HomeNewsMore Evidence Of THC's Anti-Migraine Effect

More Evidence Of THC’s Anti-Migraine Effect

The cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has proven to be effective in treating migraine-type pain in rats – adding to evidence that the compound may be beneficial in treating human patients.

Researchers from Washington State University injected allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), which been shown to mimic migraine-like pain in rodents, into a group of rats. The pain caused by the AITC restricts certain behaviours, such as wheel-running.

The experiments indicated THC administered immediately after the onset of headache prevented AITC-induced reduction of wheel running. However, this anti-migraine effect was absent if THC was administered 90 minutes after AITC microinjection.

“These findings support anecdotal evidence for the use of cannabinoids as a treatment for migraine in humans and implicate the CB1 receptor as a therapeutic target for migraine,” state the researchers.

The study paper “Anti-migraine effect of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol in the female rat” was recently published in the European Journal of Pharmacology

While it’s tragic that animals are subjected to pain as part of some experiments – and anyone who has had a migraine would attest to just how painful it is – the work is important and not the only study to demonstrate medical cannabis could have some applications in treating migraine.

Last year we reported a University of Colorado study that found migraine headache frequency decreased from 10.4 to 4.6 headaches per month with the use of medicinal cannabis. A study reported this year indicated a combination of THC and cannabidiol (CBD) could be effective in treating migraine and cluster headaches in some patients.

In both those studies, cannabinoids were being trialed as a preventative measure.

Migraine is a common condition negatively impacting the lives of millions of people around the world.  12% to 28% of the world’s adult population suffers from migraine at some point in their lives. For many, these will be isolated events, but for others it can be a chronic and crippling condition.

As well as the suffering caused, migraines have a hefty economic impact. Estimates of the cost of missed labour in the US have ranged from $1.4 billion to $17 billion a year.

While a number of conventional treatments are available, they tend to have limited efficacy and are accompanied by unpleasant side effects.

Steven Gothrinet
Steven Gothrinet has been part of the Hemp Gazette in-house reporting team since 2015. Steven's broad interest in cannabis was initially fueled by the realisation of industrial hemp's versatility across multiple sectors. You can contact Steve here.

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