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Migraine headaches are a common cause of chronic pain. Medical marijuana is very helpful for use as a treatment of migraines both as an abortive and a prophylactic treatment.
What are Migraines and Do I have them?
Migraines are headaches that people get usually once or twice a week. These are typical headaches that cause excrutiating and debilitating chronic pain. Usually they are one sided and their pain is a throbbing or pulsating feeling. The pain is typically a dull ache throughout the head.
Sometimes migraines are caused by excessive stress. They are a way for the mind to shut-out the environmental and social stressors and find shelter for rest until ready to return to daily responsibilities and work. Migraines do this by intensifying from loud noise, additional stress, and bright lights. That is why patients often need a dark, quiet room to be alone.
Migraine Treatment with Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana serves as a way for patients to isolate themselves from stress of daily life. I recommend a strong indica as an abortive agent. This will allow that “couch lock” “tunnel vision” that tends to insulate the mind from the rest of the world. This is not recommended for times that patients need to remain very functional and have a lot of tasks at hand. It’s meant to be for that moment when a migraine is coming on and there is opportunity to retreat and let the marijuana provide a short vacation for the mind. For this reason, it should be inhaled, giving it an immediate effect and only 2 hours duration. The goal is to help the migraine do its job and provide rest more quickly so a 6-8hr day of pain and wasted-time becomes a 1-2hr cat-nap and a return to productivity.
If marijuana is used at the end of each day, either orally or inhaled, the relaxation provides less migraines from occurring because the body is more rested each waking day. In such a treatment regimen, there is less need for migraines to occur because the marijuana serves the job of the migraine at the end of each day. Rather than force a migraine onto the patient, the mind can wait until the end of the day when it’s rest is guaranteed. This is not a full-proof way to prevent migraines because they are so resilient and a severe form of chronic pain, but from my clinical experience this is what I’ve found my patients do when they have the best improvement in their migraine headaches.