Cannabinoids and Hallucinogens for Headache

ArticleinHeadache The Journal of Head and Face Pain 52 Suppl 2(3):94-7 · October 2012with55 Reads
Impact Factor: 2.71 · DOI: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2012.02245.x · Source: PubMed

Most hallucinogens and cannabinoids fall into Federal Controlled Substances schedule 1, meaning they cannot be prescribed by practitioners, allegedly have no accepted medical use, and have a high abuse potential. The legal and regulatory status has inhibited clinical research on these substances such that there are no blinded studies from which to assess true efficacy. Despite such classification, hallucinogens and cannabinoids are used by patients with headache on occasion. Cannabinoids in particular have a long history of use for headache and migraine before prohibition and are still used by patients as a migraine abortive. Hallucinogens are being increasing used by cluster headache patients outside of physician recommendation mainly to abort a cluster period and to maintain quiescence for which there is considerable anecdotal success.

    • "Medical cannabis has been also recommended for the treatment of headache. There have been previous published reports of the utilization of cannabis for cluster headaches [35], but there is a lack of randomized controlled trials demonstrating the clinical efficacy of medical cannabis for the treatment of headaches [31]. Hence, it has been recommended that conventional treatments should be adequately tried first prior to the consideration of unconventional therapies. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cannabis, also known as marijuana, has 9-tetrahydrocannabinol as the main constituent. There has been strict legislation governing the utilization of cannabis locally and worldwide. However, there has been an increasing push to make cannabis legalized, in view of its potential medical and therapeutic effects, for various medical disorders ranging from development disorders to cancer treatment, and being an adjunctive medication for various neurological conditions. It is the aim of this review paper to explore the evidence base for its proposed therapeutic efficacy and to compare the evidence base supporting its proposed therapeutic efficacy with its known and well-researched medical and psychiatric side effects.
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