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  • Jordan T. Smith

A Guide to Using Medical Marijuana for Migraines

A Guide to Using Medical Marijuana for Migraines

In the beginning of 2021, the State of Ohio added migraines to its list of medical conditions that qualifies patients for a medical marijuana card. When Ohio initially rolled out its medical marijuana program, one of the original qualifying conditions was pain that’s described as chronic or severe.

After making the determination that migraines fall into that category, the State Medical Board’s medical marijuana committee made the decision to begin allowing people who suffer from migraines to apply for their medical marijuana cards.

Now that people who suffer from migraines are legally allowed to relieve their pain with medical marijuana, patients should develop a thorough understanding of how cannabis can effectively treat their symptoms. The first step is by getting a good idea on what causes migraines in the first place.

What Causes Migraines?

Determining the root cause of migraine headaches has puzzled medical professionals for decades. Although there’s no concrete evidence that unveils the direct cause of migraine headaches, there is enough research to suggest that migraines might be hereditary. People who suffer from migraines often have migraine triggers that potentially include experiencing fatigue, being exposed to loud noises or bright lights for extended periods of time, and skipping meals.

Research suggests that migraines begin after overactive nerve cells release signals that trigger a person’s trigeminal nerve, which sends feeling to the face and head area. That forces the body to let go of chemicals like serotonin and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). The latter chemical creates swelling in the blood vessels in the lining of a person’s brain. Once that happens, neurotransmitters then can start to cause inflammation, which is when the pain starts to set in.

Medical Marijuana Products That Provide Relief for Migraine Sufferers

Once the pain starts to settle in, naturally the next step is to find ways to seek relief. Since Ohio cannabis users are now able to obtain a medical marijuana card, there’s an abundance of alternatives to blood-thinning pain relief medications that provide mixed results when it comes to eliminating a migraine.

While each person responds differently, research suggests that a high concentration of THC is crucial in helping to relieve the pain of a migraine. Get more insight on the types of medical marijuana products that can alleviate migraines below:

  • Flower

The types of different buds available at a medical marijuana dispensary can easily overwhelm a newcomer. A key to preventing that feeling is knowing which properties are the most effective in helping to fight migraines.

Hybrid strains containing a moderate to high THC concentration along with a low concentration of CBD are suggested for relieving migraines. Since smoking cannabis is still prohibited, be sure to grab a vaporizer first!

  • Concentrates and Cartridges

If you’re new to the world of THC cartridges or concentrates, the first thing that might catch your attention is the sheer number that are available for you to choose from. Similar to medical marijuana in its ground form, the best concentrates for fighting migraines will likely contain a hybrid strain.

While the results vary for each individual, it's believed that the effects of cannabis inhalation tend to set in faster than other methods of cannabis use, which should be taken into consideration when using medical marijuana for migraine relief.

  • Tinctures

There are lots of medical marijuana patients who have relied on cannabis for pain relief for years who are unfamiliar with the concept of medical marijuana tinctures. They’re made by absorbing cannabinoids into high-proof alcohol then extracting the remainder of the plant’s material. Similar to other forms of medical marijuana, how users respond to tinctures will vary.

Most users report feeling its effects set in after about 15 minutes or so, unless it's been consumed with a meal. In that case it could take an hour or so for the relief to set in. Tinctures are a great way to benefit from the pain relieving side-effects of medical marijuana without ingesting any smoke.

  • Topicals

Similar to tinctures, topicals are another medical marijuana product even the most experienced cannabis connoisseurs may be unfamiliar with. Medical marijuana topicals are most commonly used to alleviate joint and muscle pain.

Even though topicals have had success in helping patients suffering from chronic joint pain, the science is still unsure on whether or not those effects will remain the same for migraine sufferers.

  • Edibles As is the case with topicals, the evidence around using medical marijuana edibles for migraine relief isn’t as clear as it is for other forms of ingestion. A study completed at the University of Colorado found that edibles underperformed the pain relief efforts of inhaled cannabinoids.

While that might come as a shock to some medical marijuana users, it’s important to remember that people have varying responses to different methods of consumption. The only way to know if a medical marijuana product is for you or not is by trying it for yourself.

Long gone are the days where your only options for relief from migraines comes from your local grocery or drug store. If you’ve been suffering from migraines and your regular pain relief regimen just isn’t cutting it anymore then now’s the perfect time to find out if you qualify for a medical marijuana card. The process is quick and painless, and our certified doctors would be happy to help guide you towards a migraine-free life.


Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.

Here at Ohio Marijuana Card, our goal is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

If you have any questions, call us at (866) 457-5559, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!

Check out Ohio Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Ohio.


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