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How does marijuana work to treat migraines?

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Marijuana is another name for cannabis, a bushy plant that’s used to make paper, rope, and other products.

Inside your brain and other parts of your body, you have a network of cannabinoid receptors. These are tiny loops of protein that affect how you feel pain.

Marijuana has natural compounds called cannabinoids. When you use it, these cannabinoids go into your body and look for the receptors. They change how the receptors work, and they can calm down pain signals. Cannabinoids may also help with nausea, anxiety, muscle spasms, or other health problems.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the cannabinoid in marijuana that gets most of the attention. It’s what makes you feel high or relaxed. That said, another product made from cannabis called cannabidiol (CBD) doesn’t make you feel intoxicated and may help ease pain. Several states have legalized CBD use for medical reasons.

   

SOURCES:

   

National Headache Foundation: “Migraine.”

   

Baron, EP. . June 2015. Headache

   

University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health: “Medical Marijuana for the Treatment of Migraine Headaches: An Evidence Review.”

   

National Conference of State Legislatures: “State Medical Marijuana Laws.”

   

Manzanares, J. . July 2006. Current Neuropharmacology

   

Benbadis, S. . Published online Nov. 2014. Expert Reviews of Neurotherapeutics

   

Project CBD.org: “What Is CBD?”

   

Rhyne, D. . Jan. 2016. Pharmacotherapy

   

Americans for Safe Access: “Guide to Using Medical Cannabis.”

   

Degenhardt, L and Hall, WD. . June 2008. Canadian Medical Association Journal

   

National Association of Attorneys General: “The Effects of Marijuana Legalization on Employment Law.”

   

National Institute on Drug Abuse: “The Biology and Potential Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol.”

   

State of Oregon: “Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana in the Workplace.”

 

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 19, 2019

   

SOURCES:

   

National Headache Foundation: “Migraine.”

   

Baron, EP. . June 2015. Headache

   

University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health: “Medical Marijuana for the Treatment of Migraine Headaches: An Evidence Review.”

   

National Conference of State Legislatures: “State Medical Marijuana Laws.”

   

Manzanares, J. . July 2006. Current Neuropharmacology

   

Benbadis, S. . Published online Nov. 2014. Expert Reviews of Neurotherapeutics

   

Project CBD.org: “What Is CBD?”

   

Rhyne, D. . Jan. 2016. Pharmacotherapy

   

Americans for Safe Access: “Guide to Using Medical Cannabis.”

   

Degenhardt, L and Hall, WD. . June 2008. Canadian Medical Association Journal

   

National Association of Attorneys General: “The Effects of Marijuana Legalization on Employment Law.”

   

National Institute on Drug Abuse: “The Biology and Potential Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol.”

   

State of Oregon: “Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana in the Workplace.”

 

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 19, 2019

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