If you suffer from migraines, you know just how difficult dealing with one can be. Unfortunately, migraines are quite common in adults, and people who suffer from chronic migraines have often found it near-impossible to find solutions that work as a remedy.
Statistically, more women are affected by migraines than men. According to the UK National Health Service, 1 in 5 women are affected by migraines, compared to 1 in 15 men.
A migraine headache is defined as a throbbing pain that tends to remain in one side of the head for a long period of time. Alternative symptoms that migraine sufferers may notice are nausea, dizziness, and/or increased sensitivity to light and sound; symptoms alone can be strong enough to keep someone bed-ridden for hours as the migraine affects them.
Migraines can also occur with or without experiencing what is known as an “aura,” which appears as either a steady or flashing light in one’s vision either before or during a migraine. This isn’t always the case, though, as some migraines (called ‘silent migraines’) will induce an aura effect and other migraine symptoms, but with no actual headache.
How to Use Marijuana for Migraines
People who suffer from migraines typically don’t have much choice when it comes to treatment. Oftentimes, doctors will recommend resting for the day, taking an anti-inflammatory medication, or more specific prescription medications. Unfortunately, migraines are no joke – The pain can be debilitating, keeping sufferers in bed for long periods of time (sometimes even entire days).
Over-consumption of anti-inflammatory & pain-relieving medications (such as Paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen) can damage the liver. It can increase tolerance in the body, forcing you to take more of the medication each time you need it and increasing the risk of (potentially fatal) liver damage. In addition, this isn’t a viable long-term solution for people who suffer from chronic pain caused by headaches.
Some patients have found that using cannabis can relieve migraine headaches, and certain cannabis strains may provide pain relief without the use of prescription or synthetic medications.
A Natural Option
For some, finding more natural ways to treat a migraine aligns with their best interests, especially if they suffer from migraines multiple times a week. Studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system does help regulate facets of the body, such as pain management. Many chronic migraine sufferers have said that using marijuana for their symptoms has helped relieve pain associated with the condition.
There are many different ways to consume medical cannabis for migraine relief. Pain reduction can be accomplished by consuming marijuana in any of the traditional fashions, including taking edibles, smoking a joint, taking a hit from a bong, or using CBD products.
Some people would prefer to use edibles or CBD products to stay away from taking in smoke, which may make your headache worse or induce nausea-enhancing, painful coughing fits.
Finding the best way to consume medical marijuana for you will take time; finding the best strain of cannabis for you will be totally dependent on your body and how it reacts.
Some research has been done to support the idea that medical cannabis can provide pain relief for migraine headaches, with quite a bit of preliminary research and experiments completed to gain insight into the benefits of using medical cannabis for migraine pain relief.
A 2017 study by researchers from the University of California offers a good overview of some of the most promising research conducted prior to the year said. A review was written, stating that with the preliminary research a outlined, trials seemed promising that cannabis may provide some therapeutic relief for headaches.
Overall, the study concludes that more significant research should be done on the long-term effects of cannabis use for headaches and a type of pharmaceutical medication that could target the cannabinoid system instead of relying on marijuana usage for patients who choose not to use the plant itself.
Our List of the Best Strains for Migraines
Most of our choices are primarily hybrids or indica strains, with some sativas thrown in as well. In general, higher dosages of THC will likely work better on migraines and strains that have more sedative and relaxing effects.
Though the old mythology about Indicas & Sativas being respectively drowsy & energetic may not always hold true, we found the strains below to all be excellent candidates for relieving headache pains.
Black Magic is an Indica strain with 18% THC, with the most commonly reported sensations after smoking Black Magic being relaxation, happiness, and euphoria.
This strain is said to help with migraines because it encourages the body to rest & sleep, though Black Magic is known to have strong psychoactive effects, which may be too much for some users, particularly those already suffering from pain & nausea.
Black Magic may be a good option for helping with migraines, but we think it might be best saved for people who are more frequent cannabis smokers.
Disney Blue is a hybrid strain that has been known to help relieve migraines. After smoking Disney Blue, the most common sensations are happiness, euphoria, and creativity; users of Disney Blue also report uplifting sensations, which have helped migraine sufferers feel less pain.
One of the most popular marijuana strains globally, White Widow is a balanced hybrid cross between Landrace, a Brazilian Sativa, and a South Indian indica.
A staple on the dispensary menu in most Dutch “coffee shop” locations, many medical marijuana patients have reported that it helps relieve pain.
Blueberry Space Cake
Blueberry Space Cake is another Indica strain that has been noted as helping with migraines and headaches, with common effects including relaxation, sleepiness, and hunger.
The sedative effects often experienced after smoking Blueberry Space Cake can be helpful if the migraine sufferer is having trouble getting sleep due to the pain.
Crazy Glue is a potent hybrid cannabis strain that holds high levels of THC (21%). People notice feeling relaxed, happy, and sleepy after consuming this strain of marijuana.
Crazy Glue users claim it will induce migraine relief without a heavy sedating effect post-consumption, as the caryophyllene-dominant Crazy Glue works to relax the muscles.
Northern Lights is an Indica-dominant strain known for calming and relaxing properties, making it a great option for people trying to treat a migraine with weed.
Popular cannabis strains for migraines typically offer side effects similar to each other since they can help ease pain and tension from the headache. Therefore, northern Lights is often claimed as one of the best cannabis strains for these symptoms.
Lethal Purple Kush
Lethal Purple is another hybrid cannabis strain that has 19% THC levels. Feeling talkative, hunger, and happiness are the most common sensations after consuming Lethal Purple Kush. The dominant terpene in this strain is terpinolene.
Fallen Angel is a baby strain of parents Kuchi and Shoreline, with a heavy indica-style feeling that will make users feel very sleepy and heavy, thus providing sedative effects that may help ease the pain of a migraine.
The THC content in this strain is 22% and has a large number of reports from users that it has helped ease their migraine symptoms.
Jimi Hendrix is a Sativa-dominant hybrid that contains THC levels of 18%. In addition, the dominant terpene in the Jimi Hendrix strain is terpinolene, giving it a more energizing sensation.
People have reported that the Jimi Hendrix strain gives them energy, makes them feel uplifted, and has psychoactive side effects (which feels appropriate given the name but could be a bit “intense” depending on the level of your pain).
Strains like Pineapple Express can be helpful when treating a condition like migraines because of its uplifting, euphoric, and relaxing sensations.
A hybrid strain, Pineapple Express has fairly high levels of THC content, up to 18%, with a nice balance of THC & CBD that provides a provide a strong but mellow high for the user. Pineapple Express is a mainstay on the menu at most dispensaries and should be fairly easy to locate.
Harlequin is a Sativa cannabis strain with a high CBD-to-THC ratio, leaving the user with a less “stoney” high. Users report Harlequin as helpful when treating a migraine due to its relaxing sensations, without the fully sedative side effects a more THC-dominant strain might have.
The CBD levels in this cannabis strain can also help keep paranoia levels low, making it an excellent choice for migraine sufferers who also have issues with anxiety.
ACDC has high CBD content, which keeps the intoxicating side effects low. Many medical marijuana patients have discussed using ACDC and other high-CBD strains to treat conditions like pain, anxiety, and some negative effects from chemotherapy.
This strain has only 1% THC, making it a very easy-to-dose, low-intensity strain for most people.
Migraines aren’t something anyone wants to experience. Though mitigating a migraine’s effects can be difficult, there may well be reasons why many patients and doctors both agree that cannabis could be one of the best natural remedies for migraines available.
If you or someone you know suffers from migraines, we hope our article has been able to potential relief. Though there is no cure-all for migraine pain & symptoms yet, a bit of THC might just be the relief you’ve been looking for. Enjoy!