Beyond identifying triggers, migraines are typically treated with over the counter pain medications. If these are ineffective, doctors may prescribe stronger prescription pain relievers. There are also drugs on the market that can be taken daily to prevent migraines from developing.
According to research published by The Journal of Neuroscience, cannabis not only offers relief from the chronic pain associated with migraine headaches, but may actually prevent these headaches from occurring. Other doctors agree that ingestion of marijuana can alleviate the pain of migraine headaches without the side effects associated with stronger prescription pain medication. One possible reason is that the substances called cannabinoids in marijuana have anti-inflammatory properties, so they relax blood vessels that are constricted during a headache. Marijuana is also effective in treating nausea, a common side effect of migraines.
In Illinois, medical marijuana is approved for use to treat migraine headaches; in all but one other state with medical cannabis, it is approved to treat chronic pain. While smoking marijuana is known to cause lung damage, the safest way to ingest medical cannabis is either through vaporization or edibles.
If you experience more than one headache a month, talk with your doctor. He or she can determine whether you’re experiencing migraines and recommend a course of treatment.