By Roland Sebestyén
The first “placebo-controlled” trial to find out whether THC and CBD are effective in treating severe migraine symptoms is now underway.
Medical experts at UC San Diego are reportedly conducting the “first known randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial looking at cannabis as a potentially effective treatment for acute migraines.”
According to the announcement, the trial has started with approximately 20 participants, but the ultimate goal is to enrol 90 participants who will eventually be treated for four separate migraine “attacks” with four different treatments – one each with THC and CBD, a combination of the two and a placebo.
The products are administered via a vaporiser.
Although a migraine can only be a mild-to-moderate headache, not everyone is lucky enough to have tolerable symptoms.
A participant in the trial, Allison Knigge, has been dealing with migraines since her years in elementary school.
She said: “I would describe my migraines as a piercing pain. It feels like my brain is being squeezed. It causes extreme sensitivity to light and sound and horrible nausea.
“There have been times when I have been at a pain level of six or higher for approximately 25 days out of the month. They impact my quality of life.
“My migraines are triggered by the weather, stress and lack of sleep. When the pain gets to peak levels, I am in bed all day with the lights out. When I am experiencing a migraine, I am completely out of commission, and that is a challenge as a mom.”
The researchers claim while there are a large number of clinically approved treatments for those suffering from migraine, many patients choose to turn to cannabis products to treat their conditions.
Also, in a recent study at another American university in Colorado, the researchers said that more participants reported pain relief after using cannabis than those who were getting prescription migraine medications, such as triptans.
Nathaniel Schuster, MD, pain management specialist and headache neurologist at UC San Diego Health and investigator at the UC San Diego Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research, said: “Many patients who suffer from migraines have experienced them for many years but have never discussed them with their physicians.
“They are, rather, self-treating with various treatments, such as cannabis.
“Right now, when patients ask us if cannabis works for migraines, we do not have evidence-based data to answer that question.”