Does medical cannabis help when your head is buzzing?

January 11, 2023

Headaches are among the most common types of pain in many Western countries. A new study from Canada gives hope to sufferers: cannabinoids appear to significantly alleviate the symptoms of headache patients.  

The study surveyed a total of 200 pain patients at a Calgary clinic about their use of cannabis preparations. 34 percent of respondents reported regular use – mainly in form of liquid cannabis preparations or by inhaling cannabis flowers. The preparations were used both to prevent pain and to combat acute conditions.   

Cannabis reduces pain intensity and has a preventive effect 

The results are promising: nearly two-thirds of regular users described reduced pain intensity, and about 30 percent reported that their headaches were less frequent when they took cannabinoids. The study authors concluded “a high individual benefit of cannabinoids in the treatment of headache.” In the future, they hope to see more controlled studies and a broader data base for the use of pharmaceutical cannabis in the treatment of severe headaches.
In Canada, cannabis is legalized for both medical and recreational use.   

Melinyshyn AN, Amoozegar F. Cannabinoid Use in a Tertiary Headache Clinic: A Cross-Sectional Survey. Can J Neurol Sci. 2022 Nov;49(6):781-790. doi: 10.1017/cjn.2021.215.

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