Study: Medical marijuana helps reduce migraines

Posted at 7:27 PM, Jan 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 21:27:52-05

Migraines can really hamper productivity when they strike but for the first time, Colorado researchers have proof that medical marijuana can help ease that dreadful pain.

“We were not expecting the decrease in frequency in migraine that we saw. It was pretty dramatic,” said Dr. Sarah Anderson with Skaggs School of Pharmacy at CU Anschutz.

Researchers at CU Anschutz looked at dozens of charts from patients treated at "Gedde Whole Health," a private Colorado clinic that prescribes medical marijuana for a variety of ailments.

Patients can be very hesitant to either report that they are using medical marijuana or even inquire about using it in the first place.

Of the 121 patients studied, 103 reported a decrease in their monthly migraines. To put it another way, the frequency of migraines dropped from about ten per month to less than five.

“I really feel like they will find those actual numbers and stats that can back up the medical attributes of marijuana,” said Dustin Weddle.

Weddle said he got his medical "red" card as a way to manage his frequent, debilitating migraines.  

“[They] started when I was a teenager, once I really got older I just noticed a severe sensitivity to light and sound,” he said.

Researchers believe it is the serotonin that plays a role in migraine headaches but want to study how cannabinoids ease the pain.

“This made us think about a lot more questions that we want answered and so it would be ideal if we could design those prospective big, randomized clinical trials to look at this in more detail,” said Dr. Anderson.


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