What are the Correct Strains for Patients Suffering from Headaches?


Almost everyone has had a headache. Headache is the most common form of pain. It’s a major reason people miss days at work or school or visit the doctor.

The most common type of headache is a tension headache. Tension headaches are due to tight muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp and jaw. They are often related to stress, depression or anxiety. You are more likely to get tension headaches if you work too much, don’t get enough sleep, miss meals, or use alcohol.

Other common types of headaches include migraines, cluster headaches, and sinus headaches. Most people can feel much better by making lifestyle changes, learning ways to relax and taking pain relievers.

Not all headaches require a doctor’s attention. But sometimes headaches warn of a more serious disorder. Let your health care provider know if you have sudden, severe headaches. Get medical help right away if you have a headache after a blow to your head, or if you have a headache along with a stiff neck, fever, confusion, loss of consciousness, or pain in the eye or ear.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Is cannabis an effective treatment for headaches?

Philip Denney, MD, Co-founder of a medical cannabis evaluation practice, in the June 2, 2005 Whittier Daily Newsis quoted by Shirley Hsu in the article “Migraine Sufferer Finds Relief from Marijuana”: 
“Cannabis is one of the best medicines for migraines. It’s so effective – it works rapidly, and it has limited toxicity, although lung damage from smoking is a concern.”

June 2, 2005 – Philip Denney, MD 

Jack Herer, author and pro-marijuana activist, wrote in his Nov. 2000 book The Emperor Wears No Clothes:
“Because migraine headaches are the result of artery spasms combined with over-relaxation of veins, the vascular changes cannabis causes in the covering of the brain (the meninges) usually make migraines disappear.”

Nov. 2000 – Jack Herer 

Ethan Russo, MD, Senior Medical Advisor at the Cannabinoid Research Institute, in a 2001 article “Hemp for Headache: An In-Depth Historical and Scientific Review of Cannabis in Migraine Treatment,” published in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, wrote:
“In closing, a unique dance of medical science and politics is occurring that will soon decide whether herbal cannabis (a derivative, or synthetic analogue) will rise like the legendary phoenix to resume an ancient role as a remedy for migraine and neuropathic pain.”

2001 – Ethan Russo, MD 

David L. Bearman, MD, physician and medical marijuana expert, in a letter printed in the Feb. 3, 2005 edition of Los Angeles City Beat, wrote:

“Not only are there thousands of migraine patients who benefit from cannabis, but cannabis has been cited by such historical medical luminaries as Sir William Osler, M.D. (considered the father of modern medicine) and Dr. Morris Fishbein (long-time editor of JAMA) as the best treatment for migraines (back in the days before the Congress ignored the AMA and over the AMA’s objection, passed the Marijuana Tax Act).”

[Editor’s Note: Dr. Bearman responded to the Con statements in a Jan. 11, 2011 email to ProCon.org:

“A couple of the con statements on the use of cannabis to prevent and/or relieve the symptoms of migraine headaches correctly note that there have been no double blind studies done. This observation does not abrogate thousands of years of anecdotal evidence and over one hundred years of support by prominent figures in the medical establishment… While double blind studies are certainly important, in the United States such studies have not been allowed…

Dr. Russo, a well respected  neurologist, author, researcher and North American Consultant to GW Pharmaceuticals, tried for four years to get the federal government to approve just such a double blind research project. They refused…

Just as a historical note; when aspirin was first used for treating headaches no double blind studies were done, yet we still believe that aspirin treats headaches. Aspirin was based on centuries of use of willow bark by Native Americans. Aspirin was grand-mothered in by the 1938 Food, Cosmetics and Drug Act and to the best of my knowledge has never received modern FDA approval because it never had to. Many experts say that if aspirin had to undergo the contemporary FDA approval process it would be far from a shoe in to receive that approval.”]

Feb. 3, 2005 – David L. Bearman, MD