Suffering From Migraines
My migraines started when I was 14, and I only gained control over them when I turned 40. The first migraine I had in my teens hit me like a lightning bolt. I fell to the ground on my knees holding my head, and the pain didn’t stop until I passed out and woke up 24 hours later. From that time on, I would experience migraines frequently, and they’d come in clusters. Oftentimes, I’d vomit repeatedly, see an aura and spend days in bed.
Visiting with doctors, they never really had an answer, but they’d hand me a prescription. After multiple medications that didn’t work, and all which had intense side effects, plus visits to alternative practitioners, I assumed this was something that I needed to live with. And I did, for the next 20-plus years. As time wore on, my migraines settled into a monthly pattern. But after the birth of my third child, they suddenly became much, much worse.
Trying to raise three kids all under the age of four and working full time, I did not have time for migraines. So, at the onset of a migraine, I’d pop a Vicodin and maybe another. The Vicodin helped keep the pain at bay, as I needed to function and couldn’t afford to spend hours, much less days in bed. Even at the time, I knew this needed to be a short-term strategy—addiction was too easy a trap.
Finally, a friend insisted that I consider cannabis as a solution. Honestly, I had nothing to lose, but I thought my chances of success were zero to none. I also didn’t consider myself a stoner.
Marijuana Stopped My Migraines
Marijuana stopped my migraines. After more than 20 years of terrible pain, I don’t experience frequent migraines anymore. It didn’t happen right away, but today I live relatively pain-free—and free of narcotics.
How did I do it? It’s a two-step process. The first step is preventative, which can’t be over-emphasized. The second step is relieving pain if a migraine/headache does sneak through.
My Steps for Migraine Prevention—Which Include Cannabis
The preventative steps are relatively simple. I take 10 mg of a 20:1 CBD to THC tincture in the morning. I tried many different tinctures and sublinguals before I found the one that worked best for me. Later in the day, I take a 4:1 tincture, also at a 10 mg dosage.
CBD is known to be an analgesic as well as an anti-inflammatory. It’s important to note that high-ratio CBD products don’t make you high, and although I ingest cannabis throughout the day, I’m never high when taking these preventative measures.
Also, CBD isn’t a silver bullet that takes effect in a day or two. I’ve found that the effects are cumulative; it took two to three months of daily dosing before I felt the longer-lasting impact of the cannabinoid.
In addition to cannabis, I also take vitamin B and magnesium, which research has found to reduce migraines in patients who take these supplements regularly. I also make sure to exercise regularly, typically hiking three times a week and yoga three times a week. Lastly, I eliminated gluten, soy and wine from my diet, which personally helped me, but may not be necessary for others.
Vaping Marijuana When I Feel a Migraine Coming On
Today, I’m almost 100% migraine-free. What does happen is what I call a “shadow headache.” When I feel the shadow descending, which is usually the result of a stressful event, I reach for my vape pen. As I don’t do well with high THC products, my medicine of choice contains high CBD and low THC.
Pay Heed to Migraine Prevention, not Just Pain Management
Migraine prevention is possible. What triggers a migraine is individual, but the solutions I’ve mentioned could prevent your migraines. I’m always surprised by the amount of acceptance I hear from migraine sufferers, where all of the attention is paid to pain management rather than migraine prevention. Why not try to stop them before they begin? As a result of my preventative efforts, my life has changed significantly, for the better. I hope perhaps my solution helps you or someone you know.