Marijuana for migraines

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Re: Marijuana for migraines

Post  charmed quark on Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:47 pm

[quote="tortoisegirl"
Silly how I can attend work while taking prescribed narcotics and would be able to pass a drug test on them, but could not use medical marijuana in my off work time. Not sure if Marinol would be ok...as the laws say if you have a prescription you are good, but yet THC is a disqualification (and it takes a fancy test to distinguish between the two). [/quote]

They absolutely cannot take action against you if you failed a drug test because you are taking legally prescribed Marinol. If you test positive for THC, you take your prescription to the drug testing officer, he calls your doctor to double check and that's it. If they fired you for taking a legally prescribed drug they are setting themselves up for a major lawsuit.

If you have a safety-sensitive job, they can require that you not use it at work, just like with narcotics, or they may have to move you to a non-safety-sensitive position. They are required, by law under the Americans with Disabilities Act, to attempt to make reasonable accommodations for you.

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Re: Marijuana for migraines

Post  Seaine on Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:51 pm

It's true, I take Adderall which shows up on a drug test. All they did was call me, ask what my prescriptions were, and then ask for my pharmacy's phone number so they could call them to verify that I did have a prescription for Adderall.
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Re: Marijuana for migraines

Post  Sara79 on Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:23 am

I showed 'positive' for barbiturates on a job required drug screening. I've got Klonipin for the anxiety and tension that can be a migraine trigger. When I took my drug screening for my new job (hospital based), I told the tech about the script, and she made a note. She said they'd run more sensitive tests, and get a hold of my pharmacy, to verify the prescription. I haven't had a single call about it, and I'm happily employed.

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Re: Marijuana for migraines

Post  charmed quark on Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:17 am

The one issue I forgot to mention is if you are taking a pre-employment drug screen. In that case, the business is under no obligation to try to figure out why you tested positive. Many businesses just decide not to hire you and you never know why.

Once you are hired, however, they are obliged to determine if a prescription medication caused a drug screen positive.

Medical Marijuana is weird. If you fail a drug screen for using the botanical, they can discipline or fire you. But if, instead, you are taking concentrated, purified synthetic THC (marinol) as a prescription, they can't. Part of the issue is that in medical marijuana states, doctors don't Write a "prescription" for medical marijuana. They can't without getting into trouble with the DEA as the Federal government does not recognize medical marijuana as legal. Instead they write a "recommendation" for you to use it. So you can't show your prescription to your employer if you fail the drug test.

A couple of states are in the process of offering protection to medical marijuana patients from these sorts of things. Other states have some protection written into their laws but the courts will have to work out the details.

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Re: Marijuana for migraines

Post  elainebenice on Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:50 pm

I just signed up for this site so I could share my own personal experience in this area in the hopes it may help just one person who is suffering with migraines and can't find any relief.

A little background - I began having migraines around age 13-14 (I am now 35). As a female, I know mine can be triggered by hormonal changes, but they can also be triggered by many other things as well. One of the main triggers is lighting, typically fluorescent that is flickering, but it can also be flickering on a tv screen or similar flickering lights. Since the very 1st one, which I remember very well, I have experienced pretty much every symptom on the "migraine symptom checklist." They begin with floaters/flashers, then on to more severe visual issues (tunnel vision, aura, blindness) and sensory issues (light, sound), then comes the nausea and vomiting, and the last to arrive is the actual headache (always behind my right eye and feels like someone has stuck a knife in my eye socket and is constantly twisting it). Typically, I am so exhausted from the vomiting, I am able to sleep through a lot of the headache phase, which is a blessing. Odd blessing, huh?

When I was a teenager migraine medications were new (at least as far as I remember) and not widely used/prescribed, but my doctor did prescribe me one type (don't remember which one) when I was probably a senior in high school. This was the first time I had ever taken any migraine medication and it had no effect whatsoever on my migraines. I went to college and continued to experience regular migraines. I probably shouldn't use the word "regular" because I know there are so many people who suffer with migraines on a much more frequent basis than I did (at least 1 every 1-2 months), but my use of "regular" is referring more so to the headaches happening on a consistent basis/time frame.

I didn't try any medications during college, but after I graduated there seemed to be a new surge of migraine meds being introduced and around age 23 I decided to try again with one of the new meds to try and get some relief. I don't remember the name, but I believe I was prescribed Maxalt based on my google searches b/c it came in a hard blue box with the doses in their own packets inside the box (someone please correct me if I'm wrong on this). I was excited for the possibilities with this new treatment, but unfortunately, it actually made the migraine experience as a whole MUCH worse. The reason for this is because the only symptoms that were helped/eliminated were those related to my nausea/vomiting, which would seem to most to be a good thing, but in my case it was a horrible thing because without the vomiting I was forced to experience the full force of the actual headache for the first time in my life since I didn't have the exhaustion-induced sleep to provide me with partial relief from this last symptom. I tried this medication probably 3 times and each time I had the exact same experience. Since this was much worse (for me personally) than just allowing the headache to run its full course with all of the symptoms, I never took that medication again. I believe I tried one more medication after this, but can't remember the name. It offered me no relief whatsoever.

After taking a 2 year break from school and working I decided to go back to school and get my law degree. During these 2 years I smoked marijuana occasionally on a recreational basis, but I was not using it with the intention of getting relief from migraines. I wish I could say I was using it for that reason, but I want to be completely honest in this post since the only reason I'm posting this is to hopefully help at least one person get some relief from their suffering. I had smoked once or twice my senior year in college, but I would still consider this period to be my first "real" experiences/usage of marijuana. Throughout law school I continued to use it on a recreational basis, but the frequency gradually increased from occasionally to regular over those 3 years. When I say regular, I don't mean waking up and getting high as a kite every morning, rather smoking at night before bed a few nights a week or on the weekends. As the frequency of my usage increased, I began to notice the frequency of my headaches decreased significantly and ultimately reached a point where I suddenly realized that I hadn't had a migraine in several months. I had always heard marijuana could treat migraines, but never really investigated the details and probably dismissed this talk as stoners just trying to justify their usage....lol. However, at this point the time that had elapsed since my last migraine was such a significant departure from my "regular" headache schedule I knew something had changed. I wasn't sure if it was just my body changing and I was "outgrowing" migraines, if I was now inadvertently avoiding a trigger that I had not avoided in the past OR if it was the marijuana actually preventing the migraines. So, there was only one way to find out whether it was the last one or not and that was to stop smoking totally to see if they returned. Well, this experiment quickly provided me with a strong hint, if not an answer, when I had a migraine within 2-3 weeks.

At this point, I was pretty sure I had finally found my form of relief, but I couldn't proclaim that I had found the magic treatment for sure based on this one "experiment". As I graduated law school, took the bar exam and began my career as a lawyer I certainly did not have the time or desire to intentionally initiate a migraine just to try and prove the marijuana actually was preventing them so I just continued to use it on a "regular" basis and before I knew it, a couple of years had gone by without me having ONE migraine. Now, this was the first time in my life I had gone this long without a migraine so it was very significant. However, I still didn't get my ultimate answer (in my mind anyway) until I wasn't able to smoke for a couple of weeks or so (can't remember the reason, but maybe it was b/c we didn't have any) and I suddenly had a migraine for the first time in 2-3 YEARS!! At this point, I was personally convinced the marijuana was preventing the migraines, but I had one more similar experience a couple of years later where I stop smoking for a few weeks and immediately had a migraine. This experience pushed me into the "convinced without a doubt" category since there's no way those experiences can be a coincidence.

Now, I didn't sign up and post all of this to try and sway anyone's opinion on the legality/morality of marijuana usage, nor do I desire to engage in that debate with anyone. I simply wanted to share my own experiences in the hopes they can help at least one person in their struggle with migraines since I feel so blessed to have been relieved (pretty much completely) of my struggles with them. Obviously, this method will not be something that works for everyone or something everyone should try, but I'm here to tell you it worked for me and worked better than I could have ever hoped for. I read over the posts in this thread and did want to comment on something that was mentioned. Someone mentioned they had tried it and they became too high to function or something similar....I just wanted to remind you that marijuana is still a intoxicating drug that you shouldn't equate to alcohol when it comes to proper times/frequency/amount to ingest it. You wouldn't wake up and drink a six pack before you went in to work, at least you wouldn't and keep your job for very long and the same is true for marijuana. I'm a fully functioning attorney who has worked in the same firm for 7 years, so it hasn't affected me in that area, but I only smoke at night before I go to bed and would never smoke before/during work or when I was expecting to need the usage of all of my mental faculties.

I'll be happy to answer any questions anyone has and like I said before, I hope me sharing my personal experience can help at least one person even slightly in their battle with migraines.

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Re: Marijuana for migraines

Post  COHerbalist on Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:26 am

Before I start, let me say this: Marijuana use, posession, cultivation, sale, or purchase is illegal federally in the US. Some states allow for the use of marijuana for medical purposes for those registered as patients. 2 states, Colorado & Washington, allow recreational use.
In Colorado where I live, migraines are very near the top of the list of ailments that qualify for a medical marijuana license.
Hi, I am an herbalist, holistic caregiver, and massage therapist from Colorado. To give you a little background, my mother is a Shaman in the Houma Native American Tribe. She is 90 years old this year and has been using herbal, spritual, and holistic remedies her entire life on hersef and others. She made it 90 years doing it and aside from some arthritis and a bit of short-term memory loss, she's healthy as a horse. The proof is in the pudding. She has been hospitalized 5 times in 90 years. 3 to have my sisters and me, in the late 80's for cataract surgery, and once for an appendectomy in the late 40's. I started learning about these things from her at a very young age and have continued to learn more.

The reason I joined is mainly due to on of my patients and friends who suffers from Juvenile Rhuematoid Arthrtits, a debilitating form of arthritis. As if that wasn't enough, the poor soul recently has developed migraines. I think it's at least in part due to lack of sleep from her pain. I decided to go on a mission to see if I could help her since all else has failed or had very limited effectiveness. I should note here that we have been VERY successful in treating her arthritis pain.

OK first some layman's info about cannabis. Cannabis contains 2 major compounds. The first and most well known is THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is responsible for the "high" associated with cannabis. I won't get into the mechanics of how and why it does this except this exerpt from a study done at the University of Arizona in 2012. It should be noted that THC is also the culprit for appetite enhancement AKA "the munchies".

"THC has mild to moderate analgesic effects, and cannabis can be used to treat pain by altering transmitter release on dorsal root ganglion of the spinal cord and in the periaqueductal gray. Other effects include relaxation, alteration of visual, auditory, and olfactory senses, fatigue, and appetite stimulation. THC has marked antiemetic (anti-vomiting & nausea) properties, and may also reduce aggression in certain subjects"

Wait, didn't I read that the most common treatment for migraines was analgesics? We're onto something here.

The other main ingredient is CBD or Cannabidiol. CBD accounts for over 40% of the cannabinoids in the plant.

"Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid found in cannabis. It is a major constituent of the plant, representing up to 40% in its extracts. Compared to THC, cannabidiol, though psychoactive, is non-intoxicating, and is considered to have a wider scope of medical applications than THC, including to epilepsy, multiple sclerosis spasms,vascular disorders, cancers, migraines, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and nausea."

CBD does not get you high. In fact, CBD has been shown to reduce the effects of THC. I'm currently looking for a strain that has a high CBD count and little or no THC to see if it will effect migraines without impairing the user's ability to function normally. Israel claims to have developed a strain that does just that. I've not been able to obtain any yet but I'm working on it. There are several strains out there that produce high CBD and low THC. A fellow grower, breeder, and patient in California is helping me with this. His extract has been wildly successful in treating epileptic seizures. Once case study has a child having 10-12 seizures a day. With CBD treatment he is now having less than one a month! The reason Marinol doesn't work as well is that it contains little or no CBD, so while Marinol can be somewhat effective, we're getting the salad without the dressing. Marinol was originally developed to increase appetite in AIDS patients. Basically it's lab-created THC and contains none of the other benifits of the cannabis plant. It took nature millions of years to perfect this system. Sorry, a lab cannot create it.

Cannabis can be introduced in just about any form you can think of. It can be smoked, eaten (alone or in food known as "edibles"), vaporized for those concerned about lung damage from the smoke or thoe who just don't like it, or there are cannabis treatments that cab be applied to the skin as well, which produce no high whatsoever since the THC is absorbed to slowly to have any effect. I am experimenting with the effectiveness of those on migraines, but it does wonders for joint pain, itchy skin, muscle pain, and the like.

My story:
After my second heart attack, I lost my job which meant no insurance so I could no longer afford my meds or doctors. I decided to do something about it and use mine and my mother's knowledge (and a great deal of Google!) to find a way to live without being a lab rat held hostage by the criminals running the big drug compaines. Since then a good part of my life has been dedicated to relieving the pain, ailments, and discomforts of myself and others through natrual, safe, proven methods without chemicals or poisons. Mind you that a great deal of this is due to healthy eating and living. Just eating, smoking, or drinking a concoction of herbs will not accomplish this. You can't just replace the carburetor and have a brand new car. You have to treat the whole body.

1. I no longer need insulin (I'm type II diabetic) My last A1C was 6.3. My insulin alone used to cost me $700/month.
2. I have no signs or symptoms of heart disease (I've had 2 heart attacks,one at 39 and one 5 years ago)
3. I no longer need blood pressure meds (I used to take 3 different ones)
4. I no longer need gout medication or treatment. No attacks in over 3 years.
5. I still have to take thyroid meds, but at a lower dose than before.

I am under a doctor's care (he is a D.O) so I'm not making this up. He's 100% onboard with what I'm doing and is actually recommending some of my finds to his other patients!

If anyone has questions concerning this or other herb-related or holistic treatments, I'd be happy to answer them for you or at least help you find an answer (completely free of charge). Please feel free to e-mail me.

I hope this has been helpful and informative, and I wish you luck!

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CBD and migraines

Post  charmed quark on Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:59 pm

I've been using pure THC via Marinol for years to control my migraines and spasticity. Very good results when used in small amounts as a migraine preventative and to reduce my spasticity so I can sleep better.

Recently, a company out of Colorado has started selling CBD extract. It is apparently now legal in the USA. For years the DEA had banned it as a "highly abusable, schedule 1" drug, even, as the previous poster stated, it has no psychoactive or any other abusable effects. Apparently the DEA just made a blanket ban on any cannabinoids. In any case, this has apparently been resolved and you can purchase the drops.

I tried using this in a one-to-one milligram amount with my Marinol THC, hoping to get better spasticity management. It did help that, a lot, but gave me the worst migraine I have had for years. The migraine lasted 10 hours, got better for 10 hours, they got bad again for another 12 hours.

I figured I had taken too much CBD. So I tried it in a 1-to-4 ratio with the Marinol and still got a very bad migraine.

So, for me, pure THC seems to work better. Don't know why. When I was in a cannabis trial many years ago, the cannabis definitely worked better than just THC. Maybe something else in the whole plant?

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CBD V.S. THC

Post  COHerbalist on Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:15 pm

You're more correct than you know, Quark. As I said in my previous post, nature worked for millions of years to perfect this system and it takes humans and test tubes to completely screw it up. There is nothing simple about any natural prouct or system. There are things you can read about what's in cannabis, how it works, and why, but reading it will make your brain bleed. How these chemicals work, form and interact with each other will probably never be known and certainly not duplicated.

Webster defines synthetic, as it pertains here as:
1. Produced by synthesis, especially not of natural origin.
2. Not natural or genuine; artificial or contrived
3. Prepared or made artificially

Cannabinoids, both THC and CBD, are GROUPS of chemicals. For example, the specific THC that intoxicates is known as Delta-9 THC. THC is the chemical's surname and Delta-9 is its fist name. There are a plethora of siblings to Delta-9 THC, all with specific properties and chemical makeups. Both CBD and THC have healing & pain relief properties, & both are pychoactive. They just affect different parts of the brain in different ways. The reason the CBD oil is legal is because the test that law enforcement uses doesn't detect CBD, nor do many commercial labs! All will contain some THC, but if prepared correctly only trace amounts.

The marijuana plant contains less than 1% CBD. CBD, as I said actually counteracts the effects of THC. Strains have been developed that can produce up to 10% CBD. The 10% is probably exaggerated, but is probably more like 8%. Let's face truth, most people in the United States started smoking pot to get high. The medical properties were discovered way down the line. I suspect that in your case, the CBD amount was high to enough to all but nullify the pain killing effects of the THC, and perhaps even have the opposite effects, which sounds like what might have happened.

I am currently experimenting with a high CBD strains called "Harlequin" and "Omrita". I'll keep you posted on our progress.

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Re: Marijuana for migraines

Post  charmed quark on Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:57 pm

People here in NJ have been trying to get our Alternative Treatment Centers ( dispensaries) to carry strains like Harlequin so they can get good anti-spasmodic effects without significant high.

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Re: Marijuana for migraines

Post  Pale Ale on Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:47 am

Here's what I've found.  I live in California where Cannabis is legal for medical purposes, so I can go down to the local dispensary and sample.  Smoking about anything does not work for me and in fact makes the migraine worse.  Sativa pretzels, the Auntie Delores brand, have been lifesavers as has the Cannalicious hash lozenges.  I do generally use these at night or in the evening because of the "stoned" feeling; however, I rarely get so that I can't do things.  I play my fiddle, bike, hike, watch a show, listen to music--often entirely pain free--so I am guessing that those of you who get so you can't do anything "might" be taking too much?  And, true, it may take a whole bunch once the pain gets great (I think my migraines of forty some years are tens once they get bad), but the trick is to take Cannabis before things get out of hand (and into our heads!)  I generally can feel my pain coming.  The pain starts with some vile beasty attaching a vice to my head and cranking it shut, yet I usually have about fifteen minutes to take something to stop it (or at least assuage it.)  Then too, I monitor the pain as I go and eat some more stuff as needed.

The tricky thing with edibles, however, is that you don't know the full effects of what you've eaten for an hour or more.  So careful.  Generally I notice some relief  after a half hour or so, as if a cool breeze has blown into my head and calmed everything down, nice.  But a doctor at the dispensary told me that too much Cannabis too often can cause rebound headaches, too, so I try and limit this treatment to once or twice a week.

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Re: Marijuana for migraines

Post  fullon on Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:13 am

Actually there was phase where a boyfriend I had (a lovable pothead) would practically force marijuana on me when I was down with a migraine. This was during a period in my life when I had difficulty obtaining triptans. I actually did not like smoking it while I had a headache at all. I found the smoke and the smell and the taste and even the glow of the lighter to be very irritating. I found that it took away my nausea but not the pain. It barely even began to touch the pain. That goes to show how painful a full blown migraine is. When not even the pain-relieving qualities of marijuana is enough to take the edge off.. that is some serious pain.

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Re: Marijuana for migraines

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