Saturday, August 20, 2011

On Medical Marijuana and Migraines

I have had debilitating migraines for 20 years, having 10 migraines a month, some lasting 5 days. 1/3 of my life was defined by sickening, vomit-inducing pain.
I’ve seen 3 neurologists and tried every available prescription. None worked and all had significant side-effects including severe asthma attacks (beta blockers), nausea (botox), and cognitive impairment (topomax).
2 years of my medical records were required for the medical marijuana license. The doctor discussed the appropriate use including dose and delivery, safety precautions (no driving and keeping it from kids), and drug interactions.
I still use Amerge, a prescription drug for halting migraines, when my migraines are in particular danger of escalating severely and quickly, but the medical marijuana prevents the migraine pain from cycling out of control and prevents the next-day rebound. It also keeps me from vomiting.
In sum, medical marijuana has made a tremendous difference in the management of my migraines. It halts the escalating cycle of pain, it has has cut the frequency of migraines by 2/3, and prevents next day “rebounds.”
A recent study that found that activation of the brain’s cannabinoid-1 receptor combats brain degeneration. I suspect that this receptor may play a role in combating the depressed brain activity that has been found in fMRI studies of migraine aura states.
Marijuana is not a recreational drug for me. It is the most effective strategy for surviving terrible migraines. It has allowed me to be a more productive worker (with fewer dramatically fewer "sick" migraine hours) and a more attentive mother since I spend 90% less time curled in a fetal position in my bed.
The drug has worked like none other in helping me manage a terrible disease. I also feel relieved that my brain will have less traumatic traces from the migraines, which are capable of causing long-lasting micro-damage to nerve cells.
I am not advocating irresponsible drug use. I am trying to explain that medical marijuana can in fact be highly therapeutic for people in need who are capable of using it responsibly.


  1. i'm so glad that you have found relief via cannabis.

    please consider reading up the links between wheat consumption and migraines (those who suffer from celiac disease are much more likely to suffer from migraines than the general population).

    other indicators: a relative diagnosed with celiac/crohn's, endometriosis, psoriasis or asthma.

    forgive the unsolicited advice, i just want to ensure that the truthtellers remain as healthy as possible.

  2. Thank you very much for the comment. I've considered this possibility. My son was allergic to wheat as an infant and a friend was recently diagnosed with the disease.

    I even got the paperwork for the testing from my allergist 2 months ago.

    Then I chickened out because I love bread and pasta so much!

    Terrible I know...

  3. if you do decide to try life without bread and pasta, please give it at least 6 weeks (and watch for bits of wheat which hide in everything from soy sauce to sausages). proper vitamin d3 levels are key (~60nmol, for most ~5,000iu/day).

    you'll need something to replace the calories you used to get from wheat. fortunately, it's now safe to eat fat again.

    good luck!

  4. Herbs such as feverfew and gikgo can also be used. However pregnant women should consult a doctor before that.

    Migraine is mostly triggered by a sedentary lifestyle and mostly by an imbalanced nutrient. Carrot, cucumber and beetroot juice along with honey could give you some relief.

  5. Nicole.lascurain@healthline.comDecember 14, 2015 at 1:32 AM


    First off, I came across your site and wanted to say thanks for providing a great health resource to the community.

    I thought you might find this marijuana infographic interesting, as it allows readers to pick the side effect they want to learn more about:

    Naturally, I’d be delighted if you share this embeddable graphic on , and/or share it with your followers on social. Either way, keep up the great work !

    All the best,

    Nicole Lascurain | Assistant Marketing Manager
    p: 415-281-3100 | e:

    660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107 | @Healthline


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