Fewer migraine attacks due to phytocannabinoids


Raging headaches, usually on one side, and sensitivity to light: migraine patients can tell you a thing or two about it. They often spend many years searching for the right acute medication and appropriate attack prophylaxis. Medical cannabis is also used in this context. So far, the available studies are rather meager. An Israeli patient survey provides interesting results: Patients with comorbid migraine suffered significantly less often from painful attacks when taking phytocannabinoids.  

As part of the cross-sectional study, 145 sufferers (67 percent of whom were women) were asked about the frequency of their migraine attacks and their therapy with pharmaceutical cannabis. All respondents had taken phytocannabinoids – as oil extract or inhalatively – for an average of three years beforehand. Another prerequisite was the comorbidity of the migraine, i.e. all patients additionally suffered from other diseases that justified treatment with cannabinoids.

Reduction in attacks, reduced use of painkillers

The results of the study are promising: more than 60 percent of the respondents (responders) reported a long-term numerical reduction in migraine attacks, less impact on performance at school, work or home, and better sleep quality. Compared with the non-responder group, they also used weak (responders: 5 percent, non-responders: 23 percent) or strong opiates less often (responders: 8 percent, non-responders: 25 percent) or triptans less frequently (5 percent versus 16 percent). Side effects were also lower.

Because clinical data on the use of cannabinoids in migraine are still insufficient, the authors encourage further studies.

Original source:

Aviram J, Vysotski Y, Berman P, Lewitus GM, Eisenberg E, Meiri D. Migraine Frequency Decrease Following Prolonged Medical Cannabis Treatment: A Cross-Sectional Study. Brain Sci. 2020 Jun 9;10(6):360. doi: 10.3390/brainsci10060360. PMID: 32526965; PMCID: PMC7348860.

About Mirjam Hübner

Mirjam Hübner ist Diplom-Journalistin und arbeitet als Redakteurin und Kommunikationstrainerin. Sie verfügt über langjährige Erfahrung in Journalismus und Unternehmenskommunikation, vor allem in den Bereichen Gesundheit und Finanzdienstleistung.