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Will Medical Marijuana Help with Migraines?

Last week, Missouri voters approved medical marijuana use by a hefty margin. The Amendment will go into effect in December, and the long process of transitioning the state to allowing marijuana for medical purposes begins.

While it is possible that medical marijuana (MMJ) could help with migraines and other chronic pain conditions, the actual timeline for allowing people to use MMJ is far off in the future. And there is still doubt that MMJ will be as effective as many people hope.

While people are waiting for MMJ to become available, they should try drug-free TMJ treatment at City Smiles to see if it works where traditional treatments have failed.

Will Marijuana Help with Migraines?

Is MMJ Effective for Migraines?

Migraine headaches have long been the most expensive chronic medical condition in terms of productivity loss. Although there are many treatments available for migraine, and most people try several of them, less than a third of people are actually satisfied with their current migraine treatment.

This is why there is an ongoing quest to find better migraine treatments. The FDA has recently approved several prescription medications for migraine. We do not know the long-term effectiveness of these treatments. But how well does MMJ treat migraines?

There is little good data on the use of MMJ for migraines. It essentially comes down to two recent studies. One, presented at the European Academy of Neurology convention in 2017 suggests that MMJ might be effective both for migraine treatment and prevention. In this study, people using cannabinoids as acute migraine treatment found that people could reduce their migraine pain by 55%. When given daily cannabinoid doses, people saw their migraine frequency drop by about 40%. That is essentially the same as leading migraine drug amitriptyline. It is important to note that this study was not published in a scholarly journal, so it has not undergone peer review. We should consider its results preliminary.

Another study looked retrospectively at people who used MMJ from dispensaries in Colorado. Here the treatment situation was similar to what we might see here in Missouri. On average, patients saw a drop in migraine frequency from 10.4 to 4.6 per month. This study had no control over the type of marijuana used, and couldn’t make strong conclusions about the effectiveness of different types. It did say that edible MMJ products seemed to produce more side effects.

Why Wait for MMJ Treatment?

While it does appear that MMJ can be effective for migraine treatment, these studies show that it is hardly a silver bullet. Treatment effectiveness is comparable to treatments that have long been available. Therefore people should not wait on MMJ treatment unless they have already tried all available options. After all, people will not be able to apply for MMJ cards until June 2019, and likely will not see any relief until August, when the state starts accepting applications for dispensaries. Licenses might not be issued until as much as 150 days later, stretching the timeline for MMJ into 2020.

There is no need to wait a year to keep looking for migraine relief. Try new treatments today, especially drug-free migraine treatments. One treatment option that people and their doctors often neglect is TMJ treatment. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) are associated with chronic migraines. Treating TMJ can reduce the frequency and severity of migraines and other serious headaches.

To learn whether TMJ treatment can help control your migraines in St. Louis, please call (314) 375-5353 today for an appointment with TMJ dentist Dr. Chris Hill at City Smiles with locations in downtown and Clayton, MO.

By |November 14th, 2018|Migraines, TMJ|