For years, cannabis has been shrouded in controversy. Despite its well-documented medical benefits, many people still associate cannabis with negative stereotypes and stigmas. However, as more and more states legalize cannabis for medicinal and recreational use, people are beginning to open their minds to its potential benefits. Today, we want to focus on what experts like Mike Staumietis say are a specific benefit of cannabis: its ability to relieve migraines. Keep reading to learn more.
What Causes Migraines?
Before we dive into how cannabis can help relieve migraines, it’s important to understand what causes them in the first place. Unfortunately, the root cause of migraines is still unknown. However, doctors have identified some potential triggers, including:
Stress is a known trigger of migraines. In fact, it’s one of the most common triggers of migraines. When you’re under a lot of stress, your body experiences an increase in hormones that can trigger migraine symptoms.
Hormones play an important role in migraine-related pain. Women, especially those of reproductive age, tend to experience more frequent and severe migraine symptoms than men. This is because women’s hormones fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle and can trigger changes in their brain chemistry that result in migraines.
Lack of Sleep
Not getting enough sleep or having an inconsistent sleeping schedule can also increase your risk for migraines. Sleep deprivation can cause your body to produce more inflammatory molecules, which may contribute to migraine symptoms.
Certain Foods and Drinks
Some people are sensitive to certain foods and drinks that can trigger migraines. Common food triggers include aged cheese, chocolate, processed meats, and alcohol (especially red wine). Artificially-sweetened beverages like diet soda can also be a trigger for some people.
Sensory overstimulation (e.g., bright lights, loud noises)
Sensory overstimulation can also trigger migraines, especially in people who are sensitive to certain stimuli. Bright lights, loud noises, and strong smells can cause a migraine attack in some individuals.
How Does Cannabis Help?
Now that we know what causes migraines, let’s explore how cannabis can help relieve the symptoms.
Cannabis is known for its analgesic properties, which makes it an effective treatment for the pain associated with migraines. Cannabis works by activating the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating various physiological processes including inflammation, mood, and appetite. When cannabinoids interact with this system, they can reduce inflammation and decrease pain levels.
Migraine sufferers often experience nausea as part of the attack. Fortunately, cannabis can also help relieve this symptom. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD both have anti-nausea properties that can help reduce feelings of nausea associated with migraines.
Anxiety is another common symptom of migraines. Cannabis can help reduce anxiety by influencing your body’s endocannabinoid system and activating the brain’s serotonin receptors, which play an important role in regulating emotions.
As you can see, cannabis has a lot to offer when it comes to treating migraines. Not only can it help relieve pain and nausea, but it can also reduce anxiety and provide overall relief from migraine symptoms. If you’re a sufferer of migraines, talk to your doctor about incorporating cannabis into your treatment plan. With the right dose and strain, you may be able to find relief from your migraine symptoms.