Study finds that for most migraine sufferers, long-time use also associated with less medication being used
A new study in Brain Sciences shows prolonged use of medical cannabis may help slash the long-term frequency of migraines for the majority of sufferers and reduce medication intake.
Researchers point out that while most pharmaceutical science is based on a single-compound, single-target approach, whole-plant cannabis treatment is multi-compound, according to American Journal of Managed Care.
In addition to THC and CBD, the cannabis plant contains many more active components. Researchers sought to “investigate total doses of individual phytocannabinoids consumed by migraineurs and explore differences in dosage between subgroups of patients based on changes in migraine frequency.”
Only phytocannabinoids consumed with a minimum average concentration of 0.1 gram monthly were analyzed, and doses calculated for each patient.
Researchers were encouraged by the recent findings of the cross-sectional questionnaire-based study, a feeling that is likely shared by the estimated one to two per cent of the global population who suffer from chronic migraines.
The results? Compared to controls, 61 per cent of responders who had received treatment for migraines for an average of three years reported lower current migraine disability, lower negative impact and lower rates of opioid and triptan (drugs commonly used for treatment) consumption, notes the study.
Participants also reported better sleep quality, although investigators could not tell if this was linked to fewer migraine attacks or as a result of medical cannabis treatment.
Researchers write that “endocannabinoids have been shown to have an inhibitory effect on serotonin receptors in vivo, which is shown to modulate pain and emetic responses,” the press release notes.
“Whilst the available evidence suggests involvement of the endocannabinoid system and a potential for medical cannabis (MC) treatment to be therapeutic in migraine, more research is required to demonstrate the efficacy parameters of MC treatment for migraine,” it adds.
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