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Migraines are surprisingly common. Approximately 1 in 7 people suffer from migraines. Making it more common than diabetes, epilepsy, and asthma combined. Chronic migraines, however, affect about 2% of the population (1 in 50). The financial cost of migraines due to absent staff members, in the US is estimated to be as much as US$17.2 billion per year.
Serotonin pathways (found within the brain) are considered the core of migraine science. The endocannabinoid system interacts with serotonin pathways in multiple places. So the purpose of this paper is to investigate this relationship further.
Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.
THC has the ability to prevent serotonin release from certain places within the brain. It also increases serotonin release from other locations. Specifically, it increases the amount of serotonin in the nerves and brain. CBD, on the other hand, is able to reduce pain and vomiting caused by the serotonin pathways by blocking them and therefore providing a balance within our endocannabinoid system that keeps us “feeling better”.
Further more, THC may, in a similar way to CBD, regulate the creation or dopaminergic imbalances within the brain that causes headaches. This paper states that
THC has demonstrated an oral potency as an anti-inflammatory 20 times that of aspirin.
This is strong evidence to suggest its huge potential as a treatment for both headaches and migraines.
Further Combined Potential Benefits
Both THC and CBD have been found to as antioxidants on a neuroprotective level which even exceed the power of vitamins C and E. This is good because neuroprotective compounds are useful for preserving the neuronal structure and how it functions.
When this combined with antioxidant properties this means you have two compounds acting as a protector for our brains and as a defender against harmful intruders causing problems.
Other than just THC and CBD, other cannabinoids also seem to play and important roles in the treatment of migraines. For this reason, purified extracts may not be as good as a plant extract containing a mix of all the cannabinoids. The right balance of raw to purified extracts need to be further monitored for more precise results.
Due to migraines, fibromyalgia and other disorders such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) all having similar symptoms and causes it appears that medical cannabis as well as some CBD based treatments could be potential treatments for each. However like most studies into these areas further research and proper clinical experiments are needed before any official treatment can be created and recommended.