Can cannabis help treat migraines?

Headaches were one of the first reported medical uses for cannabis with references to its efficacy dating back to the 6th and 7th centuries A.D. Around the turn of the 20th century, the father of modern medicine, Sir William Osler, claimed that, for migraine, “cannabis… is probably the most effective remedy.” Over a hundred years later, modern medicine hasn’t been able to produce a magic bullet to combat migraine, a condition that affects roughly 12% of the population.

Researchers are turning back towards a once tried-and-true strategy: cannabis. Recent studies in both rodents and humans are finding that cannabis is able to prevent migraines, and in some cases, abort them, by reducing inflammation of the brain’s outer casing, the “dura matter”. This mechanism seems to be dependent on cannabinoid activation of the cannabinoid receptor type I, commonly known as CB1 receptors.

I discuss the science behind cannabis and migraines in more detail in a recently published article on Civilized, which you can find here. Enjoy!