For patients who turn to cannabis for help, pain is usually the main motive. Most patients are not even aware of the healing properties of cannabis that physicians throughout the ages have written about. It just alleviates the pain, plain and simple. But a recent study set out to find which health conditions are more responsive to the cannabis treatment and which strains are preferred by said patients. What the study found out was that while patients who have a migraine prefer certain cannabis strains that seem to bring about relief from the throbbing and constant pounding in their heads, patients with arthritis or epilepsy tend to choose different strains altogether. And while chronic pain accounted for 29% of the patients in the study, 24% of the cases suffered from severe headaches and migraine. The majority of those migraine patients (88%) treated their condition with cannabis rather than other pharmaceutical drugs. The study also found that “OG Shark” was the preferred strain by the migraine patients. The study also noted that more than half of the patients preferred cannabis over prescribed medicines such as opiates and opioids.
Using an electronic survey, the researchers targeted 2032 patients with a headache, arthritis, and chronic pain. The participants were also asked to provide details about their age, gender, the frequency of cannabis use, patterns, and preferred strains. For the patients who suffered from a headache, they had an extra survey to fill out which focused on three areas: whether the headache interfered with their daily lives and work, whether it made them feel nauseous or sick, and finally if the headache made them sensitive to light. From the answers, the researchers could determine if the patient had a migraine or not. Answering ‘Yes’ to the three questions meant that there was a 97% chance they had a migraine while giving a positive answer to two of the three questions increased their risk of having a migraine by 93%.
One of the main motives behind conducting the study was getting intimate knowledge of the types of health conditions that patients used cannabis for. As the researchers said in the final report, knowing the strains and patterns of use was also just as important. “Medicinal cannabis registries typically report pain as the most common reason for use. It would be clinically useful to identify patterns of cannabis treatment in a migraine and headache, as compared to arthritis and chronic pain, and to analyze preferred cannabis strains, biochemical profiles, and prescription medication substitutions with cannabis.” And out of the 2023 patients who took part in the survey, patients with chronic pain made up 29% of the whole group. And while 505 patients filled up the migraine questionnaire, the researchers came to the conclusion that 88% of them used cannabis to treat a migraine.
One of the other goals of the study was knowing which strains were used to treat what conditions. Hybrid strains were the preferred ones for migraine patients. On top of the list came “OG Shark” as the one strain that gave the best results in bringing down the pain associated with migraine as well as the other symptoms such as sensitivity to light and feeling nauseous. But while the majority of the migraine patients substituted cannabis for opiates and opioids, other patients used pot in place of antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anticonvulsants, and even muscle relaxers.
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