A1 Marijuana Doctors Logo


Migraine is a complex neurological disorder characterized by severe, recurring headaches, often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound. Migraines can be highly debilitating, significantly impacting an individual’s daily life and overall well-being. The exact cause of migraines remains unclear; however, they are believed to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors that lead to abnormal brain activity. Migraine attacks can be triggered by various factors, including stress, hormonal changes, certain foods, and sleep disturbances. Treatment options for migraines aim to alleviate acute symptoms and prevent future attacks through medications, lifestyle modifications, and alternative therapies.

What is Migraine?

Migraine is a neurological disorder that causes severe, recurring headaches, often accompanied by other symptoms. Migraines can significantly impact an individual’s daily life and overall well-being.


Migraine symptoms can vary among individuals and may include:

  1. Severe, throbbing or pulsating headache, usually on one side of the head
  2. Sensitivity to light (photophobia), sound (phonophobia), and sometimes smell
  3. Nausea and vomiting
  4. Visual disturbances, such as flashing lights or blind spots (aura), which may occur before the headache phase in some individuals
  5. Lightheadedness or dizziness
  6. Fatigue or difficulty concentrating during and after the migraine attack


The exact cause of migraines remains unclear, but they are believed to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors that lead to abnormal brain activity. Some possible contributors include:

  1. Imbalances in brain chemicals, such as serotonin
  2. Changes in nerve pathways and blood flow within the brain
  3. Hormonal fluctuations, particularly in women due to menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause
  4. Genetics, as migraines tend to run in families

Various triggers can provoke migraine attacks, including:

  1. Stress or anxiety
  2. Lack of sleep or irregular sleep patterns
  3. Certain foods or additives, such as aged cheeses, processed meats, caffeine, or alcohol
  4. Dehydration
  5. Weather changes or barometric pressure fluctuations


To prevent migraines, consider the following strategies:

  1. Identify and avoid personal triggers, such as certain foods or stressors
  2. Maintain a regular sleep schedule and practice good sleep hygiene
  3. Stay hydrated and follow a balanced diet
  4. Engage in regular physical activity, such as walking or yoga
  5. Manage stress through relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or biofeedback
  6. Consult a healthcare provider to discuss preventive medications, if appropriate

By understanding and addressing individual triggers and adopting healthy lifestyle habits, individuals can reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. However, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and treatment recommendations tailored to individual needs.

Medical Marijuana as a Treatment for Migraine

Medical marijuana has shown potential in treating migraines by providing relief from pain and other associated symptoms, as well as reducing the frequency of migraine attacks in some individuals.

How does medical marijuana help?

Medical marijuana may aid in managing migraines through the following mechanisms:

  1. Pain relief: Certain cannabinoids have analgesic properties that can help alleviate the severe pain associated with migraines.
  2. Anti-inflammatory properties: Medical marijuana has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects, which may help reduce inflammation contributing to migraine onset.
  3. Antiemetic effects: Medical marijuana can help reduce nausea and vomiting commonly experienced during migraine attacks.

Cannabinoids and Terpenes for Migraine

Certain cannabinoids may be effective in addressing migraine symptoms:

  1. CBD (cannabidiol): CBD has demonstrated potential benefits in reducing inflammation and providing pain relief without causing psychoactive effects.
  2. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol): THC can provide pain relief and help reduce nausea, but it is essential to use low doses to avoid unwanted side effects, such as increased anxiety or dizziness.

Some terpenes may also play a role in relieving migraines:

  1. Beta-caryophyllene: This terpene has demonstrated anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which may contribute to migraine relief.
  2. Linalool: Linalool possesses both anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that could potentially aid in managing migraine symptoms.

It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional experienced in cannabinoid medicine when considering medical marijuana as a treatment for migraines. They can help determine the appropriate strains, ratios of cannabinoids, and dosages tailored to an individual’s specific needs and circumstances. Further research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects and efficacy of medical marijuana in managing migraines and related symptoms. It is also important to note that medical marijuana should not be considered a substitute for conventional treatments prescribed by a healthcare provider.

Dosage and Consumption Methods

Recommended dosage:

Figuring out the right dose of medical marijuana can be hard because people’s reactions to cannabinoids and terpenes can be very different. Factors such as the specific condition being treated, the patient’s weight, metabolism, and prior experience with cannabis all play a role in determining the right dosage.
Most of the time, it is best to start with a low dose and slowly increase it until you get the effects you want while minimising any possible side effects. For patients who are new to medical marijuana, starting with 2.5–5 mg of THC or CBD and slowly titrating upwards is often advised.

However, consulting a healthcare professional experienced in medical marijuana is essential to developing a personalised dosing plan tailored to the patient’s needs.

Consumption methods:

There are several methods of consuming medical marijuana, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Some common consumption methods include:

  1. Inhalation (smoking or vaping): Inhalation provides rapid onset of effects, usually within minutes, making it suitable for patients requiring immediate relief. However, smoking may pose respiratory risks, while vaping has been associated with lung injuries in some cases.
  2. Oral ingestion (edibles, capsules, tinctures): Ingesting medical marijuana provides longer-lasting effects compared to inhalation but has a slower onset, typically taking 30 minutes to 2 hours for effects to be felt. This method is suitable for patients requiring sustained relief but may require careful dosing to avoid overconsumption.
  3. Topical application (creams, balms, patches): Topicals can provide localised relief for conditions such as arthritis or skin disorders without producing psychoactive effects. The onset of action and duration of effects can vary depending on the product formulation and individual absorption rates.
  4. Sublingual administration (tinctures, dissolvable strips): Sublingual products are absorbed through the mucous membranes under the tongue, providing rapid onset of effects without the need for inhalation or ingestion. This method offers discreet consumption and precise dosing.

Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card

Why get a medical marijuana card?

Getting a medical marijuana card is helpful for patients who are looking for other ways to treat their conditions.

  1. Legal protection: A medical marijuana card allows patients to possess, use, and in some cases, cultivate cannabis for medical purposes, within their state’s legal limits.
  2. Access to quality products: Medical marijuana dispensaries offer a wide range of tested and regulated cannabis products, ensuring patients receive safe and effective medication.
  3. Tax savings: In some states, medical marijuana patients are exempt from certain taxes applied to recreational cannabis sales.
  4. Professional guidance: Medical marijuana cardholders have access to healthcare professionals who can provide personalised recommendations, dosing advice, and ongoing support.

How to apply:

The process of obtaining a medical marijuana card varies by state but generally involves the following steps:

  1. Consult with Medical marijuana practitioners to determine if medical marijuana is appropriate for your condition and obtain a written recommendation.
  2. Complete an application with the required documentation, including proof of residency, identification, and the healthcare professional’s recommendation.
  3. Submit the application to the appropriate state agency, along with any required fees.
  4. Await approval and issuance of the medical marijuana card.

Risks and Side Effects

Potential risks:

While medical marijuana can offer relief and improve the quality of life for many patients, it also carries certain risks and side effects. Some potential risks associated with medical marijuana use include:

  1. Dependency and addiction: Although the risk of addiction is considered lower than that of opioids or alcohol, some individuals may develop a dependency on cannabis.
  2. Impaired cognitive function: THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, can impair memory, attention, and reaction times, particularly with prolonged or heavy use.
  3. Respiratory issues: Smoking cannabis can cause respiratory problems, including bronchitis and lung irritation. Vaping has also been linked to lung injuries in some cases.
  4. Mental health concerns: High doses of THC or predisposition to mental health disorders can lead to increased anxiety, paranoia, or exacerbate existing mental health conditions.
  5. Drug interactions: Medical marijuana may interact with other medications, either enhancing or diminishing their effects. It is essential to discuss potential drug interactions with a healthcare professional before starting medical marijuana therapy.


Medical marijuana might not be right for every patient, especially those who already have certain health problems or risk factors. Contraindications to medical marijuana use may include:

  1. Personal or family history of substance abuse or addiction
  2. Severe liver or kidney disease
  3. Severe cardiovascular disease
  4. Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  5. History of psychosis or other severe mental health disorders
  6. Allergies or hypersensitivity to cannabis or its components

Legal Status

Where is it legal?

In the United States, the laws about medical marijuana are always changing. Currently, over 30 states and the District of Columbia allow its use under certain conditions. Each state has its own rules and a list of medical conditions that are allowed to use medical marijuana.

Even though some states have made medical marijuana legal, it is still illegal at the federal level because it is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

This difference between state and federal laws can make it harder for medical marijuana patients to get jobs, find housing, or travel across state lines, among other things. Patients should research their state’s guidelines and remain aware of potential legal risks.


Medical marijuana could help relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life for many people with long-term or debilitating illnesses.

When thinking about this treatment option, it’s important to know the right dose, how to use it, how to get a medical marijuana card, possible risks, side effects, and legal status.

Work closely with a doctor or nurse who knows a lot about medical marijuana to find out if it is a good and safe choice for your needs.

As the legal landscape surrounding medical marijuana continues to evolve, staying informed about changing regulations and guidelines is essential to ensuring responsible and compliant use.

As the field of medical marijuana continues to evolve, it’s crucial for patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers to stay informed about the latest research and developments. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the current landscape, but it’s always important to consult with healthcare providers for personalized advice.

Note: This article’s content is provided for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional legal or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or queries regarding laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult a lawyer, physician, or other licensed practitioner.