Some say cannabis helps get rid of headaches; others say weed causes them. So which group has it right? Both, according to recent research, which suggests that cannabis can help treat some headaches, but it can also make others worse.
There are as many as 150 different kinds of headaches, and there are almost as many other remedies for them. Here are three of the most common headaches and the impact that cannabis has on them.
Migraines are probably one of the kinds of headache that you actually know by name. These headaches usually create pain one one side of the head and can be exacerbated by harsh light and loud sounds. People who suffer from migraines know that they can be quite debilitating and commonly recurring.
Fortunately, migraines are one of the kinds of headache that seem to be treatable with medical marijuana. Recent research showed that more than 85 percent of the patients surveyed reported that using medical marijuana reduced the frequency of their migraines. Additionally, more than ten percent reported that if they consumed cannabis when they felt a migraine developing, the cannabis would help stop it.
These headaches are similar to migraines in a number of ways. They most often occur on one side of the head, and they are a recurring problem for people who are prone to them. However, the triggers fro cluster headaches are different.
Cluster headaches can be agitated by increased heart rate and vasodilation. These are both things that are also associated with consuming cannabis, which means medical marijuana probably won't help you treat a cluster headache, according to Dr. Elizabeth Leroux of the Emergency Headache Center in Paris.
"The effect of cannabis on cluster headache attacks is not clear, as 75 percent of patients find it poorly efficient, but 25 percent still claim efficacy," Leroux told Dope Magazine.
Another 27 percent of patients claim cannabis can actually bring about their cluster headaches, explained Leroux.
Tension headaches are the kind we most associate with stress. They can often be triggered by excessive muscle tightness and can cause pressure on both sides of the head at once.
Medical marijuana could be a particularity good treatment for these kinds of headaches for several reason. First, cannabis is a potent painkiller, which means it can help reduce discomfort around the head. Additionally, cannabis often has a whole body calming effect that help you relax and loosen stiff muscles. And finally, cannabis can be a great de-stressor, helping you deal with the real root of the headache.
So the first step to finding out if cannabis will be helpful in treating your headache is discovering what kind of headaches you most often experience. Then you can experiment with different strains to find the one that works best for you.