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Inhaled Cannabis Cuts Headache, Migraine Severity

Findings based on self-reports from actual medical cannabis users

TUESDAY, Dec. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Inhaled cannabis reduces self-reported headache and migraine severity, according to a study published online Nov. 9 in the Journal of Pain.

Carrie Cuttler, Ph.D., from Washington State University in Pullman, and colleagues used data from the Strainprint medical cannabis app to evaluate whether inhalation of cannabis decreases headache and migraine ratings, as well as whether gender, type of cannabis (concentrate versus flower), delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, or dose contribute to changes in these ratings.

The researchers identified 12,293 sessions in which cannabis was used to treat headache and 7,441 sessions in which cannabis was used to treat migraine. After cannabis use, the investigators observed significant reductions in headache (47.3 percent) and migraine ratings (49.6 percent). Compared with women, men reported larger reductions in headache. Use of concentrates was associated with larger reductions in headache than use of flower. There was evidence of tolerance to these effects, with its effectiveness reported to diminish across time.

“We were motivated to do this study because a substantial number of people say they use cannabis for headache and migraine, but surprisingly few studies had addressed the topic,” Cuttler said in a statement. “This at least gives medical cannabis patients and their doctors a little more information about what they might expect from using cannabis to manage these conditions.”

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