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Cannabis and Migraine: It’s Complicated

  • Episodic Migraine (S Nahas, Section Editor)
  • Published:
Current Pain and Headache Reports Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Purpose of Review

The use of cannabis for the treatment of migraine has become an area of interest with the legalization of medical cannabis in the USA. Understanding the mechanisms of cannabinoids, available studies, and best clinical recommendations is crucial for headache providers to best serve patients.

Recent Findings

Patients utilizing medical cannabis for migraine have reported improvement in migraine profile and common comorbidities. Reduction in prescription medication is also common, especially opioids. Side effects exist, with the majority being mild. Not enough data is available for specific dose recommendations, but THC and CBD appear to mediate these observed effects.


The purpose of this article is twofold: review the limited research surrounding cannabis for migraine disease and reflect on clinical management experiences to provide recommendations that best capture the potential use of cannabis for migraine.

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The authors would like to thank Christopher C. Ralyea, Jr., MBA, (Dent Neurologic Institute) of the Dent Cannabis Research Center for editorial assistance.

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Correspondence to Laszlo L. Mechtler.

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Conflict of Interest

  1. (1)

    Dr. Mechtler reports advisory board appointment, speakers bureau participation, and/or research support from the following: Amgen, Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, Boston Biomedical Inc., CellDex Pharmaceuticals, Delmar Pharmaceuticals, electroCore, Novartis, Orbis Pharmaceuticals, Promius Pharma, Teva Pharmaceuticals, The Harry Dent Family Foundation, Inc. Dr. Mechtler also reports being the Medical Director/Consultant for Jushi, Inc.

  2. (2)

    Dr. Gengo declares no conflict of interest.

  3. (3)

    Mr. Bargnes has received research support from the Harry Dent Family Foundation, Inc. a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting neuroscience research.

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Mechtler, L.L., Gengo, F.M. & Bargnes, V.H. Cannabis and Migraine: It’s Complicated. Curr Pain Headache Rep 25, 16 (2021).

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