Study Finds Nearly One In Three Migraine Sufferers Have Tried Cannabis For Treatment

Migraine is the third most prevalent illness in the world, with someone in nearly one out of every four households in the United States living with the condition.

A neurological disease, migraine manifests in a range of disconcerting and debilitating symptoms such as visual disturbances (auras), nausea, vomiting, dizziness, increased sensitivity to light, and tingling or numbness of the face or extremities.

While there are conventional medications for preventing and treating migraines, a new study shows that nearly 30 percent of sufferers have tried cannabis to relieve pain and discomfort.

The study also shows that 82 percent of those who tried cannabis as a migraine treatment found it to be effective in reducing their pain levels.

Previous studies published in the Pharmacotherapy and Neurology journals found that 40 to 42 percent of patients who tried cannabis to treat their symptoms experienced a reduction in the average monthly frequency of migraines.

“Migraines have a debilitating impact on tens of millions of Americans and, in many cases, are poorly addressed by conventional therapies,” says NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. “Therefore, it’s not surprising to see a significant percentage of migraine sufferers turning to cannabis as a therapeutic option. Those that do so are consistently reporting it to be safe and effective at reducing both migraine symptoms and migraine frequency.”

Armentano says that the population of medical users will continue to grow over time as the legal status of cannabis changes in an increasing number of states.

The new study, recently released by healthcare technology provider Healint, surveyed 9,885 American and Canadian users of the company’s global migraine tracking app, Migraine Buddy.

Migraine Buddy allows users to record the duration, frequency, and severity of their migraine attacks as well as medication use and sleep, diet, and weather-related triggers.

The data can be shared with the user’s physician electronically or in person.

Healint CEO and co-founder Francois Cadiou says that cannabis is becoming a prominent treatment option for chronic pain patients, especially those with migraines.

“With more and more states across the United States legalizing medical marijuana, migraine patients are becoming acquainted with cannabis as a natural remedy that can help alleviate migraines and even prevent them,” says Cadiou. “Research about the benefits of cannabis use among migraine patients is slowly emerging, but more must be done to properly inform individuals about the use and dosage of medical marijuana to treat migraines.”

Recent data from the Migraine Buddy app showed that a surge of stress-related attacks occurred during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States in early 2020, highlighting the importance of finding new solutions to treat the pain of migraine sufferers.