Migraines cause severe throbbing in the head, often accompanied by spasms vomiting nausea and sensitivity to light or sound. Symptoms can last hours or even days and remain so severe that the pain is disabling. Migraines generally begin in childhood or early adolescence and may persist into adulthood. The World Health Organization listed migraines among the top ten most disabling conditions. Many researchers believe migraines are an inherited neurological disorder. Individuals that suffer migraines are more susceptible to transient factors, “triggers”, than those who do not. Common triggers include hormone fluctuations, environmental stimuli such as weather or sunlight, alcohol intake, certain food, high stress, or lack of sleep.
Many Variables can Cause Migraines
Migraines though common are incredibly complex. The causes of migraines are still not clear, however genetics and environmental variables appear to play a role. Researchers believe migraines may be caused by changes in the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve. This nerve acts as a major pain pathway. Researchers also believe that imbalances in brain chemicals, including Serotonin affect these individuals. Interestingly, Serotonin regulates pain in your nervous system. Researchers are still studying the role of serotonin in migraines. However, research has shown Serotonin levels drop during migraine attacks. This may cause your trigeminal nerve to release substances called neuropeptides, which travel to your brain’s outer covering (meninges). The result is migraine pain. As previously stated, certain triggers may increase risk of migraine onset, however these triggers are not the root cause of migraine activity.
A recent review of medical literature by Dr. Ethan Russo, showed interesting similarities between sufferers of Migraines, Fibromyalgia, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. These conditions display common clinical, biochemical, and pathophysiological patterns that suggest an underlying Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency. This theory is one of many suggested causes of migraine activity, however, endless possibilities have been the center of speculation.
Cannabinoids Mitigate Migraines
With the available knowledge of migraine activity many have theorized that Cannabinoid based medications or products could help reduce frequency and intensity.
In fact, some healthy living enthusiasts have turned to organic methods of increasing endocannabinoid production, such as exercise. Research provided consistent evidence indicating that cardiovascular exercise can activate pain modulating mechanisms within the body. It also indicated that exercise activates endogenous neurotransmitter signals that could be effective in reducing the intensity of migraine pain.
Other individuals seek to supplement Cannabinoid levels by utilizing Cannabinoid infused products like Tinctures or Vapes. Several studies and trials have exhibited the efficacy of cannabinoids in the treatment of migraines. One particular study suggested that compositions of phytocannabinoids were more efficacious in providing an improvement in migraine symptoms than an NSAID agent such as ibuprofen, or triptan agent. This improvement in the headache and nausea severity symptoms provided by the composition of Cannabinoids is demonstrated by a decrease in the score of a patient suffering from a migraine attack on at least one recognized pain or headache or migraine severity scale such as the 4-point pain severity scale.
Cannabinoids offer many Benefits
Several case reports claim the use of Cannabis or Cannabis derived Cannabinoids as an efficient treatment for symptoms of migraines. Additionally, Cannabinoids have been found effective in the treatment of Neuropathic/chronic pain, spasticity and nausea, all of which are associated with the experience of a migraine. The analgesic (pain relieving) properties of cannabis seen in the treatment of neuropathic pain will likely apply to chronic migraine. The antispasmodic properties seen in the treatment of multiple sclerosis could apply to muscle strain known to induce tension migraines. The antiemetic properties seen in the treatment of chemotherapy-associated nausea might also apply to migraine-induced nausea.
Additionally, Cannabinoids may help chronic migraine sufferers avoid certain triggers such as lack of sleep, high levels of stress, lack of appetite leading to lack of food. Many Cannabinoids have shown efficacy in regulating sleep and appetite, while others have exhibited anxiolytic and analgesic capabilities.
Could Cannabinoids Help Mitigate your Migraines?
With so many individuals suffering chronic migraines, it is inherently important for the medical community to shed light on the link between migraines and Cannabinoid levels. Whether individuals supplement Cannabinoid levels with Phytocannabinoids or Endocannabinoid upregulation through exercise, individuals should consider these options. Check out the options available at our Healthy Hempies Shop!