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Best Strains of Cannabis for Migraines

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Best Strains of Cannabis for Migraines

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 10/08/2019 in Ailments and Conditions

Updated on August 26, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Best Strains of Cannabis for Migraines

Migraine headaches cause severe pain that can last for hours or even days on end. Most migraine sufferers have one or two attacks per month, but the unfortunate minority who suffer chronic daily migraine can have 15 or more headaches a month.

Even though it is not quite clear what happens in the brain to kick off a migraine, certain factors or “triggers” can set them off in susceptible people. These triggers vary tremendously from person to person, but generally include hormonal fluctuations, environmental factors such as weather or bright lights, certain smells, alcohol, specific foods, poor sleep, and stress. Knowing these triggers can help a person head off a migraine before it starts, but that’s not always possible, and not everyone who gets migraines can identify a clear trigger.

There isn’t one treatment for migraine, and people resort to a variety of home remedies including dietary changes and lying down in a quiet, darkened room; over-the-counter drugs; and prescription medications to prevent or relieve pain.

Not surprisingly, there has been growing interest in cannabis for treating migraine. Research on medical marijuana has been limited by federal restrictions and lack of funding, so data on its effectiveness is usually scarce. But two recent studies suggest marijuana can help treat and even prevent migraines.

In a 2016 study, 121 adults with migraines who tried cannabis at the recommendation of their physician saw their migraine frequency decrease, from an average of 10.4 to 4.6 headaches per month.

A second study presented at a conference in 2017 also found that cannabis was effective for both prevention and acute treatment of migraine headaches. In one part of the study, 48 patients given an oral dose of 200mg of cannabis every day for three months experienced a 55% decrease in pain.

Much about the use of cannabis for migraines is still unknown, such as the best strain, best dose, and best method of ingestion. Not all cannabis strains will have a positive effect, and it is a good idea to consult with a cannabis physician before choosing the cannabis migraine treatment route.

When it comes to choosing a strain, there is no consensus yet on which is the most effective for curbing migraine pain or reducing their frequency. But here are some picks that appear to be helpful:

OG Kush

This is a common strain and widely available at dispensaries. Its powerful sedative effects can help relieve migraine symptoms. Due to its high THC content of 20%, this strain can give immediate relief, while its CBD content can help support long-term pain reduction. With this strain, it is important to use it when you feel a headache beginning, before it develops into a full-blown migraine.

ACDC

ACDC is a good choice for people who would like pain relief without psychoactive effects. It has a 1:20 THC/CBD ratio, with CBD levels up to 19%, and is also anti-inflammatory, which makes it effective at helping to control migraine symptoms.

Harlequin

This strain can be a little hard to find, but it has a reputation for being able to control pain. It typically contains 4-7% THC and 8-16% CBD, a balance that allows for good pain relief without an intense psychoactive effect. Similar to other strains, Harlequin should be used at the first signs of a migraine and before it becomes full blown, which is when it is most effective.

Pineapple Express

Known for being one of the “most delicious” strains to medicate with, this one also has a strong 17% THC content, and is used by individuals for treating migraines and pain in general.

Remedy

An indica strain with high levels of CBD (

15%), Remedy contains less than 1% THC, and is reported to produce a mellow state. The high CBD content helps reduce the inflammation associated with migraines, and can decrease pain without producing a high.

Northern Lights

A popular strain and a true indica, Northern Lights is effective at reducing pain as well as inducing relaxation. This strain is particularly popular for treating pain, including acute or chronic migraine headaches.

Canna-Tsu

Canna-Tsu is a hybrid strain derived from Cannatonic and Sour Tsunami, and contains high levels of CBD and low levels of THC. Best known for producing calming effects and mental clarity, it also lowers inflammation, which in turns helps control migraine symptoms. This strain has a reputation for reducing pain linked to migraines and headaches in general.

Purple Kush

For some migraines, sleep is really the best remedy, and this strain is best used at bedtime or if you have time to relax and let the migraine wear off. It has a high 17-22% THC content and a low 0.07-0.1% CBD level and induces a soothing euphoric high that in turn reduces the intensity of the migraine.

There has been growing interest in cannabis for treating migraine. Two recent studies suggest marijuana can help treat and even prevent migraines.

The Most Effective Strains for Migraines or Headaches

Tuesday September 4, 2018

T he body of consumer evidence that shows cannabis is medicine continues to grow and we’re seeing it everywhere – even though there’s a lack of scientific research. Cannabis has shown to help fight cancer, treat serious diseases and provide palliative relief for people who need it the most. Even better? The more we learn about its potential, the more astounding the marijuana plant becomes.

While there are many wondrous things to be said about cannabis as a medicine, not all medicinal users are consuming cannabis to combat a life-threatening disease. In fact, many consumers treat far less serious conditions with the help of cannabis – conditions like migraines and headaches.

A headache or migraine is unlikely to be considered life-threatening, yet cannabis has shown to be an effective treatment for many people suffering from them. While cannabis affects everyone differently and everyone may have a different marijuana product that suits their needs, here are our seven favorite strains to help fend off chronic migraines and occasional headaches.

Northern Lights

When it comes to migraines, probably nothing is worse than a migraine when you’re tired. The painful symptoms are multiplied by your exhaustion after a long day and you may feel like there’s not much you can do to find relief and relax. If you want to ease the pain and happily fall asleep, Northern Lights is a great strain that might suit your needs.

Since migraine and headache patients may experience their symptoms every day, it’s essential for them to have a constant supply of medicine. That’s why many medical cannabis consumers choose to grow their own plants. When growing for medical needs, Northern Lights is a perfect option because of its disease and mold-resistant properties. On top of that, Northern Lights is also relatively easy to grow.

Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel isn’t as easy to grow as Northern Lights, but it produces colas and buds that are well worth the effort for cannabis patients in need of a head-numbing effect. Sour Diesel is a popular, easy-to-find variety of cannabis for several good reasons. It has remarkable pain-relieving qualities, a pungent smell and powerful psychoactive properties. By distracting the mind and censoring pain signals in the endocannabinoid system, Sour Diesel helps keep migraine patients at ease while giving them the energy to continue their day as usual.

Cinderella 99

Another pungent strain that headache and migraine sufferers should consider is Cinderella 99. It’s the offspring of the legendary ‘Princess’ clone, and holds a similar royal status among cannabis patients. For starters, it’s a perfect plant for patients to grow indoors in soil – the relatively short plants produce a bounty of citrusy buds. Though sometimes a touch rotten-smelling, the flower produces a scent that is fruity and musky.

The effects of Cinderella 99 target headaches while increasing mental energy. It’s a solid bud to consume during the day when a headache needs to be stopped to finish a project or clean the house, but it’s a variety that should be avoided before sleep when the mental uptick would be undesirable.

Chem Dawg

Chem Dawg is a well-known strain that takes over the head shortly after consumption. It might even be the perfect cultivar for cannabis patients who don’t want to lose an edge on their day. Even though many head-focused varieties will drive mental activity, like Cinderella 99, Chem Dawg keeps the mind level. Chem Dawg is a parent variety to many other popular strains today, such as Sour Diesel. It’s ease-of-growth, universal enjoyment and efficacy of medication make it a wise selection for anyone suffering from headaches or migraines.

Lavender

Lavender is a favorite for patients like my mom: ripe hippies who love flowers and connecting with their plants. It has a spicy, floral taste that reminds them of the early 70s and the deeply-relaxing effect in the mind and body soothe any headaches. As the body loosens up, it brings a calming, euphoric sensation. As the mind and body reach a tranquil state, migraines are known to fade away when cannabis patients use Lavender.

Purple Indica

Purple Indica is a bit more difficult to grow than other strains on the list as it requires an extended vegetative state and additional pruning techniques, but the pay-off of growing this variety for pain relief becomes clear upon consumption. Migraine patients indicate that Purple Indica has narcotic-like effects indicative of a true purple.

Many patients are attracted to Purple Indica’s mitigating effects on headaches but don’t always want the physical slow-down of a potent indica during the day. While a daytime round of this strain may deplete your physical energy, its sleep-enhancing qualities make it more than suitable as a bedtime variety. The smell of the bud before consumption reminds consumers of a misty, evening meadow and, upon consumption, the relaxation of that scene physically manifests itself and relaxes the entire body.

Blue Cheese

Blue Cheese is a favorite among many cannabis consumers for fighting headaches. It provides a sense of pain relief without any lost focus as well as the ability to relax one’s body without reducing much energy. The experience from smelling the bud to cracking it open to consuming it is almost meditative, like walking through a smoky temple in northern India. The best part about Blue Cheese is that it grows quickly. Big, bountiful buds burst out rapidly and deliver a highly-potent medicine suited for high-tolerance consumers who need immediate pain relief.

Final Thoughts

Treating headaches and migraines can be tricky since the head is where our day begins and the strongest medical strains tend to deliver sedative-effects to the body. When the head is hurt, and the pain is relieved with cannabis, there is often a reduction in mental energy.

Depending on the time-of-day, your tolerance levels and your preferences for the organoleptic aspects of the bud, this list should provide with you the ability to find a suitable variety to treat your headaches and/or migraines without disrupting your day!

Do you treat headaches and migraines with cannabis? If so, which strain works best for you?

If you suffer from headaches or migraines, try these seven strains that might be able to help. Even better, these strains have been known to provide relief without disrupting your day! ]]>