Updated: Jun 9, 2022
*DISCLAIMER* Anecdotal Article
So UC San Diego has launched what they call a "first-of-its-kind" study into the efficacy of cannabis as a treatment for migraines... 🤔
Thistle Therapies has been treating individuals suffering from migraines and tension/sinus/cluster headaches since 2018. There is actually a study done by the NIH (National Institute of Health) that found if you raise the amount of Vitamin B12 in your body by 460mg, the chances of having a migraine decrease by 80%!
So we take what we learned from that study and apply what we already know about caffeine and migraines. During a migraine, blood vessels swell, tighten or go through other changes, causing an increase in blood flow around the brain. This increase blood flow pressures surrounding nerves, which send pain messages to the brain. This is what triggers the migraine. Caffeine has vasoconstrictive properties, meaning that blood vessels narrow to restrict blood flow, thereby alleviating the pain.
Now let's talk about magnesium. Studies have found that people who have migraines tend to have lower levels of magnesium than people who don’t get headaches. Some scientists believe that magnesium blocks signals in the brain that lead to migraines with an aura, or changes in vision and other senses. Research also suggests that magnesium stops certain chemicals that cause pain.
CoQ10 is an essential compound that is made by your body and stored in your mitochondria. Mitochondria produce up to 90 percent of the energy your cells use. They also help protect your cells from oxidative damage. There's scientific evidence that oxidative damage to your mitochondria plays a role in the frequency and severity of migraines. Nerve tissue contains very high levels of mitochondria. CoQ10 helps reduce said damage, therefore helping to prevent the onset and intensity of migraines.
Terpenes play a big role here at Thistle Therapies. In this case, the two terpenes we want to use when experiencing a migraine are beta-Caryophyllene and Myrcene. Myrcene is known to relieve neuropathic pain and have sedating qualities, which in turn slows the activation of a subset of sensory neurons responsible for sending pain signals called nociceptors. beta-Caryophyllene is known to have a pain relieving effect as a direct result of inflammation reduction. This terpene also has effects on short and long-term brain health.
Leaving the best for last, cannabinoids are paramount when treating and preventing migraines. Everyone knows that CBD is great for inflammation, but more than that, it's greatest effect is achieving and maintaining homeostasis, or balance, of all the body's integral systems. When every internal component of the body is homeostatic, it is far less likely to suffer from any ailment, albeit migraines. CBN (cannabinol) is a byproduct of THC degradation caused by either exposure to heat or aging. In high doses, CBN is an amazing sleep aid and in lower doses, it is very effective at reducing anxiety and stress. It's commonly know that stress can be the root cause for many ailments, but when specifically referring to migraines, research shows that changes in the levels of serotonin due to stress significantly increase the chances of having a migraine.
If only Thistle Therapies was an accredited university, UC San Diego would not be the "first" to research the link between cannabinoids and migraine treatment.