Data compiled from 9,885 migraine sufferers in the US and Canada has shown that cannabis is an effective treatment for the majority of migraine sufferers.
The North-American study was conducted using data collected from the app Migraine Buddy, which was developed by Singapore health-care company Healint and has 2.5 million users. The app allows migraine sufferers to record the duration, intensity and frequency of the migraines and medication use to allow sufferers to pinpoint sleep, weather-related and diet triggers.
Researchers used data from the app to analyse the impact of cannabis, finding that 82% of cannabis users found it an effective migraine treatment. Researchers believe that 30% of all migraine patients have tried either cannabinoids or medical marijuana as a form of pain relief.
The study also found that no form of ingesting cannabis was significantly more effective than another. Participants ingested cannabis in a range of ways, including smoking, tinctures, oils, edibles and vaping.
These results are similar to findings in a 2019 Journal of Pain study that found that inhaled cannabis reduced headache and migraine symptoms by 47.3% and 49.6% respectively. It also found that patients appeared to develop a tolerance for the drug over time. Another study released earlier this year by the Journal of Integrative Medicine had similar results, finding that 94% of migraine sufferers who inhale cannabis experience relief within two hours.
Researchers have warned that none of these studies were conducted in a clinical setting. All three studies used self-reported data from migraine and headache sufferers. To gain a better understanding of cannabis as a migraine treatment, Healint has warned that more research is needed.
Marijuana Advocacy Group NORML also believe that the lack of effective conventional migraine treatments is turning migraine sufferers to cannabis. NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano told Pain News Network that:
Those that do so are consistently reporting it to be safe and effective at reducing both migraine symptoms and migraine frequency.
Migraines affect roughly one billion people worldwide and affect three times as many women than men.