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July 16 2018

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Cannabinoids for the prevention of Migraine

Neue studie: cannabinoide zur prophylaxe von migräne
Cannabinoids may be effective in the prevention of migraine, according to a new study.
On the other hand, cannabinoids are only suitable for the acute treatment of cluster headaches in patients with a migraine history.
At the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) a recent study from Italy was presented.

The research team around Dr. Maria Nicolodi had investigated whether cannabinoids are suitable for the acute treatment or prophylaxis of cluster headaches and migraines.

First, the researchers had to find out what dose is needed to combat the symptoms effectively.
The study involved 48 subjects suffering from migraine. At the beginning of the study participants received ten milligrams of a combined preparation or from two preparations.

The first drug contained 19 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the second drug contained 9 percent cannabidiol (CBD) and virtually no THC.

The researchers found that doses below 100 milligrams were ineffective. The acute pain could only be reduced with an oral dose of 200 milligrams.
In the second phase, 79 subjects with chronic migraine were treated for three months with either the trycyclic antidepressant amitriptyline (25 milligrams daily), which is commonly used for migraine prophylaxis or THC-CBD (200 milligrams).
The 48 cluster headache patients received either the THC-CBD combination or daily 480 mg verapamil. If acute headaches occurred, the volunteers received another 200 milligrams of THC-CBD.
The side effects observed throughout the study period were consistently positive except for fatigue and lack of concentration.

Female volunteers also reported that musculoskeletal pain, stomach pain, and intestinal inflammation decreased.

The THC-CBD combination reduced migraine attacks by 40.4 percent.

When treated with amitriptyline by 40.1 percent. On the other hand, the severity and number of cluster headache attacks were only slightly reduced.

The researchers encountered an interesting phenomenon in the evaluation of acute pain use.

For example, cannabinoids reduced pain intensity in migraineurs by 43.5 percent.

This reduction was equally successful in patients with cluster headache - but in the subjects who already suffered from migraine in their childhood.

Without this history, the cannabinoids were ineffective in an acute case. Dr. Nicolodi explained:

"We were able to show that cannabinoids for the prevention of migraine may be an alternative to traditional treatments. For the acute treatment of cluster headache, they are only suitable for patients with a migraine history. "

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