Medical Marijuana for Chronic Migraines in Ohio: Your Guide
- Can you get an Ohio medical marijuana card for chronic migraines?
- Although migraines headaches are not specifically listed, they do fall under the category of chronic pain.
- People have been treating migraines with medical marijuana for thousands of years.
- Compounds found in medical marijuana help to reduce inflammation related to chronic migraines as well as to relieve pain.
- Cannabis can also help to subdue the autoimmune response that causes some migraines.
How To Get a Medical Marijuana Card for Chronic Migraines In Ohio
There is no specific mention of migraines among the qualifying conditions for an Ohio medical marijuana card. However, chronic pain is a qualifying condition for patients seeking to shop at Ohio dispensaries. Although there are other symptoms associated with migraines, pain is the most common.
In this post, we’ll go over the details of how marijuana helps relieve pain. We’ll illustrate how patients suffering from migraines are using cannabis to not only treat the pain, but also to reduce the incidence of migraine headaches. We’ll also discuss some of the cannabis products that are available at medical marijuana dispensaries.
Prescription medications known as triptans traditionally used to treat migraines can produce a host of unwanted side effects. Short-term side effects include dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Moreover, long-term use of these drugs can cause dependency. There are also several over-the-counter pain remedies. However, medicines such as Advil and Tylenol are often ineffective for migraine patients.
Can medical marijuana provide migraine sufferers with a safer, non-addictive alternative to prescription drugs? And does medical marijuana actually help reduce the severity and frequency of migraines?
The fact is, people have been treating migraines with medical marijuana for thousands of years. Not only are some migraine sufferers finding relief with medical marijuana, but the plant is also completely non-toxic. It rarely produces side effects when patients are following a proper protocol. Marijuana is also non-addictive. And there are also various medical marijuana strains and cannabis-infused products that contain little or no THC and are non-intoxicating.
Is there any evidence that medical marijuana helps treat migraine headaches?
Reports from migraine patients who claim marijuana reduces their headaches and nausea are plentiful. But is there scientific proof that medical marijuana can help treat migraines?
An expert on migraines named Dr. Ethan Russo undertook a review of research and historical records related to the use of marijuana to treat migraines. Some of the records go back thousands of years. After his review was completed, Dr. Russo wrote in his report: “Based on the above review, it is convincingly the case that medical marijuana deserves formal scientific scrutiny for migraine treatment.” That was in 2001.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine backed up that conclusion when they reported fifteen years later that there was “conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective for the treatment of chronic pain in adults.”
Shortly thereafter, in 2016, the University of Colorado initiated a study of patients who were using medical marijuana to treat their migraines. Amazingly, more than 85 percent of the 121 patients taking part in the study claimed that medical marijuana reduced the number of migraines by almost 60 percent.
A few years later, in 2019, the American Academy of Neurology published a report involving more than 300 cases of patients treating migraines with medical marijuana. The authors claimed that nine out of ten patients reported some relief from their headaches. Moreover, about 40 percent of the participants reported a significant reduction in the number of monthly migraines as well as improved sleep, and reduced anxiety.
More recently, in 2019, a study published in the Journal of Pain declared that medical marijuana produced an average 50 percent reduction in migraine and headache severity. And just last year, in July of 2020, a study, published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine claimed that more than nine in ten migraine sufferers experienced relief within two hours after smoking medical marijuana.
The largest study into the use of medical marijuana to treat migraines involved nearly 10,000 migraine sufferers in the U.S. and Canada. A whopping 82 percent of participants that used medical marijuana claimed that it helped to ease their symptoms.
How does medical marijuana help relieve migraine symptoms?
The human body produces a class of compounds called endogenous cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids. The sticky flower clusters of the female cannabis plant produce a similar class of compounds called phytocannabinoids.
The ECS is responsible for regulating a wide array of bodily functions including inflammatory response and pain response. It also affects appetite, sleep cycles, moods, and so on. In some cases, supplementation with the cannabinoids found in medical marijuana can bring balance to these systems.
While THC, the intoxicating cannabinoids found in marijuana is known to help relieve pain and nausea in some patients, non-intoxicating cannabinoids such as CBD and CBG are renowned for their ability to reduce inflammation that sometimes causes headaches as well as the nausea that often accompanies migraines.
How is medical marijuana used to treat migraines?
As with all herbal remedies, medical marijuana affects each patient differently. Because of this, some experimentation might be needed to find the ideal strains, formulas, or delivery methods for each patient.
For patients with sudden onset of symptoms, inhalation methods offer the fastest relief. Smoking, vaping, dabbing, and cannabis inhalers produce effects within minutes. However, smoking and vaping methods are not recommended for patients with lung and cardiac conditions. Furthermore, precise dosing can be difficult when smoking and vaping.
Tinctures applied sublingually (under the tongue) usually begin to provide relief in about 10 or 15 minutes. While tinctures offer a lower bioavailability than inhaling, dosing with a dropper bottle is quite accurate.
Oral delivery methods such as capsules and edibles can take up to an hour to take effect, especially when taken with a meal. Again, bioavailability is lower, but dosing is exact. And one of the main benefits of cannabis-infused products such as capsules and edibles is that they can be produced using specific formulas and ratios of cannabinoids.
Patients also have additional delivery choices such as cannabinoid-infused transdermal patches and suppositories, both of which provide accurate dosing, and topical creams that can be applied at the site of pain for local relief.
Which medical marijuana strains and formulas are best for treating migraines?
Most patients suffering from migraines will benefit from a product containing a spectrum of cannabinoids. However, some patients may not wish to consume THC. Patients who wish to avoid THC might also consider using products produced from CBD-rich hemp. Strains of cannabis that produce less than 0.3 percent THC are fully legal in Ohio. Anyone can buy CBD online or at local shops without a medical marijuana card as long as it was produced from hemp.
However, patients suffering from migraines are strongly advised to consult with a knowledgeable medical marijuana doctor even if they are not using products with THC.
Some of the medical marijuana strains that have been pointed to as providing relief from migraines include:
- Jack Herer
- Warlock CBD
- Lemon Sour Diesel
- White Widow
- Master Kush
- Girl Scout Cookies
- Skywalker OG
Not all of these strains will be available at Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries. However, a knowledgeable budtender should be able to recommend a strain based on the patient’s needs.
Check out the links below for more information on how to get a medical marijuana card for migraines in Ohio.