Cannabis and pain: New findings on headaches add a piece to the puzzle

Despite long-standing anecdotal reports suggesting cannabis is an effective pain-relieving drug, the medical research community is still somewhat divided on the topic. A variety of studies in recent years have come to dramatically conflicting conclusions. New research from Washington State University is presenting evidence that cannabis can significantly reduce the severity of headaches and migraines. But the question still remains, why are scientists consistently coming up with such discordant results when trying to answer whether cannabis can reduce pain?

The new Washington State research focuses specifically on the effect of smoked cannabis on headache and migraine severity. Over one third of medical cannabis users report using the drug to treat headaches or migraines, however, there has been very little real-time study exploring the efficacy of the treatment. Outside of studies that rely on self-reported use in the past, there has only been one clinical trial, and that was exploring a synthetic cannabinoid’s effect on acute headaches.

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