Does weed give you a headache?

One of many curiosities of hashish is that it could result in a variety of responses in customers. Relating to complications, some discover that it alleviates ache, whereas others declare it exacerbates it. Anecdotes abound figuring out hashish because the perpetrator for kickstarting throbbing head ache. However, people who recurrently expertise complications and migraines swear by weed to scale back the severity or frequency of their episodes.

weed and headaches
Relating to complications, some discover that it alleviates ache, whereas others declare it exacerbates it.
Picture by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Whereas particular person and anecdotal expertise is at all times legitimate, diving into scholarly analysis can supply a extra expansive view of what is going on on.

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So, what does the analysis say about hashish and complications?

Proof that hashish helps with complications

Proof has been mounting over latest years indicating the utility of hashish as a therapy for complications. Typical analgesics used to handle headache ache usually are not at all times efficient. What’s extra, they’ll generally result in extra complications — a situation generally known as medicine overuse complications.

Numerous research and surveys of human individuals have offered findings indicating that hashish might ease headache and migraine severity.

A July 2020 research revealed within the Journal of Integrative Drugs explored the efficacy of dried hashish flower as a therapy for headache and migraine ache. Between 2016 and 2019, 699 individuals engaged within the analysis, sharing particulars concerning the depth of their signs and the dried hashish flower they used to deal with their ache. Modifications in ache depth have been measured on a 0-10 scale each earlier than and after consuming hashish.

The authors discovered that 94% of individuals skilled symptom aid inside a two-hour interval. The typical discount of signs was 3.3 factors on a ten-point scale, with males experiencing larger aid than feminine customers. Younger customers additionally skilled extra vital aid than older customers. Hashish containing THC ranges of 10% or greater appeared to supply simpler symptom aid for headache victims.

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A June 2020 research revealed within the Journal of Ache investigated the consequences of hashish on complications and migraines. The research used archival information from Strainprint, a medical hashish app that allows sufferers to trace signs earlier than and after utilizing hashish. The research’s authors analyzed information from 12,293 periods the place hashish was used to deal with complications, and seven,441 periods the place it was used for migraines.

Hashish decreased the signs in 89.9% of the complications and 88.1% of the migraines. Just like the research revealed within the Journal of Integrative Drugs, males have been barely extra prone to expertise a discount in headache ache than ladies (90.9% vs 89.1%). Customers reported a 47.3% lower in headache severity and a 49.6% lower in migraine severity. The research’s authors discovered that neither hashish pressure nor cannabinoid focus appeared to influence on therapeutic efficacy. Whereas repeated hashish use generally led to creating tolerance to its results, hashish did not seem to result in medicine overuse complications related to standard therapies.

For Rosemary Mazanet, M.D., Ph.D., and Chief Scientific Officer of Columbia Care, there’s a basic consensus amongst specialists that hashish might relieve ache. “There may be proof that migraine complications might reply significantly nicely to hashish, and the underlying endocannabinoid system could also be concerned in migraine complications,” explains Mazanet. “And hashish is thought to assist with nausea normally, which may accompany migraines.”

How may hashish work on the physique to ease complications?

The physique’s serotonin system is a crucial participant in complications and migraines. Low or fluctuating ranges of serotonin are related to complications and migraines. Serotonin can be implicated within the physique’s endocannabinoid system. Anandamide, one of many two principal endocannabinoids discovered within the physique, potentiates serotonergic receptors. Low ranges of anandamide may also trigger complications and migraines. The truth is, researchers theorize that migraine is one among a number of signs brought on by Scientific Endocannabinoid Deficiency syndrome.

smoke with window light
Cannabinoids display dopamine blocking and anti inflammatory properties which will even be related in treating migraines.
Picture by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Proof means that the dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system might end in complications and migraines. People who’re poor in anandamide might subsequently profit from hashish drugs, because the cannabinoids in hashish can mimic the physique’s endocannabinoids. Cannabinoids additionally display dopamine blocking and anti inflammatory properties which will even be related in treating migraines.

Nevertheless, different components, reminiscent of stress or lack of sleep, may also contribute to complications. In these circumstances, the efficacy of hashish might relaxation in its capacity to ease stress and induce sleep.

Preclinical analysis has helped us to grasp one of many mechanisms that allow hashish to supply migraine aid. The CB1 receptor is a therapeutic goal for migraine. Delta-9 THC prompts the CB1 receptor, lowering migraine-like ache when delivered on the applicable dose and time. THC is crucial to attaining this efficacy, as a result of it has a excessive binding affinity with the CB1 receptor. CBD, which has much less of an affinity for the receptor, is unlikely to supply a lot aid if consumed with out THC.

“THC in hashish acts on receptors within the nervous system to alleviate ache and end in leisure and calm,” explains Mazanet. “CBD use may also end in a discount in irritation over time. These results mixed can assist individuals handle their stress and enhance their sleep — as a result of poor sleep is a identified explanation for complications — and thus relieves their headache ache.”

Proof that hashish can exacerbate complications

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Nevertheless, the waters turn into muddied by claims that hashish may also set off or exacerbate complications. The 2020 Journal of Ache research additionally discovered that in 2.4% of headache circumstances and three.1% of migraine circumstances, hashish exacerbated headache signs.

The 2017 research revealed within the Hurt Discount Journal additionally discovered that hashish can result in worsening headache signs and even set off episodes. The authors surmised that components reminiscent of timing, frequency of use, administration technique, and dosage may be influential. In addition they identified sure cannabinoids and terpenes might ease headache ache, whereas others may exhibit opposing results.

Complications have additionally been related to “weed hangovers.” Extreme consumption of hashish generally leads to what’s colloquially generally known as a weed hangover the next day. Mind fog, groggy emotions, and complications are generally recognized components of the hangover.

Withdrawal after continual hashish use might also spur a headache. In a research of 469 frequent hashish people who smoke revealed in Drug and Alcohol Dependence in 2010, 23.2% skilled complications as a result of hashish withdrawal.

In keeping with Mazanet, sensitivity to sure cultivars might also incite complications. “Some individuals are delicate to THC strains that may trigger them to expertise nervousness, and that might not be factor for somebody who had a headache to start with,” says Mazanet. “Individuals who know they’re delicate may wish to attempt a hybrid product or one which accommodates CBD in addition to THC.”

Backside line

Typically, the proof factors in direction of hashish doubtlessly being extra useful than dangerous in the case of complications.

“There are numerous causes for headache, however the nervousness, muscle spasms, irritation and different contributors to headache ache are normally decreased by hashish, not provoked by it,” states Mazanet. That stated, “deciding which cannabinoid to make use of for complications is a really private selection as a result of individuals reply in a different way.”

Because the research present, there aren’t any arduous and quick guidelines about which cannabinoids or ratios work finest for complications. Experimenting cautiously and responsibly with totally different hashish strains to mood complications could also be crucial to unlocking what works finest for the person. Hashish merchandise and cultivars with a wholesome amount of CBD may also assist to reduce undesirable unwanted side effects like nervousness.

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