Can I use weed to treat my headaches without all the side effects? I don't like being stoned.
Dear Brain Pain:
I've suffered from migraines since I was ten, and have had varying successes and failures — as well as some really wacky side effects — with traditional medicine. Personally, I find that cannabis helps with my migraines. Sometimes it dulls the pain, but it always helps me fall asleep (the real migraine remover) and fight off any ensuing nausea. But let's see what science says.
A study conducted in 2019
by Washington State University found that smoking cannabis reduced self-reported headache severity by over 47 percent and migraine severity by nearly 50 percent, but researchers noted participants’ tolerances increasing over time. A 2017 study
at the University of California concluded that cannabis will likely emerge as a “potential treatment for some headache sufferers.” Both studies, however, said that more research is needed to confirm. Dosage and consumption methods aren't really dialed in yet, either. Most headache sufferers using cannabis apparently choose the smoking route, which leads to those stoney-baloney side effects you're scared of.
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