A team at UC San Diego Health is conducting the first known randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial looking at cannabis as a potentially effective treatment for acute migraines, and researchers put out a call Wednesday for participants.
Although there are numerous FDA-approved treatments on the market, experts say many patients are turning to cannabis products containing THC and/or CBD, an ingredient of cannabis that is not psychoactive, to treat their migraines.
“Many patients who suffer from migraines have experienced them for many years but have never discussed them with their physicians,” said Dr. Nathaniel Schuster, a pain management specialist and headache neurologist at UCSD Health and investigator at the UCSD Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research.
“They are, rather, self-treating with various treatments, such as cannabis,” he said. “Right now, when patients ask us if cannabis works for migraines, we do not have evidence-based data to answer that question.”
About 20 participants are currently enrolled in the clinical trial, including Allison Knigge, who was in elementary school when she started to experience migraines that continued to get progressively worse as time went on, especially after the birth of her son.