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Medical Marijuana for Migraine: A Reader’s Story

Medical marijuana stories tend to fall into one of two categories: “OMG, it’s so amazing!” or “Marijuana is the worst thing ever.” Reality, as well all know, tends to be a bit more nuanced. A reader left her story on my most on medical marijuana for migraine and headache disorders. I’m sharing it with you because she is detailed in her explanation and also acknowledges some of those nuances.

I have had migraines for 34 years. (since I was 5)

I have tried everything. (No need for a list, we all seem to have similarly long lists of failed meds.)

One thing I had never tried (for migraine) was medical marijuana! I just assumed it was a recreational drug with out real abilities to help with pain, nausea and many other ailments. So, when it became legal to obtain medical marijuana I gave it a try. This plant has helped me tremendously. (Ok, here is where you wonder….) this is what I have found… I can take one or two inhalations off of a Vaporizer or just old fashioned joint and I am able to function again (remember that feeling you had the first time you took a triptan and it worked, yeah, that kind of amazing) now, I’m not saying this will work for everyone or is it for everyone but, if your in a state where medical marijuana is legal, you owe it to yourself to try it and see. It’s not like all the serious medications we’ve all tried over our life time aren’t putting us at risk for a lot of other side effects. Funny none of them offer feeling happy and relaxed as a side effect;) There have been times where I feel a migraine coming on and I inhale one or two hits and I am almost instantly feeling better, heck often I want to do something, like make a yummy dinner or go for a bike ride! (Really, no other medication has ever made me feel that way and helped curb a migraine)

I’m glad I got over the stigma of marijuana. My conservative family sees the change in my health, and are supportive. (I didn’t dare tell anyone until I tried it and knew that it was a reliable tool in my migraine tool box of medications and supplements)

Questions:

Yes, I have a job. (Landscape Desinger) yes, I do keep careful eye on what I eat and drink tons of water. I consider myself a migraine scholar, always reading and trying to learn more. I am a regular gal, looking for answers…willing to try just about anything to just feel better and regain my life)

No, I don’t drink or do other drugs, never been my thing. I don’t get all silly and goofy when I medicate with marijuana. Yes it makes me feel better. I I medicate with marijuana I do feel uplifted, like life is a bit better and my cup feels full. My nausea goes away, severity of throbbing is diminished and I am able to function again.

Now, if I’ve had a migraine for days, and have taken all my rescue RX’s and at that point nothing seems to help, but the marijuana still takes the edge off of my nausea and pain. When I am days into a migraine I prefer to use an edible marijuana candy, (like a flavored cough drop with 25, 50, or 100mg of THC a compound in marijuana)

I don’t think marijuana is a cure all. It does help for me. I am thankful a simple flowering plant has helped me regain some quality of life with my family. I can only hope that enough folks will be willing and able to try this medicine as an option in their migraine tool box. Thank you for reading. I appreciate your time.

This is, of course, only one person’s story. Marijuana, like any medication, should be used wisely and with caution. Please read Medical Marijuana for Migraine & Headache Disorders for guidance and remember to use it in moderation to avoid the risk of rebound (medication overuse) headaches.

If you’d like to share your experience, please leave a comment or send it to me by email: kerrie[at]thedailyheadache[dot]com.

16 Responses to Medical Marijuana for Migraine: A Reader’s Story

  1. Dana says:

    Thank you for posting this! I have wondered whether marijuana might help me, but have hesitated to take something that might actually make my migraine worse. I think I will give it a try.

    • Dana, I don’t know of anyone who has felt worse in the long-term, though the possibility of worsening even a single migraine attack can be scary. If you have any helpful rescue meds, you may want to try the marijuana before those so you have a rescue med left in your arsenal in case you feel worse. Also, you may want to try a strain that promotes sleep. If the migraine does get worse, then maybe the marijuana will help you escape it with sleep. Best of luck!

      Kerrie

  2. Judy says:

    Thank you for your observations. You are not alone in this. I know others who have been helped my marijuana. It is certainly worth a try and given the track record of all those meds they shove our way this way well have the least side effects. Have to wonder why it is not more widely used. I believe that’s because of big pharma.

  3. J Hattori says:

    Kerrie
    I took medical marijuana for pain from cancer . I inhaled the fumes, not the smoke, and it worked for a while until I developed a lung problem. When I stopped the medical marij. my lung problem disappeared. I have heard of others taking medical marij. and the same thing happened to them. I also ate marij. via muffin someone gave me since I was becoming unable to take the fumes due to lung pain and eating it is another story. I do not recommend it as it is systemic and goes into the blood stream I ended up in hospital with a bad trip.
    J Hattori

  4. JC says:

    The use of cannabis as a medicine is very different from using it recreationally. Many dispensaries or certified marijuana doctors provide education as to how to use it properly as a medicine. Most now say to use it at low dose and gradually increase to a dose slowly that seems to provide relief. As the author said, just two puffs or 2 drops of tincture or oil or an 1/8 of a medible is the way to begin. That’s a far different approach to recreationally. Each individual reaction is different. Taking too much can aggravate symptoms instead of relieving them. Getting high is not necessary to obtain relief. However, it is common for people to have a sense of relaxation and well-being unlike anything else. I first used it after I was 60, always afraid of feeling “out of control”. That has never happened.There are great websites that provide information. Read about the endocannabinoid system to understand exactly how it works.

  5. I have been suffering from migraines for over 10 yrs. I am currently having great success with Medical Marijuana. I am detailing my experience here http://migrainelifemm.blogspot.ca/?m=1

  6. Mindy says:

    Is the original author of this story still doing well? I read about some peoples experience w/ some type of cannabis patch & it worked wonders w/o the high. I live in MO but IL is considering medical marijuana. If it worked I’d seriously consider moving!!!

  7. Hi Mindy,

    I am going through it right now, and it is working. If you ever have any questions about migraines or medical marijuana dont hesitate to email me.

  8. Judy says:

    Just came across Mary’s medicinal.com. They make medicinal marijuana patches that seem to help many who have chronic pain. I’m curious if anyone has tried them and gotten relief from their migraines. Here’s the link to more info. They are only available in Colorado right now with Washington State availability next.
    http://www.marysmedicinals.com/our-products

  9. Nathan says:

    Just wanted to shoot a quick update here for everyone http://www.migrainelifemm.com.

    Days without pain meds: 23
    Days without prescription meds: 11 (last imitrex injection)
    Pounds lost: 28 (218 lbs) (Since Aug.31.2014!!!)

    I am getting better! 10 years of suffering and I finally feel like I’ve found what helps me. It hasn’t been easy and it’s not over but I am getting better and better everyday.

  10. Lynn says:

    It’s been almost 2 years since this thread was active. I noticed that Nathan’s blog ended about the same time. If you are still following this blog, Nathan, it would be nice to hear how you are doing and if the MM is still helping.

    Thanks, Lynn

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