Headaches medical cannabis treatment

Because there are different types of headaches, and they can vary in intensity, frequency, location, and root cause - they can be very difficult to treat. While most headaches can be managed with over the counter pharmaceuticals and occur sporadically, others can experience regular, intense headaches and require prescribed treatments. Licensed medications are typically the first port of call, but recently, anecdotal evidence suggests that medical cannabis may be also able to reduce the severity of pain felt during a headache, and is a legal option in the UK for those struggling to manage their headaches with conventional approaches.

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3 Million

workdays are lost due to headache related absences in the UK each year.

190,000

migraine attacks take place every day in the UK, say Brain Research UK.

76%

of sufferers support the use of medical cannabis migraine treatments survey finds.

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

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Articles on 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. 

06. 08. 2023

Does CBD help with reducing migraines?

You might be surprised to find out that 190,000 migraine attacks happen in the UK every day. With such massive numbers, the need for new treatment options to help complement conventional pharmaceuticals is obvious, especially when many of these medications come with some pretty heavy side effects.

Symptoms

Moderate to severe pain

Throbbing pain

Pulsing pain

Sensitivity to light

Nausea or vomiting

Loss of appetite

Fatigue

Problems with vision

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

Treatment options:

Acute 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, analgesics and anti-sickness medications may be prescribed to reduce pain and discomfort during a headache, while options like deep brain stimulation and occipital nerve stimulation may be recommended as a preventative treatment.

Corticosteroids

Lithium

Verapamil

Triptans

Anti-sickness medications

Beta blocking drugs

Amitriptyline

Find out if you may be eligible for medical cannabis headache treatments here
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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

Can medical cannabis be prescribed for headaches?

There are four types of headaches: cluster headaches, tension headaches, hypnic headaches and migraine headaches. 

But, regardless of their type, headaches can have a large impact on a person’s day-to-day activities and their ability to work or concentrate, which can poorly impact their quality of life, and contribute to the development of mental health conditions like depression or anxiety. 

However, in 2018, medical cannabis and medicines derived from cannabis emerged as a new treatment option for patients with headaches that have not been responding to conventional treatments. Private medical cannabis clinics like Releaf can now prescribe medical cannabis for headaches to patients who meet these criteria. 

This is because emerging 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. There is also evidence to suggest that medicines derived from cannabis can help to combat anxiety and low mood, which are common comorbidities. 

Medical cannabis 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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