Headache/Chronic Migraine & Cannabis

Written by Caleb Summeril

Of the many different potential health and healing benefits of cannabis use, one common ailment it seems to be a potent cure for is the headache. Whether simple or severe, headaches are an all-too-often occurrence that most would rather cure than accept. There are many remedies available for this condition including herbal, over-the-counter, and bush doctor mystery cures, all offering potential relief from symptoms. Of growing interest is how cannabis can aid in the treatment and relief of common headaches and chronic migraines alike.


Although headaches are common, their causes can range far and wide. It is estimated that 47% of the population experiences some sort of headache frequently, with around 10% experiencing migraines and another 3% burdened with chronic daily head pain. [1] With numbers this large, it is easy to see why new and effective treatments are always enticing to those afflicted with daily or severe pain. With the increasing size of the legal cannabis market, whether for medical or adult-use, there has been a growing number of studies potentially linking cannabis consumption with the ability to treat headache symptoms.


One 2015 study showed an 85.1% decrease in migraine frequency from over 100 patients who received and used cannabis for migraine treatment. [2] For migraine control and treatment, cannabis use seems to exhibit possible benefits and is worth further study. On the other hand, an older study on people dealing with cluster headaches found that 25.9% of these subjects found relief from headache pain when using cannabis, but also that 22.4% of the same group of patients reported that cannabis triggered their cluster headaches. [3]


While the potential for headache treatment through the use of cannabis shows promise, more studies need to be conducted to determine any actual scientific evidence for exactly how cannabinoids may help treat common and chronic headache sufferers. Anecdotal evidence seems abundant, but until further research points to direct causal effects, the relationship between cannabis and headaches is still developing.


  1. Lochte, Bryson C. et al. “The Use of Cannabis for Headache Disorders”, Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017; 2(1): 61-71. Journal Impact Factor = N/A Times Cited = 2
  2. Osborn, LA., et al. “Self-Medication of Somatic and Psychiatric Conditions Using Botanical Marijuana”, J Psychoactive Drugs. 2015 Nov-Dec; 47(5):345-50 Journal Impact Factor = 1.15 Times Cited = 9
  3. Evans, Randolph W., Ramadan, Nabih M. “Are Cannabis-Based Chemicals Helpful in Headache?”, Headache. 2004; 44:726-27. Journal Impact Factor = 3.189 Times Cited = 10

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About the author

Caleb Summeril

Caleb Summeril writes creative copy, stories and songs from the mountains of Colorado. When not working on words, he can be found on global gallivants which fuel future endeavors. Learn more about his writing services at

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