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Medical Marijuana Strains for Migraine Headaches

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Medical marijuana has been shown to ease the pain of those who suffer with migraine headaches and here at Sensible Seeds we have undertaken extensive research into the cannabis strains and treatments that will most benefit migraine headache sufferers. Sensible Seeds is committed to bringing beneficial cannabis strains and related medical marijuana information to you, and we are updating our website as new discoveries come to light. We have sourced information from a variety of well-established medical marijuana websites and a summary of this information is laid out for you below.

What are migraine headaches?

Migraine headaches can be severe and incapacitating. Neither scientists nor doctors are clear about the reasons for migraines although research suggests that genetics and environmental factors play a role.  Approximately 15% of the global population suffer with migraines, particularly women.  About 80% of people who suffer with migraine headaches have a close family member who also does.

It has been suggested that migraine headaches are caused by changes in the trigeminal nerve. This is a major pain pathway and the nerve responsible for the sensation we feel in our face and certain motor functions such as biting and chewing. However, an imbalance in our brain chemicals may also be a factor.  One of our neurotransmitters, serotonin, that helps regulate pain throughout the nervous system, could be involved.

Unfortunately, the causes of migraine headaches are unclear and many patients fail to obtain relief from treatments that are widely available. 

What triggers migraine headaches?

There are a number of factors that may be the triggers for migraine headaches. These include: hormonal changes, such as menstruation, menopause and pregnancy; certain foods such as MSG, chocolate, cheese, nuts, and alcohol; missing a meal; a change in weather and changes in atmospheric pressure; or stress.  

What are the symptoms of migraine headaches?

The most common symptom of migraine headache is the most obvious; the onset of pain becomes severe and debilitating. About 20% of migraine sufferers will also have an aura (usually a visual disturbance) before the onset of pain.   Migraine pain generally appears on one side of the head but 30-40% of people will have pain on both sides.  Patients describe the headaches as throbbing sensations in one part of the head and this can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, facial pallor, cold hands and feet and severe sensitivity to light and sound.

A migraine headache is not just an ordinary headache; it is a recognized neurological disease. It can affect anyone. Attacks come very suddenly and may last for days; the worst migraines stay up to 3 days. 

Current medical thinking and migraine headaches

Many of the medications currently used for migraine headaches have significant side effects and often do not prevent or relieve all of the symptoms. Migraines are caused by the dilatation of the temporal arteries, so the main work of a remedy is to constrict those arteries. The two major drug groups used in migraine are ergots and triptans. Both of these come with several side effects which occur partly because of an inability of a patient to absorb the pill which is usually thrown straight back up again. 

Medical marijuana for migraine headaches

Treatment using medical marijuana for migraine headaches dates back to the nineteenth century and in spite of prohibition it has gradually started to regain popularity to ease the symptoms of migraine headaches. Cannabis was widely prescribed by Western doctors during the second half of the nineteenth century, after it was brought back from India. A large number of Victorian pharmacopoeias carried cannabis and a variety of prominent Victorian physicians including Sir William Osler, spoke if its virtues. In 1915, Sir Osler wrote that ‘Cannabis indica is probably the most satisfactory remedy’ for migraines and agreed with others that a ‘prolonged course’ of cannabis treatment was recommended for sufferers. In 1916, Dr. Dixon, Professor of Pharmacology at the Kings’ College and the University of Cambridge wrote in agreement.

During the twentieth century the political climate and attitude towards marijuana changed. Research was not funded and medical marijuana was not promoted as an effective treatment for migraines. However, the knowledge that medical marijuana prevented or lessened the intolerable pain of migraine headaches was passed around and medical marijuana patients have continued to use it.

Of course further scientific research would be beneficial, but it is clear that MMJ patients can use medical marijuana safely and effectively to prevent and treat their migraine headaches and in fact a number of MMJ patients have chosen to dispose of their prescription medications. Studies conducted on animals indicate solid support for its therapeutic possibilities. Additional benefits for medical marijuana patients include improved sleep, less stress and anxiety, and a reduction in the frequency of migraine headaches.  MMJ patients note an improvement in the quality of life.

Surveys conducted in California note that around 5% of medical marijuana patients use it for migraine relief, and recent research has shown that THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, inhibits the release of serotonin from the blood of migraine sufferers during an acute attack, which reduced the pain symptoms.  

 The Role of Cannabinoids in Migraine headaches

The endocannabinoid system is the part of the brain that mediates the psychoactive effects of cannabis. It consists of a group of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors (known as cannabinoid receptors) that are involved in a number of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. These receptors are found in high concentrations throughout the brain. When cannabinoid receptors are active, this has a positive impact on many of the factors associated with migraine headaches. In fact, a lack of endocannabinoids may contribute to the development and severity of migraine attacks.

A 2007 animal study found that increased activity of the endocannabinoid system led to a reduction in pain signals sent by the brain stem. The authors therefore concluded that cannabinoids showed promise as a treatment for sufferers of migraines and other headaches. A 2011 animal study further concluded that cannabinoids had the potential to relieve pain associated with migraines and highlighted the possible role of endocannabinoid system abnormalities in migraine attacks, noting that “a dysfunction of the endocannabinoid system may contribute to the development of migraine attacks and that a pharmacological modulation of cannabinoid receptors can be useful for the treatment of migraine pain” (Greco et al., 2011).

Studies have also found that endocannabinoids may reduce those specific serotonin receptors that are involved with symptoms of nausea and pain or can be effective at decreasing the activity of serotonin itself. THC has also been shown to minimize the release of serotonin from blood cells and cannabinoids such as THC and CBD that are found in marijuana have strong anti-inflammatory effects. A 1973 animal study noted that THC was 20 times stronger than aspirin and nearly twice as strong as hydrocortisone in reducing acute inflammation. All of this evidence suggests that marijuana compounds can regulate serotonin levels in migraine patients. 

Research into the effectiveness of medical marijuana for migraine headaches.

Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine (Dr. Lester Grinspoon, 1993) discusses the use of medical marijuana for migraine headaches in detail. Migraine sufferers, who repeatedly failed to obtain relief from standard pharmaceuticals, found that small doses of marijuana worked best for managing symptoms. In 2009 one researcher found that marijuana halted cluster headaches in a patient who had been unable to obtain relief from traditional medications. Extraordinarily, the patient found marijuana to work within five minutes of taking the drug.

Being anti-emetic, medical marijuana for migraine headaches stops you from vomiting, and provides you with anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. Medical marijuana relaxes tense muscles during attacks and is best used in conjunction with non-drug relief, such as avoiding light and sound during attacks, and other known triggers

Most evidence is of course anecdotal and migraine sufferers who turn to cannabis for relief are likely to face resistance from the medical community over the ‘unproven’ safety and effectiveness of this alternative headache treatment. 

Medical marijuana for migraine headaches – Sensible Seeds

We are constantly updating the list of the marijuana seeds available for migraine patients. Keep checking the Sensible Seeds websites for updates.

Humboldt - Blue Dream -
Grand Daddy Purps - Phantom cookies -
Grand Daddy Purps - Grand Daddy Purple -
Vision Seeds - AK49 -


Spliff - Diesel -


Medicann  - Trainwreck REG -


Medicann - Trainwreck FEM -


Medicann - Scrog REG -


Vision Seeds - Amnesia -


Spliff Seeds - Cheese -


Spliff Seeds - Jack F1 REG -


Spliff Seeds - Master Kush REG -


Rare Dankness - Vale REG -


Rare Dankness - Lee Roy REG -


Rare Dankness - Flo OG REG -


Rare Dankness - Dark Shadow Haze REG -


Rare Dankness - Commerce City Kush REG -


MTG Seeds -  Prezidential Kush REG -


MTG Seeds - Prezidential Kush 1.2 REG -


Medicann - Scrog FEM -


Medicann - OG Kush REG -


Medicann - OG Kush FEM -


Medicann - Kush Fromage REG -


Medicann - Kush Fromage FEM -


Medicann - Dawg REG -


Medicann  - Dawg FEM -


Medicann - Cali Jack REG -


Medicann - Cali Jack FEM -


Grand Daddy Purps - Grand Daddy Purp REG -


Emerald Triangle - Lost Coast OG REG -


Emerald Triangle  - Lost Coast OG FEM -


Big Head Seeds - Milestone FEM -


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Sensible Seeds source all their medical marijuana information from related MMJ sites on the web. This information comes from reliable sources though we cannot be 100% certain of its accuracy. Medical Marijuana strains listed for helping certain medical conditions are again sourced from other medical marijuana web sites and are not officially approved by any government organisation. Recommended strains usually come from individuals that discovered that a particular strain helped them for a particular condition though this may vary from person to person. Our Medical information serves only as a guideline and customers are advised to make their own independent research. Sensible Seeds are not qualified medical practitioners and source any medical info from information already present on the internet. We cannot accept any liability for any issue arising for information provided on our website.

The Service provides general information about medical conditions and treatments and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

You must not rely on the information provided by this Service as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information provided by this Service.

Reliance on any information provided by Sensible Seeds employees, other parties privy to the Service, or other users of the Service is solely at your own risk.


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