Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches medical cannabis treatment

Cluster headaches is a type of rare headache disorder that causes reoccurring, excruciating and intense headaches - typically affecting one side of the head. Anecdotal, real-life evidence suggests that medical cannabis may be able to reduce the severity of pain felt during a headache, and for this reason it has been endorsed by a high percentage of those who have tried cannabis treatments for migraine or headache relief.

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65,000

People in the UK suffer from cluster headaches, affecting 1 in 1,000.

3 times

Men are 3 times more likely to experience cluster headaches than women.

76%

Of sufferers support the use of medical cannabis migraine treatments.

47%

Reduction in headache severity reported after cannabis use in a patient survey.

“Having a medical cannabis card makes me feel better - and that counts“

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Daisy, Releaf Patient

October 2023

Am I eligible?

Articles on Cluster headaches

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12. 07. 2023

Exploring the benefits of cannabis for cluster headaches

The incidence of cluster headaches in the UK, and in the world generally, is quite low. Roughly 27,000 people in the UK suffer from cluster headaches, with a majority experiencing episodic cluster headaches. Looking past the incidence, cluster headaches can be intimidating and traumatic for anyone.  

12. 07. 2023

Cannabis for migraines treatment

Migraines are a common neurological condition that is characterised by a severe headache (often on one side), sensitivity to light or sound, and fatigue. Over 6 million people in the UK suffer from migraines. There are over 190,000 migraine attacks per day in the UK, so imagine how much disruption to home and work life this health issue causes. More women than men develop this complex neurological condition. 

26. 05. 2023

A complete guide to the medical administration of cannabinoids

The cannabis plant contains over 110 cannabinoids occurring naturally, providing potentially potent and distinct benefits for mind and bodily functions. Thanks to the recent explosion in cannabis legality, researchers are finally gaining the type of access they need to delve into the vast potential of these compounds for medical applications. 

Symptoms

Sharp, burning or piercing pain

Pain that makes you feel restless

Feeling sick

Red, dropping, swelling or watering eye

A blocked or runny nose

Small pupil on the same side as pain

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms. Please speak with your GP to find out more.

Treatment options:

Acute cluster headache treatments try to help during an attack, while preventative treatments can be used to try to stop headaches occurring, or reduce their frequency. In the UK, triptans may be prescribed to reduce pain during a headache, while deep brain stimulation and occipital nerve stimulation may be recommended as a preventative treatment.

Corticosteroids

Lithium

Verapamil

Triptans

Oxygen mask treatments

Deep brain stimulation

Occipital nerve stimulation

Find out if you may be eligible for medical cannabis cluster headache treatments here
Am I eligible?

A word from our specialist

"Neurological conditions are many and varied in how they can affect us. The more recognised conditions that are treatable with medical cannabis include epilepsy, where CBD mimics the action of the many anti-epileptic drugs; and multiple sclerosis, which the NHS can prescribe Sativex for. Medical Cannabis offers greater flexibility in the delivery of cannabinoid therapy for these conditions and hope in other areas of neurology, such as in the neurodegenerative conditions and the motor disorders."
Dr David Tang

Neurological Specialist

Are cluster headaches suitable for medical cannabis treatments?

Most people with this diagnosis have ‘episodic’ cluster headaches, which is characterised by clusters of recurring headaches that last from 4 to 12 weeks, then several months headache-free before another cluster occurs. 

The headaches themselves can last between 15 minutes to a number of hours. They can severely impact daily activities and a person’s ability to work during attacks, which can poorly impact a person's quality of life, and contribute to the development of mental health conditions like depression or anxiety. 

Since its legalisation in 2018, medical cannabis and cannabis-based products have emerged as a new treatment option for patients with cluster headaches that have not been responding to conventional treatments. 

This is because evidence suggests that medical cannabis can interfere with pain signals, and reduce the perception, or severity, of pain, and often, medical cannabis patients note an improvement in their quality of life after starting treatment. Medical cannabis cluster headache treatments are not suitable for everyone, but they may be able to offer relief to patients who have yet to find this response with conventional, licensed options.

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