Experience of Migraine, its Severity, and Perceived Efficacy of Treatments among Cannabis Users.
Complement Ther Med. 2020 Nov 20:102619. Epub 2020 Nov 20. PMID: 33227352
Laurel P Gibson
OBJECTIVES: As the legal and cultural landscape surrounding cannabis use in the United States continues to evolve, more Americans are turning to cannabis to self-medicate a number of ailments, including migraines. The purpose of the present study was to examine patterns of cannabis use and its associated relief among migraineurs.
DESIGN: Participants were N = 589 adult cannabis users living in states with full legal access. Using a cross-sectional design, participants completed an online survey assessing their cannabis use profiles, migraine experience, and self-reported relief from cannabis and non-cannabis treatments.
RESULTS: 161 participants (27.3%) reported experiencing migraines. 76.4% of migraineurs (N = 123) endorsed using cannabis to treat their migraines. 69.9% (N = 86) of these participants also endorsed using non-cannabis products (e.g., over-the-counter pain medication, triptans) to treat their migraines. Although their subjective health was similar (p = .17), migraineurs who endorsed using cannabis to treat their migraines reported more severe migraines compared to those who did not (p = .02). Migraineurs reported significantly more migraine relief from cannabis compared to non-cannabis products, even after controlling for migraine severity (p = .03). The majority of migraineurs using cannabis to treat their migraines were not medical cardholders (65.0%), suggesting that these individuals were self-medicating in lieu of physician guidance.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study provides insight into the prevalence of cannabis use for migraine relief in a sample of cannabis users, and suggests that these migraineurs experience a high level of migraine relief from cannabis. Future studies are needed to determine the cannabis forms, potencies, and dosages that are most effective at treating migraine pain.