top of page
  • Writer's pictureSuzanna Thallman

Preventing and Treating Migraines with Medical Marijuana

Updated: Aug 6, 2020

Migraine headaches are a common debilitating condition, causing severe throbbing or pulsation in the head or temple. Aside from the intense pain caused by migraines, people often experience nausea, vomiting, muscle spasms, dizziness, sensitivity to light and other symptoms.

Migraines can be caused by many factors including food, changes in weather, stress, drinks, foods, and certain sensory stimuli. Although some individuals will suffer with migraines their entire life, medications and lifestyle changes over time can help prevent and treat migraines.

Research has shown that medical marijuana can significantly help ease the pain caused by migraines – or even keep them from starting. In turn, cannabis can help the other side effects caused from the pain of migraines like nausea and anxiety.

How does marijuana help with migraines?

Marijuana contains compounds called cannabinoids that help relieve pain. When a migraine sufferer uses marijuana, the cannabinoids identify receptors in his or her body and can calm down the pain receptors.

Cannabis can work as both a preventative and a treatment for migraines. Marijuana is particularly useful for stress-related migraines and can be used to prevent the onset by relaxing muscles. When a migraine is already in progress, medical marijuana can be used to ease the pain.

What research exists?

A recent study published in the Journal of Pain claims that headache and migraine ratings were reduced by nearly 50 percent after using cannabis.

The research that was published in November 2019 is the first of its kind to use real-time data from migraine sufferers. In addition, researchers did not find that higher doses were more, or less, effective than lower doses.

Another study published in the National Library of Medicine found that patients had a decrease in the number of migraines, which fell from 10.4 to 4.6 per month. The same study showed that around 85 percent of participants reported medical marijuana helped them have fewer migraines each month, and nearly 12 percent said it stopped their migraines altogether.

Finally, a study in Neurology found that medical marijuana played a safe role in improving headaches, reducing anxiety and improving sleep routine and mood. Additionally, this study found that users reduce or even replace the use of opioids prescribed for migraines when using medical marijuana.

Next steps

More research and studies continue to be conducted to prove cannabis as an effective treatment for migraines and chronic headaches.

While migraines are not a qualifying condition for medical marijuana treatment in the State of Ohio, documented treatment for migraines for a period longer than three months could be categorized as chronic pain, which is a qualifying condition in Ohio.

As always, it’s important to consult a physician to discuss changes to your medications. If you’re already taking prescription medicines but are considering using medical cannabis as an alternative, speak with a medical marijuana doctor to learn more about the benefits and potential side effects.


If you are a qualifying patient who is suffering from one of the qualifying conditions and is seeking medical marijuana treatment, schedule a telemedicine evaluation, and gain access to Ohio dispensaries.

You can schedule your appointment by calling us at 866-457-5559 or book your appointment online.


bottom of page