saw some positive effects. 22 percent even saw their symptoms worsening. This may be due to the herb’s ability to increase blood pressure and heart rate, which may trigger a headache sometimes.
How Cannabis Helps with Headaches?
As we discussed before, headaches are mainly the result of abnormal narrowing and widening of the nerves inside the brain, especially in the case of migraines and cluster headaches. Plus, there are some other reasons too, such as serotonin level and inflammation. You should note that all the above things have quite an intricate relationship with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) of the body.
Experts say that people who are suffering from migraines have a very low level of natural endocannabinoids. And cannabis can help these people cover up this deficiency, as the molecules in the herb mimic the function of the body’s natural endocannabinoids.
Furthermore, cannabis is also very popular for its anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to stabilize the serotonin release. This further helps people manage their headaches.
However, the 420 doctors say that the studies on the subject are still at a very initial level. And there is a need for much deeper research to fully understand the relationship between cannabis and headaches.
Now that you have the knowledge of how cannabis may help you with headaches, you may want to use it. But before that, we recommend you to visit a 420 clinic personally or online, and talk to the doctor about your condition. Ask them if cannabis is safe with your condition. And if you both agree to it, you may use it without any hesitation.