Former AFL player Koby Stevens is one of many Australians using medical cannabis to cure headaches.
Stevens was forced to retire from football in 2018, after suffering 10 concussions across 91 games. After retirement, he continued to suffer from headaches so bad he “couldn’t sleep for days” – a side effect that is hardly uncommon.
According to Australia’s RACGP, 10% of people who suffer from a concussion experience long term effects, including headaches, balance issues, noise and light sensitivity, anxiety and depression.
Last year, Stevens was open with the Australian media that he had begun using medical cannabis to treat his headaches, saying:
Within two days of starting that treatment (medical cannabis) my headaches were gone and I was clear so it’s pretty amazing, powerful stuff.
Since then, the research into medical cannabis, concussions and headaches had shown that Stevens was right: cannabis is a powerful headache treatment. In a study published in the Journal of Pain earlier this year, researchers found that cannabis is able to decrease the severity of headaches by 47.3% and the severity of migraine by 49.6%.
Another study published in September had similar results, finding that 82% of people who use cannabis to treat migraines find it an effective treatment. Back in Australia, research also found that cannabis is an effective chronic pain treatment for athletes, with former VFL player Ryan Gale backing the use of medical cannabis for athletes with chronic pain.
A year on from Steven’s comments, the research supporting his treatment has only grown stronger.