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Research & Development Pain

Cannabis Helps Migraine Sufferers Get Ahead of Pain

Inhaled cannabis almost halves the severity of headaches and migraines, according to nearly 2,000 patients using the Strainprint app to track symptoms (1). Researchers at Washington State University examined archived data from the Canadian app, which allows users to record detailed information on their health and cannabis intake.

Inhaled cannabis almost halves the severity of headaches and migraines, according to nearly 2,000 patients using the Strainprint app to track symptoms (1). Researchers at Washington State University examined archived data from the Canadian app, which allows users to record detailed information on their health and cannabis intake. 

Intriguingly, patients appeared to find similar levels of relief regardless of the THC and CBD content of the strain they took. Could one of the other 100+ cannabinoids (or other compounds, like terpenes) found in the plant be responsible for the effect? Or is this evidence of a strong placebo effect in this self-selected population?

Despite hints that cannabis could prove an effective treatment for headache and migraine, placebo-controlled clinical trials have yet to be carried out (2). The authors hope that their work will inspire researchers (and funders) to make the leap. 

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  1. C Cuttler et al., “Short- and long-term effects of cannabis on headache and migraine”, J Pain, In Press (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2019.11.001
  2. BC Lochte et al., “The use of cannabis for headache disorders”, Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2, 61–71 (2017). DOI: 10.1089/can.2016.0033

About the Author

Jonathan James

Having thrown myself into various science communication activities whilst studying science at University, I soon came to realize where my passions truly lie; outside the laboratory, telling the stories of the remarkable men and women conducting groundbreaking research. Now, at Texere, I have the opportunity to do just that.

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