Research from Washington State University suggests cannabis could be used to relieve headaches, university researchers said in the Journal of Pain.
According to the research, inhaled cannabis reduces self-reported headache severity by 47.3% and migraine severity by 49.6%.
According to Washington State, the study was the first to use big data from headache and migraine patients using cannabis in real time.
“We were motivated to do this study because a substantial number of people say they use cannabis for headache and migraine, but surprisingly few studies had addressed the topic,” said Carrie Cuttler, a Washington State University assistant professor of psychology, the lead author on the paper.
Cuttler did caution that there could be a placebo effect, and that further research is needed.
“I suspect there are some slight overestimates of effectiveness,” said Cuttler. “My hope is that this research will motivate researchers to take on the difficult work of conducting placebo-controlled trials. In the meantime, this at least gives medical cannabis patients and their doctors a little more information about what they might expect from using cannabis to manage these conditions.”
The study also found no significant difference between the effectiveness of THC and CBD, two active ingredients in cannabis.
One prior study indicated that cannabis was more effective than ibuprofen in reducing headaches, but that study used nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid drug.