Maryland Medical Marijuana For Migraines

Maryland Medical Marijuana For Migraines

Maryland Medical Marijuana For Migraines

Migraines can be extremely difficult to treat. It is no surprise that many in Maryland are examining medical marijuana as an option to treat migraines. If your pain, sensitivity to light, nausea and other symptoms have not responded well to your current treatment options, maybe it is time to try an alternative.

If you would like to know if medical marijuana (MMJ) is right for you, schedule an exam with one of our Maryland marijuana doctors.

Maryland Medical Marijuana May Treat Migraines Better

There have been several studies which seem to indicate that medical marijuana has positive effects on those who suffer from migraines. Taken in pill, liquid oil, or vape form, marijuana is reportedly more effective than over the counter (OTC) migraine medicines. To understand how this could be the case let us first look at what a migraine is.

What Are Migraines?

Generally, a migraine is a debilitating disorder most characterized by a pulsating headache often accompanied by a great variety of other symptoms such as sensory disturbances and nausea. Although the exact causes of migraines are not known, there are several theories about what may cause them. One idea is that changes in the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway, might be involved.  Another thought is that imbalances in brain chemicals — including serotonin, which helps regulate pain in your nervous system may be the cause.

How Can Maryland Medical Marijuana Ease The Pain?

Medical marijuana has several different properties including the ability to reduce pain, inflammation, nausea, and have a calming effect. It can do this by interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a complex system of receptors located throughout the body in areas such as the brain, nervous system, digestive tract, skin, and more.

Endocannabinoid receptors are found in the pain processing areas of the brain. “Anandamide (an endocannabinoid) has been shown to target some of the same signaling pathways as triptans, a class of medications primarily used in the treatment of migraines and cluster headaches. This supports the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in the treatment of migraines.

Preventing Migraines

Some clinicians suggest using medical cannabis as a preventative measure for migraines. It has become common for chronic migraine patients to use medical cannabis in a preventative capacity. Medical cannabis can help to mediate a person’s overall stress level, which is helpful as migraine patients often become fearful of triggering an episode. Physiologically, medical marijuana has a relaxing effect on the body, which makes it easier for an individual to adjust to stress.

Over The Counter Medication Overuse Can Make Migraines Worse

It is possible for a person suffering from a migraine to get a headache from the product they are taking for their headache. As odd as that sounds it is true. Often many that suffer from migraines find themselves taking more and more over the counter medications to help alleviate the pain they are experiencing from their migraine.

Migraine sufferers commonly take more than the prescribed dosage of over the counter medicine when the first dosage fails to alleviate their pain. As a result, a secondary headache, often termed a medication overuse headache occurs. This is the worst possible side effect because it causes the very same symptoms that you are attempting to treat.

What Does the Research Say?

A November 2019 study published in the Journal of Pain reported that cannabis could reduce migraine and headache severity by 50%, and although tolerance can increase, cannabis use does not exacerbate headaches or migraines over time. Concentrates appeared to offer more significant relief than flower.

Another study published in 2019 in Neurology found that 88.3% of patients reported an improvement in their migraine after using cannabis. In addition to improvement in pain, more than half of the patients noted a reduction in headache frequency and their sleep improved with cannabis use.

So, medical marijuana in Maryland can be effective at treating your migraines, but what type of cannabis may help the most?

Different Ways To Consume Maryland Medical Marijuana

There are several different ways to consume medical marijuana for migraines. Let us look at the three primary ways to consume medical cannabis.

Smoking

Smoking medical marijuana is generally the most well-known method of consuming medical marijuana. Understandably, many patients wonder about the health effects of inhaling smoke. The health concerns of smoking tobacco have added to the negative stigma of marijuana, but research has shown there is not much to worry about. Regular marijuana smoking causes microscopic injury to the airways and can increase the risk of chronic bronchitis symptoms, but this subsides if smoking is stopped.

A study done by UCLA reported that, “the accumulated weight of evidence implies far lower risks for pulmonary complications of even regular heavy use of marijuana compared with the grave pulmonary consequences of tobacco.”

Vaporizing

Vaporizing can potentially be a healthier alternative to smoking medical cannabis. This is the case because it allows you to inhale the product without combustion. A vaporizer heats marijuana just enough to release its active compounds. During vaporization, THC enters your lungs and diffuses directly into your bloodstream. The temperatures are too low for the potentially harmful toxins that are released during combustion, minimizing the health risks associated with smoking.

Oral Methods

Tinctures are a concentrated form of marijuana, typically in an oil form, that offer both versatility and discretion. They can be placed under the tongue to be absorbed in the glands right in your mouth. Users feel the effects quickly and can control the amount they take easily. Capsules are another way to consumer medical marijuana. A medical cannabis capsule would resemble capsules you have seen before except they would be filled with THC. They are pre-dosed, making it easy for patients to take daily.

Is Medical Marijuana Right For My Migraines?

Whether medical marijuana will help your migraines depends on many factors best evaluated by a medical doctor. If you feel you may benefit from medical marijuana, the first step is to contact us. A Maryland marijuana doctor at Green Relief Health can then determine if you qualify during the certification process.

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