Cannabis' effects on headache disorders

The goal of this study was to determine the effects of cannabis based medicinal products on patients with a primary diagnosis of headache disorder. It was published in February 2023 in the Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics.

The authors used the following assessment tools to measure patient-reported outcomes (PROMs) of their treatment with cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMP):

  • Headache Impact Test-6 (HIT-6)
  • Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS)
  • EQ-5D-5L (mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) questionnaire
  • Single-Item Sleep Quality Scale (SQS)


97 patients were included and reported their outcomes at 1, 3, and 6 months. Their average age was 38. The daily doses of cannabinoids varied considerably:

  • CBD (5 to 40 mg per day): median = 20 mg per day
  • THC (54 to 204 mg per day): median = 120 mg per day

The types of CBMPs used were:

  • 25% were prescribed vaporized flower only
  • 20% were prescribed oral/sublingual administration (oils) only
  • 53% were prescribed both


Patients reported improvements on all measures at every report with a significance of p<0.005, except the GAD-7 where they reported improvements at 1 and 3 months with a significance of p<0.05.

The most common reported adverse events, or side effects were: dry mouth (11.3%), headache (11.3%), fatigue (8.2%), and concentration impairment (8.2%)

Authors' conclusion:

Improvements in headache/migraine-specific PROMs and general health-related quality of life were associated with the initiation of CBMPs in patients with headache disorders.  



The full text article is here at Taylor & Francis Online.