The body of consumer evidence that shows cannabis is medicine continues to grow and we’re seeing it everywhere – even though there’s a lack of scientific research. Cannabis has shown to help fight cancer, treat serious diseases and provide palliative relief for people who need it the most. Even better? The more we learn about its potential, the more astounding the marijuana plant becomes.
While there are many wondrous things to be said about cannabis as a medicine, not all medicinal users are consuming cannabis to combat a life-threatening disease. In fact, many consumers treat far less serious conditions with the help of cannabis – conditions like migraines and headaches.
A headache or migraine is unlikely to be considered life-threatening, yet cannabis has shown to be an effective treatment for many people suffering from them. While cannabis affects everyone differently and everyone may have a different marijuana product that suits their needs, here are our seven favorite strains to help fend off chronic migraines and occasional headaches.
Are All Migraines Alike?
The textbook definition of a migraine is a severe, painful headache that can be preceded or accompanied by sensory warning signs such as flashes of light, blind spots, tingling in the arms and legs, nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light and sound.
In the U.S., more than 37 million people suffer from migraines, which is an estimated 13% of adults. They are more common in women than men and can last anywhere up to 72 hours. Unfortunately, some people suffer from chronic migraines, where the symptoms can last for more than 15 days a month.
instant migraine relief
One thing to note is that each sufferer will experience migraine differently. A migraine you experience will be entirely different from how your friends and relatives experience them.
People who suffer from migraines can often clearly identify specific triggers.
Allergies: These can be seasonal or even allergic reactions.
Irregular Environments: This can include bright lights or loud noises. Party lights and even strong smells can trigger migraines.
Stress: This can be any type of stress. Examples include work-related, depression, tension, and even physical stress.
Sleep: Tiredness, jet lag, or irregular sleep can all lead to migraines.
Change of Diet: Some migraine sufferers claim that when they skip a meal, eat too much or too little of something (chocolate, nuts, bananas), it will trigger the start of a migraine. Specific foods that contain tyramine (smoked fish, figs, beans) or nitrates (salami and bacon) are also known to trigger the pain.
Do All Cannabis Strains Have a Positive Effect on our Brain?
The answer is no. Furthermore, it is best to consult with your medical marijuana physician before choosing the cannabis migraine treatment route. Some marijuana strains could even have the opposite effect. They may cause your heart to race, initiating allergic reactions, and causing symptoms that could lead to a migraine.
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If you suffer from migraines and have access to medical marijuana, then it could be helpful. But with so many different cannabis strains out there, where is the best place to start? Thankfully, we’ve done the groundwork for you. Here are the five best marijuana strains for instant migraine relief:
This is a common strain and widely available at dispensaries. Its powerful sedative effects can help relieve migraine symptoms. Due to its high THC content of 20%, this strain can give immediate relief, while its CBD content can help support long-term pain reduction. With this strain, it is important to use it when you feel a headache beginning, before it develops into a full-blown migraine.
ACDC is a good choice for people who would like pain relief without psychoactive effects. It has a 1:20 THC/CBD ratio, with CBD levels up to 19%, and is also anti-inflammatory, which makes it effective at helping to control migraine symptoms.
This strain can be a little hard to find, but it has a reputation for being able to control pain. It typically contains 4-7% THC and 8-16% CBD, a balance that allows for good pain relief without an intense psychoactive effect. Similar to other strains, Harlequin should be used at the first signs of a migraine and before it becomes full blown, which is when it is most effective.
Known for being one of the “most delicious” strains to medicate with, this one also has a strong 17% THC content, and is used by individuals for treating migraines and pain in general.
An indica strain with high levels of CBD (~15%), Remedy contains less than 1% THC, and is reported to produce a mellow state. The high CBD content helps reduce the inflammation associated with migraines, and can decrease pain without producing a high.
A popular strain and a true indica, Northern Lights is effective at reducing pain as well as inducing relaxation. This strain is particularly popular for treating pain, including acute or chronic migraine headaches.
Canna-Tsu is a hybrid strain derived from Cannatonic and Sour Tsunami, and contains high levels of CBD and low levels of THC. Best known for producing calming effects and mental clarity, it also lowers inflammation, which in turns helps control migraine symptoms. This strain has a reputation for reducing pain linked to migraines and headaches in general.
For some migraines, sleep is really the best remedy, and this strain is best used at bedtime or if you have time to relax and let the migraine wear off. It has a high 17-22% THC content and a low 0.07-0.1% CBD level and induces a soothing euphoric high that in turn reduces the intensity of the migraine.