Inhaled Marijuana Kills Headaches, Journal Reports - Opposing Views

Inhaled Marijuana Kills Headaches, Journal Reports

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"Marijuana use at the onset of his headaches consistently brought complete relief within five minutes of inhalation for each attack"

BRONX, NY --- Inhaling cannabis completely relieved the pain associated with cluster headaches, according to a case study published in the journal Headache.

Neurologists
from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York reported that
a 19-year-old patient with a cyclical pattern of cluster headaches
responded favorably to smoked cannabis. The patient lacked
responsiveness to numerous traditional treatments – including
prednisone, sumatriptan (trade name: Imitrex), and oxycodone – but did
report, "Marijuana use at the onset of his headaches consistently
brought complete relief within five minutes of inhalation for each
attack."

Investigators
reported that the patient also received relief from the administration
of five-milligram doses of synthetic oral THC (dronanabinol). They
wrote, "[D]ronabinol was substituted for marijuana for acute treatment
of his cluster headaches; dronabinol consistently provided dramatic
relief within five to fifteen minutes of ingestion."

Researchers
concluded, "We present a patient with cluster headache who was
refractory to multiple acute and preventive medications, but
successfully aborted his attacks with recreational marijuana use. ...
The beneficial effect may be related to the high concentration of
cannabinoid receptors in the hypothalamus, which has been implicated as
a site of dysfunction in neuroimaging studies of patients with cluster
headache."

In 2007, investigators at Italy’s University of Perugia, Department of Public Health, reported that patients with chronic migraines possessed "significantly lower" levels of the endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) in their platelets compared to age-matched controls."

These
data support the potential involvement of a dysfunctioning of the
endocannabinoid and serotonergic systems in the pathology of chronic
migraine and medication-overuse headaches," they concluded.

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