A recent study has confirmed what many self-medicating users have believed for years: inhaling cannabis can be highly effective in reducing the severity of both headaches and migraines.

Smoking weed was shown to cut down the intensity of migraines by 49.6% and headaches by 47.3%. That’s according to research conducted by Washington State Universitypsychology professor Carrite Cuttler and published in the Journal of Pain

While cannabis has long been a sort of homemade remedy for those experiencing severe headaches, WSU’s study is the first of its kind which surveys the effects cannabis flower and concentrate on the afflicted.

“We were motivated to do this study because a substantial number of people say they use cannabis for headache and migraine, but surprisingly few studies had addressed the topic,” said Cuttler, the paper’s lead author.

The study found some other pretty interesting tidbits about the effects of cannabis on headaches and migraines. Here’s a few of them:

  • Cannabis concentrates reduced severity of symptoms by even more than cannabis flower.
  • Levels of CBD and THC had no significant effect on the effectiveness of the treatment, suggesting that the most powerful agents for easing symptoms may be other cannabinoids or terpenes which are yet unidentified.
  • Cannabis use was slightly more effective among men than women. Dudes reported that 90% of the time wacky weed worked to soothe their aches, while ladies reported that it only worked 89.1% of the time.
  • There was no indication of headaches caused by marijuana overuse. However, researchers found that subjects tended to use larger doses over time, suggesting a growing tolerance to the drug.

The study was conducted in an interesting, but maybe inconclusive fashion. 1,300 patients self-reported their use of cannabis and the severity of symptoms using the Strainprint app. That allowed researchers to study a large group of subjects as they use cannabis in the real world, outside a lab setting. However, the method did not allow for a control group of subjects using either traditional medicine (like ibuprofen) or nothing at all.

Photo via Flickr/openDemocracy

Natalie