Cannabis vs Prescription Drugs: Which Is Best as Migraine Medications? | cannabisMD

Cannabis vs Prescription Drugs: Which Is Best as Migraine Medications?

Best medication for migraines, cannabis or prescription drugs

If you’re a migraine sufferer, you are not alone.

While dealing with this ailment can feel lonely and frustrating at times, millions across the globe understand your pain.

Throughout the United States, close to 37 million people suffer from some form of a migraine. Many rely on harmful migraine medications to manage pain.

Migraines ranks as the 19th most common disability worldwide, with harmful prescription drugs as the most common form of treatment.

As migraines differ from person-to-person, millions of dollars are spent each year on trialing the efficacy of different prescription drugs.

While some of these migraine medications are helpful for some, many of them just aren’t for others.

However, an alternative solution to effective migraine management is available – in the form of medicinal cannabis.

Understanding Migraines

Migraines fall into a broad category of unexplainable, mysterious and confusing sets of causes and symptoms.

What spurs the onset of a migraine for one person, won’t necessarily be the same for another migraine sufferer.

One common thread amongst migraine sufferers is the amount of money, time and energy spent on trialing migraine medications.

The medical industry has taken to prescribing non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as a ”solution”, despite harmful side-effects.

While some of these NSAIDs work for some migraine sufferers, some may be completely ineffective for others.

However, the good news is that medical cannabis in the form of CBD oil has proven to be a practical solution – no matter the type of the migraine and its causes.

Getting to Grips with Migraine Pain

When suffering from a migraine, you may not have any physical symptoms. The pain is internal and is very hard for non-migraine sufferers to understand.

Migraine medications such as prescription NSAIDs are effective in pain relief, but wreak havoc on your body later.

During the pain of a migraine, these side-effects become insignificant. A sufferer’s end-goal is merely to overcome the headache as soon as possible.

Sufferers describe the pain of a migraine as a throbbing, relentless ache, only worsening with time.

The levels differ from one migraine to the next, while cluster headache sufferers endure some of the most intense discomfort known to man.

Types and Symptoms of Migraines

Migraines cover a vast field, encompassing a myriad of causes, triggers, and symptoms.

With that, the many different types of migraine medications available carry their own set of adverse side-effects.

Doctors classify migraines into seven main categories, which include:

  • Chronic migraines and cluster headaches
  • Vestibular migraines
  • Abdominal migraines
  • Menstrual migraines
  • Migraines with brainstem aura
  • Hemiplegic migraines
  • Retinal migraines

The symptoms of these individual types all vary. Most sufferers will experience the following four stages:

  1. Prodrome
  2. Migraine aura
  3. Migraine attack
  4. Post-drome syndrome

Migraines typically re-occur in the same region of the head: either across the temple, down the side of the head or above the eye.

Vastly different from other forms of headaches, they can last up to 72 hours, producing the following side-effects:

  • A stabbing, intense pain in a specific region of the head
  • Confusion and agitation
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • A feeling of weakness
  • Shaking

Prescription migraine medications are popularly used to remedy the symptoms of a migraine, but many of them fail to treat the underlying cause or the triggers.

Many NSAIDs prescribed to migraine sufferers are used to prevent or decrease the frequency of attacks. However, the body can build a tolerance to these, rendering them ineffective.

Popular Migraine Medications

In today’s day and age, scientists have researched plenty of pain treatment medicines for migraine sufferers.

Despite their progress, these migraine medications tend to bring with them nasty side-effects, decreasing the quality of life.

Many migraine sufferers have turned to alternative forms of treatment, ones that don’t leave them in a medicated ”hangover”.

The most commonly prescribed medications include:

  • Over-the-counter migraine packs including drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
  • Opiates – used in sporadic cases.
  • Ergots – a combination of caffeine and ergotamine.
  • Glucocorticoids – a form of steroid, such as prednisone.
  • Triptans – such as Rizatriptan for constricting blood vessels.

All of the above migraine medications are used to treat pain, while a host of others can be prescribed to prevent the onset of migraines.

Unfortunately, the long-term use of these prescribed medications can have severe effects on the body.

Because of these effects, research and interest in medical cannabis as a natural alternative to managing migraines has risen.

Prescription Medications vs. Medical Cannabis

For decades pharmaceutical medications have proven to stave off illness and even save lives.

There is no disputing their effectiveness in pain management and improving quality of life for many people across the globe.

But research has proven that the long-term use of pharmaceutical medications carries a heavy burden on your overall health.

Migraines are a chronic condition which can stay with sufferers for decades.

Migraine sufferers who rely on prescription migraine medications have probably been doing so for years.

Just some of the adverse side-effects of living on chronic painkillers include:

  • Painkiller addiction – especially of the opiate kind
  • Fatty liver syndrome
  • Depleted stomach lining, leading to the development of stomach ulcers
  • Cardiovascular strain, leading to heart attack or stroke
  • Weakened immune system
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Weight gain
  • Depression and anxiety

Many of the short-term side-effects of prescription migraine medications can affect the quality of life too.

Some of these include a feeling of constant drowsiness, fatigue, constipation, nausea, and diarrhea.

In the pursuit of pain and migraine management, many sufferers will try a variety of medications throughout their lifetime.

While some may be effective for a short time, the body learns to build up a tolerance, and so the cycle continues.

Medical Cannabis and Migraine Management

In the field migraine management, two compounds within the cannabis plant have been found to be highly efficient, among others.

These two compounds include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Naturalists have used medical cannabis to treat pain associated with migraines, but only recently has this treatment been cast into the spotlight.

Due to the adverse side-effects of prescription medication, the high cost and colossal opiate crisis across the United States, medical cannabis is now seen as a potentially useful form of treatment.

So how does medical cannabis and its compounds CBD and THC work to treat migraine pain and prevention?

CBD has been found to carry the following benefits on the body:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anticonvulsant
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Anti-psychotic

While THC, CBD’s close cousin has been known to offers these benefits:

  • Chronic and acute pain relief
  • Anti-spasmodic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-nausea and vomiting
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Appetite stimulant

While these are just a few of the health benefits of these two cannabis compounds, here’s how they work within the body:

Medical Cannabis and the Endocannabinoid System

The human body includes a system of receptors known as the endocannabinoid system, comprised of CB1 and CB2 receptors.

These receptors can be found throughout the body, buried within our immune cells, connective tissue, brain, endocrine system, and organs.

Research over the years has revealed that the onset or cause of migraines could be nailed down to a deficiency within this endocannabinoid system.

The cannabis plant is packed full of healthy cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, which work to react within our endocannabinoid system positively.

These cannabinoids positively stimulate CB1 and CB2 receptors, leaving behind positive effects which essentially help with:

  • The management of pain – both acute and chronic
  • Inflammation reduction
  • Sensory perception
  • Cognition
  • Endocrine function, i.e., regulation of hormones and more!

As an added benefit, CB1 receptors are ten times more prolific than opiate receptors within the body.

Naturally, medical cannabis has a far higher chance of being effective than pharmaceutical opiates.

Find Natural Pain Relief With cannabisMD

If you have been suffering from chronic migraines for some time, cannabisMD is here to offer knowledge and advice on medical cannabis as a new form of treatment.

We consider ourselves a trusted authority on the topic of medical cannabis and all its incredible benefits for a myriad of ailments.

If you are looking for sound knowledge, scientific studies, news, videos, testimonials and forums, our website has it all.

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