I have had debilitating migraines for 20 years, having 10 migraines a month, some lasting 5 days. 1/3 of my life was defined by sickening, vomit-inducing pain.
I’ve seen 3 neurologists and tried every available prescription. None worked and all had significant side-effects including severe asthma attacks (beta blockers), nausea (botox), and cognitive impairment (topomax).
2 years of my medical records were required for the medical marijuana license. The doctor discussed the appropriate use including dose and delivery, safety precautions (no driving and keeping it from kids), and drug interactions.
I still use Amerge, a prescription drug for halting migraines, when my migraines are in particular danger of escalating severely and quickly, but the medical marijuana prevents the migraine pain from cycling out of control and prevents the next-day rebound. It also keeps me from vomiting.
In sum, medical marijuana has made a tremendous difference in the management of my migraines. It halts the escalating cycle of pain, it has has cut the frequency of migraines by 2/3, and prevents next day “rebounds.”
A recent study that found that activation of the brain’s cannabinoid-1 receptor combats brain degeneration. I suspect that this receptor may play a role in combating the depressed brain activity that has been found in fMRI studies of migraine aura states.
Marijuana is not a recreational drug for me. It is the most effective strategy for surviving terrible migraines. It has allowed me to be a more productive worker (with fewer dramatically fewer "sick" migraine hours) and a more attentive mother since I spend 90% less time curled in a fetal position in my bed.
The drug has worked like none other in helping me manage a terrible disease. I also feel relieved that my brain will have less traumatic traces from the migraines, which are capable of causing long-lasting micro-damage to nerve cells.
I am not advocating irresponsible drug use. I am trying to explain that medical marijuana can in fact be highly therapeutic for people in need who are capable of using it responsibly.