Study: Migraine Patients Report Symptom Relief Following Herbal Cannabis Inhalation

Albuquerque, NM: More than nine-in-ten migraine patients report experiencing symptom relief following cannabis inhalation, according to data published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine.

Investigators affiliated with the University of New Mexico assessed the effects of herbal cannabis inhalation on migraine in 699 subjects over a 32-month period. Study participants self-administered cannabis at home and reported symptom changes in real time on a mobile software application. Changes in headache- or migraine-related pain intensity were measured on a zero-to-ten scale prior to, and immediately, following cannabis consumption.

Researchers reported that 94 percent of subjects experienced symptom relief within two hours of marijuana inhalation. On average, patients experienced a reduction in symptom intensity of 3.3 points on the ten-point scale. Varieties of cannabis that contained higher THC content (above ten percent) were most closely associated with providing symptom relief.

Authors concluded: “According to the current results, cannabis flower appears to be effective at reducing headache- and migraine-related pain intensity for most people that choose to use it. … It seems possible that the use of cannabis flower, combined with other behavioral modifications, might offer some patients a natural, safer and more effective treatment regimen, compared to the use of some conventional prescription pharmaceuticals.”

Data presented earlier this year at the 2020 annual meeting of the American Headache Society similarly reported that cannabis therapy was associated with a reduction in subjects’ use of anti-migraine medications, as well as self-reported improvements in sleep and anxiety.

Separate data published in the June edition of the journal Brain Sciences reported that the inhalation of cannabis long-term was associated with reductions in migraine frequency. Another study, published in 2019 in the Journal of Pain, reported that “inhaled cannabis reduces headache and migraine severity ratings by approximately 50 percent.”

Full text of the study, “Alleviative effects of cannabis flower on migraine and headache,” appears in the Journal of Integrative Medicine.