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The pot may not be the best Rx for a migraine

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MONDAY March 1, 2021 (HealthDay News) – If you decide to try the pot to relieve your migraine, new research suggests you might be asking for trouble.

In reality, marijuana the use was related to rebound headache, which can occur when pain the drugs are overused, the scientists noted.

“This study shows that there is some kind of association between cannabis use and drug overuse. headache in people with chronic migraine, but it is not known at this time whether patients use cannabis to treat headaches associated with overuse of drugs, or whether cannabis contributes to the development of headache due to overuse of drugs. drugs, or both, ”said lead researcher Dr. Niushen Zhang. Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine in California.

Many people with chronic migraines self-treat with marijuana, and there is some evidence that marijuana can help relieve other types of chronic pain, Zhang said.

“We found that people with chronic migraines who used cannabis were six times more likely to also experience headaches from overuse of medications, commonly referred to as ‘rebound headaches’, compared to people with chronic migraines that did not use cannabis, ”she said.

Zhang’s team reviewed the medical records of 368 people with chronic migraines for at least a year. Chronic migraine is 15 or more headache days per month. Of these patients, 150 used pot.

Of those in the study, 212 patients had headaches due to overuse of medication. Researchers found that people who used potty were more likely to have these headaches than those who did not. People who used opioids were also more likely to use pot.

Previous research has shown that both opioids and marijuana can affect the part of the brain related to migraine.

Dr Robert Duarte, director of the Northwell Health Pain Center in Great Neck, NY, reviewed the study and said rebound headaches could be a problem when patients use the potty to treat migraines.

“At this point, we can’t draw a real conclusion,” he said, but cannabis works for complaints associated with migraines, like sleep problems and anxiety.


Duarte said, however, that cannabis shouldn’t be the first drug that we try to control migraines. “You always want to try the standard drugs that are out there. There are so many new drugs that are good and effective – these should clearly be the first line treatments,” he said.

Plus, it’s unclear whether marijuana can cause a bad reaction to these newer drugs, Duarte said.

“If you are using marijuana, it is best to use it under the direction of a doctor who is certified to provide this treatment,” he said. “Many patients use it on the streets. Recreational cannabis is clearly not recommended, but I hear stories from patients telling me that it helps calm them and improve sleep.”

But if a patient develops cannabis-related rebound headaches, it’s best to stop using it, Duarte said.

“Try to stop it and see if those headaches go away,” he recommended. “It may take a while because the cannabis stays in your system for a while. So it may take a few weeks or more to notice improvement after you stop using marijuana.”

The results will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual virtual meeting, April 17-22. Such research is considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

To learn more about migraine, see the National Headache Foundation.

SOURCES: Niushen Zhang, MD, clinical assistant professor, neurology and neurological sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California; Robert Duarte, MD, director, Northwell Health Pain Center, Great Neck, NY; American Academy of Neurology Virtual Meeting, April 17-22, 2021

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