Migraine patients say cannabis is helpful

Over 1,300 migraine patients were surveyed to assess their perception of the effectiveness of cannabinoid medicine on their headache symptoms and other risk factors (depression, sleep disturbance, etc.). It was published online ahead of print in the journal Neurology, Clinical Practice in March 2024.

Patients from a migraine clinic completed a one-time survey about their perceptions of cannabinoid medicine. Over 55% had used cannabis in the last 3 years and almost one third were current cannabis users.

THC/CBD (∆9 tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol) blends were most common. Most patients smoked, vaporized, or ingested their cannabinoid medicine.

Almost half of the patients who had NOT used cannabis in the last 3 years "indicated not knowing what cannabis product to take or the appropriate dosage."

The reasons patients chose to use cannabis products:

  1. Headache (65.8%)
  2. Sleep (50.8%)



The percentages of patients who reported improvements in the following areas were significant:

  • Headache intensity (78.1%)
  • Headache Duration (73.4%)
  • Headache Frequency (62.4%)
  • Nausea (56.3%)
  • Sleep (81.2%)
  • Anxiety (71.4%)
  • Depression (57.0%)


Well over half of the patients used cannabinoid medicine only when experiencing a headache while 42% used it most days or daily as a preventative measure.

Close to half of the respondents said they were able to reduce their use of other medications for headache treatment, and about 15% were able to eliminate all other headache medications.

One fifth of the patients reported side effects. Fatigue/Lethargy was the most common.

The authors' conclusions:

This is the largest study to date to document cannabis product usage patterns and perceived benefits for migraine management in a clinical headache patient sample. A majority of patients surveyed reported using cannabis products for migraine management and cited perceived improvements in migraine characteristics, clinical features, and associated risk factors. The findings warrant experimental trials to confirm the perceived benefits of cannabis products for migraine prevention and treatment.


The article abstract is here at PubMed.



Starkey B, Pearlson GD, Bond D, Glaser C, Bhargava A, Grosberg BM, Verhaak A. Characterizing Cannabis Use and Perceived Benefit in a Tertiary Headache Center Patient Sample. Neurol Clin Pract. 2024 Apr;14(2):e200285. doi: 10.1212/CPJ.0000000000200285. Epub 2024 Mar 6. PMID: 38455123; PMCID: PMC10915819.