One of the most controversial subjects last year, medical marijuana has already begun its foray into the new year with success. With New York finally legalizing marijuana for medical use, multiple studies are also beginning to pop up, praising its efficiency in fixing common medical afflictions; the most recent of these studies shows that migraine patients benefit from medical marijuana.
According to the study performed by researchers from the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Anschutz Medical Campus of the University of Colorado, migraine frequencies dropped from 10.4 to 4.6 in a month for patients using medical marijuana.
The study looked at 121 patients, from January 2010 to September 2014. Most of them were already familiar with marijuana as a medicine, and two thirds of the participants either had a history or were using medical marijuana at the time the study began.
Research lead author, Phar.D. and F.C.C.P Laura Borgelt, wanted to emphasize that despite the overwhelmingly positive results shown by the patients, with most of them claiming to have had their lives significantly improved by the trial, marijuana is still a drug, and comes with side effects, as well as with benefits.
The study didn’t only look at whether the drug is effective in combating migraines, but also at what forms are preferred by the users.
As expected, smoking was reported to be the most effective way of stopping a migraine already in progress, while edibles, which take longer to make an impact on the user, were preferred to prevent the onset of migraines.
Despite the overwhelming success of the trial – from 10.4 to 4.6 in a month is quite effective – scientists are still not completely sure of how medical cannabis works to work these changes on the brain.
They know that cannabinoid receptors throughout the body have something to do with it, as the drug has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties, and also that serotonin and dopamine are involved, but that’s pretty much the extent of their knowledge.
Much more intensive and in-depth studies are required in order to fully understand the way medical cannabis works to relieve migraine headaches, as well as a wide array of other afflictions, but because of the exceedingly strict federal laws, such a study would require large scale legislative changes that most likely won’t come any time soon.
Overall, medical marijuana had a pretty good start this year, and maybe, as even medical officials are hoping, it will gain enough momentum to break through its stigma and finally become an accessible form of therapy.
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