In what seems like the never-ending battle to one up each other, this time cannabis has stolen the spotlight from leading prescription drugs. The opponent: migraine pain medication. The highlight: active compounds in cannabis reduce pain and have fewer side effects than the legal stuff.
In a study consisting of 127 participants who suffer from chronic migraines and severe headaches, each individual was given medical cannabis to see if this treatment was more effective than prescription pain medication.
But before experimenting, the severity of the migraines and headaches needed to be measured from where they occurred. Chronic migraines usually pain the entire head and are followed by light sensitivity and nausea. Severe headaches usually occur on one side of the head and around the eyes. Other factors that were taken into account for the study were the types of active compounds that would be present in the cannabis. Participants would be given a cannabis-based medication with a combination of two active compounds, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The primary difference to note regarding THC is that this compound gets the user high, whereas CBD does not.
The participants with chronic to severe migraine pain were given a 200mg dose of the THC-CBD drug each day for three months. Participants with both chronic migraines and headaches were given either the THC-CBD drug or 25mg of amitriptyline, a popular antidepressant used for migraines. In conclusion, the results were surprising.
The end result showed that the cannabis-based medication (40.4 %) was a little bit better at reducing pain and side effects than the commonly prescribed migraine medication (40.1%). Moreover, participants who used the cannabis-based medication felt better and had fewer side effects like stomach and muscle pain. Although, one downside of the THC-CBD drug was that participants felt drowsiness and had trouble concentrating.
Although the percentages don’t seem like much, it’s a win for cannabis researchers. Moreover, it’s proof that further research and studies have the potential to gain more wins for medical marijuana in the future.