There are many different types of treatments out there for Migraines, and many different pain killers available. In my experience, the best pain relief comes from Medical Marijuana (which I will call MMJ).
Marijuana consists of over 100 different chemicals, called cannabinoids; the most prevalent and well known cannabinoids are THC and CBD. THC is the part of marijuana that causes a “high” feeling, while CBD helps pain and nausea. Over the counter CBD products are not a good substitute for MMJ though; because there are no regulations or testing done on “herbal” CBD products, they are not always effective.
Although marijuana is a Schedule I drug – the same as LSD and heroin – many states are now legalizing it for medical use, and some are legalizing it for recreational use too. Because it is still a highly controlled substance, getting MMJ can be both difficult and expensive.
Most doctors cannot provide MMJ certification, requiring patients to find specific clinics that specialize in it. The initial appointment can cost over $200, and then there is a fee to register yourself and get your MMJ card. Once you have your card, it can be difficult to find a dispensary nearby with products that you like (just last week I drove 2 hours to get my MMJ). The medicine itself is expensive – my average is $100 a month – and insurance does not cover it.
So if MMJ is such a hassle, why do I consider it the best option? Because it works.
I have tried Triptans (an abortive Migraine treatment), narcotics, and over the counter pain medicines. MMJ works better than any of them – it works faster, and it is kinder on the body. Because MMJ works to stimulate chemicals that the body naturally produces, it is effective at removing pain and nausea associated with Migraines. Unlike most medications, I do not experience rebound headaches with MMJ, and it is not physically addictive like narcotics are.
MMJ is not for everyone though. Some people have bad reactions to edibles, MMJ in food form. Because it can be difficult to portion control edibles, many first timers experience too strong a “trip”. Others may have negative reactions to certain types of MMJ – Sativa (an “upper”) gives me awful headaches once it wears off, almost like a bad hangover. Vaping MMJ is the fastest way to get it into the system, but can cause throat and lung problems, especially in people with asthma.
Despite all the complications and difficulties, I still recommend everyone try MMJ. It is important to listen to the recommendations of your doctor and your dispensary – ask as many questions as you can to find the right product for you.