Short- and Long-Term Effects of Cannabis on Headache and Migraine.

“Use of cannabis to alleviate headache and migraine is relatively common, yet research on its effectiveness remains sparse.

We sought to determine whether inhalation of cannabis decreases headache and migraine ratings as well as whether gender, type of cannabis (concentrate vs. flower), THC, CBD, or dose contribute to changes in these ratings. Finally, we explored evidence for tolerance to these effects.

Archival data were obtained from StrainprintTM, a medical cannabis app that allows patients to track symptoms before and after using different strains and doses of cannabis. Latent change score models and multilevel models were used to analyze data from 12,293 sessions where cannabis was used to treat headache and 7,441 sessions where cannabis was used to treat migraine.

There were significant reductions in headache and migraine ratings after cannabis use.

Men reported larger reductions in headache than women and use of concentrates was associated with larger reductions in headache than flower. Further, there was evidence of tolerance to these effects.

Perspective: Inhaled cannabis reduces self-reported headache and migraine severity by approximately 50%. However, its effectiveness appears to diminish across time and patients appear to use larger doses across time, suggesting tolerance to these effects may develop with continued use.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31715263

“Headache and migraine ratings were reduced by nearly 50% after using cannabis.”

https://www.jpain.org/article/S1526-5900(19)30848-X/fulltext

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[Significance of the endocannabinoid system in migraine].

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“Based on the traditional pain-relieving effect of Cannabis species an endogenous cannabinoid like system was discovered in the human body. Endocannabinoids have important role in the homeostasis of the body, such as stress response and mood control, feeding behaviour, energy balance and metabolism, immunological processes, and also play important role in controlling pain processing. Previous studies suggested that an endocannabinoid dysfunction, namely endocannabinoid deficit, might contribute to the development of migraine and its chronification. Although, the exact nature of the relationship between migraine and endocannabinoid system is not fully understood yet, in this brief review we summarise research results suggesting that the endocannabinoid system may be a potential drug target in the migraine therapy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30962405

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The endocannabinoid system in migraine: from bench to pharmacy and back.

 Image result for curr opin neurol“Migraine is a common, highly disabling disorder. Its treatment involves acute and preventive therapy. Many of available preventive medications are not well tolerated, which results in poor compliance and limited effectiveness. Cannabinoids have been proposed for the treatment of migraine but their efficacy and tolerability are controversial.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Cannabinoids modulate functions and activity of signaling pathways that have a key role in pain control. Growing preclinical evidence and initial clinical findings suggest that modulation of the endocannabinoid system, via endogenous or exogenous cannabinoids may be relevant for migraine via multiple mechanisms.

SUMMARY:

The endocannabinoid system qualifies as an interesting area of research worth exploration in the quest for therapeutic targets for the treatment of migraine.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30883435

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Understanding the endocannabinoid system as a modulator of the trigeminal pain response to concussion.

“Post-traumatic headache is the most common symptom of postconcussion syndrome and becomes a chronic neurological disorder in a substantial proportion of patients.

This review provides a brief overview of the epidemiology of postconcussion headache, research models used to study this disorder, as well as the proposed mechanisms.

An objective of this review is to enhance the understanding of how the endogenous cannabinoid system is essential for maintaining the balance of the CNS and regulating inflammation after injury, and in turn making the endocannabinoid system a potential modulator of the trigeminal response to concussion.

The review describes the role of endocannabinoid modulation of pain and the potential for use of phytocannabinoids to treat pain, migraine and concussion.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30202590

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Medicinal Properties of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids in Cannabis, and Benefits in Migraine, Headache, and Pain: An Update on Current Evidence and Cannabis Science.

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“Comprehensive literature reviews of historical perspectives and evidence supporting cannabis/cannabinoids in the treatment of pain, including migraine and headache, with associated neurobiological mechanisms of pain modulation have been well described.

Most of the existing literature reports on the cannabinoids Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), or cannabis in general. There are many cannabis strains that vary widely in the composition of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds. These components work synergistically to produce wide variations in benefits, side effects, and strain characteristics. Knowledge of the individual medicinal properties of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids is necessary to cross-breed strains to obtain optimal standardized synergistic compositions. This will enable targeting individual symptoms and/or diseases, including migraine, headache, and pain.

OBJECTIVE:

Review the medical literature for the use of cannabis/cannabinoids in the treatment of migraine, headache, facial pain, and other chronic pain syndromes, and for supporting evidence of a potential role in combatting the opioid epidemic. Review the medical literature involving major and minor cannabinoids, primary and secondary terpenes, and flavonoids that underlie the synergistic entourage effects of cannabis. Summarize the individual medicinal benefits of these substances, including analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

CONCLUSION:

There is accumulating evidence for various therapeutic benefits of cannabis/cannabinoids, especially in the treatment of pain, which may also apply to the treatment of migraine and headache. There is also supporting evidence that cannabis may assist in opioid detoxification and weaning, thus making it a potential weapon in battling the opioid epidemic. Cannabis science is a rapidly evolving medical sector and industry with increasingly regulated production standards. Further research is anticipated to optimize breeding of strain-specific synergistic ratios of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytochemicals for predictable user effects, characteristics, and improved symptom and disease-targeted therapies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30152161

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Patterns of medicinal cannabis use, strain analysis, and substitution effect among patients with migraine, headache, arthritis, and chronic pain in a medicinal cannabis cohort.

The Journal of Headache and Pain Cover Image

“Medicinal cannabis registries typically report pain as the most common reason for use. It would be clinically useful to identify patterns of cannabis treatment in migraine and headache, as compared to arthritis and chronic pain, and to analyze preferred cannabis strains, biochemical profiles, and prescription medication substitutions with cannabis.

RESULTS:

Of 2032 patients, 21 illnesses were treated with cannabis. Pain syndromes accounted for 42.4% (n = 861) overall; chronic pain 29.4% (n = 598;), arthritis 9.3% (n = 188), and headache 3.7% (n = 75;). Across all 21 illnesses, headache was a symptom treated with cannabis in 24.9% (n = 505). These patients were given the ID Migraine™ questionnaire, with 68% (n = 343) giving 3 “Yes” responses, 20% (n = 102) giving 2 “Yes” responses (97% and 93% probability of migraine, respectively). Therefore, 88% (n = 445) of headache patients were treating probable migraine with cannabis. Hybrid strains were most preferred across all pain subtypes, with “OG Shark” the most preferred strain in the ID Migraine™ and headache groups. Many pain patients substituted prescription medications with cannabis (41.2-59.5%), most commonly opiates/opioids (40.5-72.8%). Prescription substitution in headache patients included opiates/opioids (43.4%), anti-depressant/anti-anxiety (39%), NSAIDs (21%), triptans (8.1%), anti-convulsants (7.7%), muscle relaxers (7%), ergots (0.4%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Chronic pain was the most common reason for cannabis use, consistent with most registries. The majority of headache patients treating with cannabis were positive for migraine. Hybrid strains were preferred in ID Migraine™, headache, and most pain groups, with “OG Shark”, a high THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol)/THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), low CBD (cannabidiol)/CBDA (cannabidiolic acid), strain with predominant terpenes β-caryophyllene and β-myrcene, most preferred in the headache and ID Migraine™ groups. This could reflect the potent analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-emetic properties of THC, with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of β-caryophyllene and β-myrcene. Opiates/opioids were most commonly substituted with cannabis. Prospective studies are needed, but results may provide early insight into optimizing crossbred cannabis strains, synergistic biochemical profiles, dosing, and patterns of use in the treatment of headache, migraine, and chronic pain syndromes.”

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Medication overuse headache following repeated morphine, but not [INCREMENT]9-tetrahydrocannabinol administration in the female rat.

 

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“The potential of [INCREMENT]-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as a treatment for migraine depends on antinociceptive efficacy with repeated administration.

Although morphine has good antinociceptive efficacy, repeated administration causes medication overuse headache (MOH) – a condition in which the intensity/frequency of migraine increases.

The present study compared the effect of repeated morphine or THC administration on the magnitude and duration of migraine-like pain induced by a microinjection of allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) onto the dura mater of female rats.

Acute administration of THC or morphine prevented AITC-induced depression of wheel running. This antinociception was maintained in rats treated repeatedly with THC, but not following repeated administration of morphine. Moreover, repeated morphine, but not THC administration, extended the duration of AITC-induced depression of wheel running.

These data indicate that tolerance and MOH develop rapidly to morphine administration. The lack of tolerance and MOH to THC indicates that THC may be an especially effective long-term treatment against migraine.”

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Emerging Role of (Endo)Cannabinoids in Migraine.

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“In this mini-review, we summarize recent discoveries and present new hypotheses on the role of cannabinoids in controlling trigeminal nociceptive system underlying migraine pain.

Individual sections of this review cover key aspects of this topic, such as: (i) the current knowledge on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) with emphasis on expression of its components in migraine related structures; (ii) distinguishing peripheral from central site of action of cannabinoids, (iii) proposed mechanisms of migraine pain and control of nociceptive traffic by cannabinoids at the level of meninges and in brainstem, (iv) therapeutic targeting in migraine of monoacylglycerol lipase and fatty acid amide hydrolase, enzymes which control the level of endocannabinoids; (v) dual (possibly opposing) actions of cannabinoids via anti-nociceptive CB1 and CB2 and pro-nociceptive TRPV1 receptors.

We explore the cannabinoid-mediated mechanisms in the frame of the Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD) hypothesis, which implies reduced tone of endocannabinoids in migraine patients. We further discuss the control of cortical excitability by cannabinoids via inhibition of cortical spreading depression (CSD) underlying the migraine aura.

Finally, we present our view on perspectives of Cannabis-derived (extracted or synthetized marijuana components) or novel endocannabinoid therapeutics in migraine treatment.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29740328

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Endocannabinoid System and Migraine Pain: An Update.

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“The trigeminovascular system (TS) activation and the vasoactive release from trigeminal endings, in proximity of the meningeal vessels, are considered two of the main effector mechanisms of migraine attacks. Several other structures and mediators are involved, however, both upstream and alongside the TS.

Among these, the endocannabinoid system (ES) has recently attracted considerable attention. Experimental and clinical data suggest indeed a link between dysregulation of this signaling complex and migraine headache.

Clinical observations, in particular, show that the levels of anandamide (AEA)-one of the two primary endocannabinoid lipids-are reduced in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma of patients with chronic migraine (CM), and that this reduction is associated with pain facilitation in the spinal cord.

AEA is produced on demand during inflammatory conditions and exerts most of its effects by acting on cannabinoid (CB) receptors. AEA is rapidly degraded by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) enzyme and its levels can be modulated in the peripheral and central nervous system (CNS) by FAAH inhibitors.

Inhibition of AEA degradation via FAAH is a promising therapeutic target for migraine pain, since it is presumably associated to an increased availability of the endocannabinoid, specifically at the site where its formation is stimulated (e.g., trigeminal ganglion and/or meninges), thus prolonging its action.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29615860

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2018.00172/full

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Anti-migraine effect of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol in the female rat.

European Journal of Pharmacology

“Current anti-migraine treatments have limited efficacy and many side effects. Although anecdotal evidence suggests that marijuana is useful for migraine, this hypothesis has not been tested in a controlled experiment. Thus, the present study tested whether administration of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) produces anti-migraine effects in the female rat.

These data suggest that: 1) THC reduces migraine-like pain when administered at the right dose (0.32mg/kg) and time (immediately after AITC); 2) THC’s anti-migraine effect is mediated by CB1 receptors; and 3) Wheel running is an effective method to assess migraine treatments because only treatments producing antinociception without disruptive side effects will restore normal activity.

These findings support anecdotal evidence for the use of cannabinoids as a treatment for migraine in humans and implicate the CB1 receptor as a therapeutic target for migraine.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29111112

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014299917307239?via%3Dihub

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