Cannabis could be even better at treating migraines than traditionally recommended medications, a new study has found.
Researchers from the Interuniversity Center in Florence, Italy found that pills containing both THC and CBD reduced migraine pain by 43.5 percent. Administration of the drug also led to numerous other benefits, including curbing stomach-aches and muscle pain.
Past studies have found that cannabis combats headaches by going after cells in the body that control pain relief and inflammation.
“This research suggests that compounds found in cannabis are as effective as amitriptyline, a traditional prescription medication used to treat acute painful headaches... This provides promise for people who experience adverse effects from prescription medication,” Ian Hamilton, a lecturer in mental health at the University of York, told MailOnline.
“The analgesic properties of cannabis have been known for some time so this research adds to existing evidence of the potential that cannabis compounds have in the treatment and management of common health problems.”
Researchers recruited 79 sufferers of migraines and cluster headaches for the study. Participants were given an oral dose of a drug containing both cannabis compounds every day for three months. Those with cluster headaches were given a daily 200mg dose of the THC-CBD combination drug or a 25mg dose of the pharmaceutical amitriptyline, while patients with migraines were given 200mg of THC-CBD to take when they experienced acute pain.
It was revealed that the THC-CBD drug was more effective than common medication at curbing the number and severity of cluster headache incidents. Cannabis treatments cut cluster headaches by 40.4 percent, while amitriptyline reduce them by 40.1 percent.
Cannabis was also more effective at treating acute pain caused by migraines, slashing the severity of the pain by 43.5 percent.
“We were able to demonstrate that cannabinoids are an alternative to established treatments in migraine prevention,” said lead researcher Dr. Maria Nicolodi.
“That said, they are only suited for use in the acute treatment of cluster headaches in patients with a history of migraine from childhood on.”