Migraines

GreenBridge Medical

Family Medicine Physicians & Medical Cannabis Specialists located in Santa Monica, CA

Migraines can come out of nowhere and ruin any plans you had for the day or last even longer. More than just a headache, migraine symptoms can be truly debilitating, and the anxiety that comes along with never knowing when one may strike next is no picnic either. But migraines don’t have to be endured alone. Medication can be effective in preventing them, as well as in treating their symptoms when they do occur. At GreenBridge Medical in Santa Monica, California, Dr. Frankel and Dr. Kurzman use the dosed cannabis method to treat migraines. To learn more about your options for treating your migraines, call or book an appointment online.

Migraines Q & A

GreenBridge Medical

What is a migraine?

In short, a migraine is a vascular event that is most known for the severe, pulsing pain that usually affects just one side of the head. These severe headaches can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting and can make you extremely sensitive to light and sound.

While the exact mechanism to blame for migraines is unknown, many believe chemical imbalances in the brainstem may cause the intense pain.

Who gets migraines?

Women are much more likely to get migraines than men, especially during dramatic hormonal shifts, like menopause or pregnancy. Most people who have migraines first experienced them as an adolescent and then see them peak during their 30s. People with a family history of migraines often get them too.

Environmental factors like changes in weather or barometric pressure and consumption of alcohol and certain foods may also play a role in causing migraines. As with most health issues, migraines are often made worse by stress and insufficient sleep.

So is a migraine just a headache?

No, a migraine is much more complicated than just a headache. Essentially, a migraine is broken down into four stages:

Prodrome

For one to two days before a migraine, you may notice slight symptoms like constipation, food cravings, unstable mood, and increased thirst.

Aura

Most people do not experience auras but they may occur before or during a migraine. You may have visual disturbances, like wavy vision or painful flashes of light or spots. You may feel weak or feel like someone is touching you.

Attack

This is the most recognizable stage of a migraine: intense head pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound. This stage can last from 4-72 hours.

Postdrome

As the pain begins to subside, you may feel drained, confused, or exhausted for a day or two as you recover.

How can medical cannabis help my migraines?

Whether you’re using medical cannabis or traditional medication, the aim is usually to prevent migraines entirely, rather than treating them when they do occur.

As a vasodilator and muscle relaxer, cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to be effective in preventing migraines. Since it’s not psychoactive, CBD is an option for many people feeling the effects of migraines.

In the event a migraine does occur, medical cannabis can still be effective. It’s generally thought that higher doses of cannabis’ psychoactive compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a more effective way to ease debilitating migraine symptoms.

If you would like to learn more about the treatment and prevention of migraines using the dosed cannabis method, contact GreenBridge Medical in Santa Monica, California, for more information.