Migraine is a medical condition that leads to periodic attacks of headaches on one or both sides of the head. The attacks may be accompanied by nausea, purging, and increased sensitivity of light and sound.
  • What is Migraine?
  • Migraine & cannabinoids
  • Text references, literature discussion
    & clinical trials

What is Migraine?

Migraine is a medical condition that leads to periodic attacks of headaches on one or both sides of the head. The attacks may be accompanied by nausea, purging, and increased sensitivity of light and sound. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days and be so severe that it interferes with daily functioning.1

Migraine’s symptoms can be divided into 4 stages; prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome, however, not everyone suffering from migraine experience all stages. Today, medications can prevent and/or relieve the pain of some migraine attacks.1

Some people will experience warning symptoms of an upcoming migraine (one or two days).
It includes:

  • Constipation
  • Specific food cravings
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Increased urination or thirst
  • Frequent yawning
  • Unusual mood changes ranging from depression to euphoria

For a group of people suffering from migraines, an aura may be experienced before or during migraines. Auras can include vision disturbance, stings in limbs or one side of the face, and difficulty speaking. An aura is a reversible symptom of the nervous system. Each symptom starts gradually and continues for 20 to 60 minutes.

Migraine aura can have symptoms such as:

  • Pinching sensations in limbs
  • Difficulty hearing sounds and music
  • Numbness in one side of the body or face
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Uncontrollable movements

Without treatment, migraine attacks can last from 4 to 72 hours. The occurrence of migraines can differ from person to person. It is possible to experience migraines several times a month or they might occur rarely. The most common symptoms of a migraine attack are:

  • Severe pulsing sensation or throbbing pain in (usually) one side of the head
  • Nausea and purging
  • Extreme sensitivity to light and sound

After a migraine attack, the state of the post-drome occurs where one may feel drained, confused, elated, and tired. In this state, sudden head movement may cause the pain to return briefly.

The exact causes of migraines are not yet fully known. However, it has been suggested that genetics and environmental factors might be involved in the development of this condition.
Another causes that might increase the development of migraine is changes in the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway. Brain chemical imbalance, including serotonin, which plays a role in regulating pain in the nervous system, might also be a possible cause for increased risk of migraine. Currently, researchers are examining serotonin involvement in migraines. Other neurotransmitters such as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) are involved in migraine pain.1

Some of the biological and environmental factors that may trigger migraine are the following:

  • Sex
    Women are 3 times more likely to develop migraine
  • Hormones change and the female cycle
    The level of estrogen may often trigger migraine around menstrual periods, pregnancy, and menopause
  • Drinks with alcohol and/or caffeine
    Alcohol, especially wine and drinks with a high level of caffeine
  • Stress
    High-stress levels in professional – and personal life
  • Sensory stimuli
    Bright lights (lamps or the sun), loud sounds, and strong smells
  • Abruption in sleeping pattern
    Jetlag, too much or too little sleep
  • Weather conditions
    Barometric pressure or change in weather
  • Food intake
    Certain types of food such as aged cheeses, processed food, highly salty food, or fasting + food additives
  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabinoid receptors
  • Endocannabinoids

  • THC

  • CB1
  • CB2
  • TRPV1
  • Anandamide
  • Terpenes
  • Strains
  • Enzymes
  • Metabolites



Synthesizing & Degrading Enzymes


The connection between Migraine
& cannabinoids

Migrane Xray Man

Recent research supports the potential of cannabinoids as they may have potent , anti-emetic., analgesic-. and anti-inflammatory properties that may relieve symptoms.2

In addition, cannabinoids may be beneficial in the acute and prophylactic treatment of migraine pain.3

Note: If you have any further information relevant to the connection between Migraine and cannabinoids, or find any of the information inaccurate, outdated or incomplete please contact us here.

Text references, literature discussion
& clinical trials

  • Text references
  • Literature discussion
  • Clinical trials

In rats, CSD amplitude, duration, and propagation velocity were inhibited by THC (Kazemi et al., 2012).

Cannabinoids exhibit anticonvulsive, analgesic, antiemetic, and anti-inflammatory activities which may be used to treat migraine (Leimuranta et al., 2018).


Leimuranta, Pinja, Leonard Khiroug, and Rashid Giniatullin. “Emerging role of (endo) cannabinoids in migraine.” Frontiers in pharmacology 9 (2018): 420.

Clinical trials

In one study, migraine headache frequency was shown to be reduced from 10.4 to 4.6 per month upon treatment with medical cannabis (Rhyne et al., 2016).


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