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For centuries, weed has been used for many therapeutic purposes, and one of them is to treat migraines. Anyone who has ever been a sufferer of this painful condition knows how debilitating a migraine or cluster headaches can be, and for those who suffer regularly and who find no relief from traditional medication, weed could be the ideal alternative.
What Is A Migraine?
Migraine headaches are much worse than standard headaches, with more intense pain that lasts for longer. Migraines can last from a little as 4 hours right up to 72, with the primary symptom being a severe headache accompanied by other symptoms such as increased sensitivity to sound, light and smell as well as nausea or vomiting. Some sufferers find migraines so debilitating that they are unable to work or carry out basic activities. Sometimes they need to stay in a quiet, darkened room until their symptoms have subsided. Migraines are triggered by a number of factors including stress, bright lights, hunger, lack of sleep, allergies, jet lag, loud sounds, perfumes or smells, tobacco smoke, alcohol, dehydration, medications and some foods.
The History Of Using Weed To Treat Migraine
As long ago as 400 BC weed was being used to treat migraines in the east, however even in the west weed was being used as early as the 1830s to reduce pain and relax muscles. It was 1840 when weed was first used to treat headaches and by the 1850s it was being recommended as a daily treatment to prevent migraines from occurring. Although it fell from favour among medical professionals for many years, in recent times it has started to be used once more as studies have shown that weed can treat a number of conditions. In 2016, a formal study about weed use for migraines was published which proved that it could reduce the number of migraines suffered from 10.4 every month down to 4.6 in a month.
Why Does Weed Help Treat Migraines?
The human body has an endocannabinoid system which regulates its vital functions, including its sensitivity to pain. When the CB1 receptors in the brain are activated, dopamine is released while serotonin and other neurotransmitters are inhibited, and this helps to cure headaches. When the CB2 receptors are activated they have an anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect which again can help to treat headaches. The cannabinoids in weed imitate the cannabinoids in the body, having an identical effect on the brain's CB1 and CB2 receptors. As many people who suffer from chronic migraines are deficient in an endocannabinoid called anandamide, consuming weed boosts the endocannabinoid system's activity to help stop the migraines.
Vaping As The Most Effective Method Of Consumption
The study carried out in 2016 into the use of weed to treat migraines also showed that some methods of weed consumption were more effective than others for delivering treatment for migraines. Vaping came out on top since it makes it simple for patients to monitor their dosage and the effect is very quick to relieve pain.