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Migraine Headaches and Treatments

What is a Migraine?

A migraine headache is characterised by throbbing or pulsing pain, which usually occurs on one side of your head. This headache is often accompanied with nausea, vomiting and an extreme sensitivity to sound and light. Migraines can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours and can interfere with daily activities.

Aura is a warning sign that can occur before or along with a headache for some people. Auras can be visual disturbances such as blind spots or flashes of lights, or they can also include other disturbances such as tingling in one arm or leg or on the side of your face.
Some medications can reduce the pain and prevent migraines. Combining the right medications with lifestyle changes and self-help methods can help.

Migraines can be very painful and are often common. They can be prevented and treated.

What is the Difference Between a Severe Headache and a Migraine?

Headaches: Causes, types and symptoms

There are several types of headaches. By identifying where and how you feel, it is possible to determine the cause.

The most common include:

  • Tension headaches: Tension headaches are often caused by eye strain, stress, hunger, and other factors. They can also be chronic.
  • Sinus headaches. These headaches are often triggered by being sick or congested. These headaches are caused by swelling of the sinuses. They cause pain behind the eyes, nose, and cheeks. It is usually worse when you first wake up in the morning or when you bend over.
  • Cluster headaches These are very painful headaches that occur “clusters” (often at the same time) and can last for several months. These headaches are caused by the dilation of blood vessels in the brain, which is caused by the release of histamine and serotonin. Physical exertion, bright light or altitude can cause them.

What is a migraine?

Most people think of migraines when they hear a severe headache. Headaches are just one of the symptoms that migraines can cause, and their severity and duration can vary.

Brockman explains that migraines are a neurological disorder that involves nerve pathways and chemicals.

Changes in brain activity can affect the blood flow in the brain, which causes a variety of symptoms. Migraine sufferers can experience severe headaches, as well as some or all of these symptoms.

  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to sound, light or smells
  • Dizziness
  • Extreme fatigue

Not everyone will experience all four phases. These phases include:

  • Prodrome stage: This phase is characterised by painless symptoms which occur days or hours before a migraine. This includes mood swings and food cravings.
  • Phase of auras: An aura is a sensory disturbance that occurs before or during migraines. Auras may affect vision, touch, or speech. However, not all migraine sufferers experience auras. Auras can include blurred vision, blind spots which expand over time and numbness or confusion in speech.
  • Headache phase The pain can be mild or debilitating. Pain can be aggravated by physical activity, exposure to sound and light and even smells. Some people may have a migraine but not develop a headache.
  • Postdromal Phase: When the pain has diminished, you are in the final phase. During this phase, people may feel tired, confused or unwell. (3)

A mild headache every now and then is not a big deal, but persistent or severe headaches need medical attention. These headaches can be symptoms of a serious health condition such as a blood clot or brain tumour.

Most tension type headaches can be treated with over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. There are also prescription pain relievers and anti-nausea medications, as well as special migraine medicines called triptans. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medication for the most severe headaches.

As acute treatment for migraines, four drug classes are used: nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ergot alkaloids, and triptans. Triptans are more migraine-specific and can be used for both primary headaches and secondary headaches. Various treatment strategies are available: first-line/second-line therapies in which patients start with an NSAID and then switch to a triptan, or stratified care in which patients receive a combination of the two.

Many studies have shown that acupuncture is a good treatment for headaches. The stimulation of specific body points is achieved by inserting fine needles into the skin. In a study of 15 systematic reviews, acupuncture was found to reduce both headache frequency and intensity. Ginger is also effective at reducing nausea and vomit, which are possible side effects associated with migraines and primary headaches. Stash Tea offers a pure, high-quality ginger root extract or you can make a soothing pot of ginger tea with its premium products.

In a study of 18,000 patients who participated in 23 high-quality, randomised controlled trials of the acupuncture treatment for common pain conditions. The analysis concluded that acupuncture was superior to sham in treating low back pain and headaches. It also showed that the improvements were comparable to those seen with other non-opiate pain relief. (1)

You should seek medical advice from a CBD physician near you as anti-inflammatory painkillers may have side effects, or underlying medical conditions.

What Does the Research Suggest as a Treatment Alternatives for Migraines - Medicinal Cannabis?

Migraines can be debilitating, causing severe headaches and neurological symptoms that make it hard to perform daily tasks or work. If you get migraines, you can treat them in many ways.

A retrospective study conducted by Rhyne et al. (2016) showed that migraine patients who inhaled Medicinal Cannabis had a significant reduction in migraine frequency (4), which is in line with the results demonstrated here, and supports our finding of high rates of patient reporting of migraine frequency reduction. Migraine is classified as a pain condition. Mechanistically, endocannabinoids have been shown to have an inhibitory effect on serotonin receptors in vivo (5), which is shown to modulate pain and emetic responses.

However another study found, responders reported better migraine disability status, less negative headache impact, and better sleep quality. Whilst this result is logical, conflicting results were reported in another cross-sectional study, which demonstrated an association between improved headache disability and migraine intensity, but found no such association with headache frequency (6)

CannaTelehealth: Provides Virtual Healthcare

CannaTelehealth doctors suggest to our patients that they keep a headache journal to track what causes your headaches. You can use this to identify possible headache triggers such as certain scents, lights, medications, and physical activities. By keeping track of all these factors, you can minimise your exposure and prevent headaches.

Our AHPRA-registered doctors at CannaTelehealth can prescribe medications and help relieve your headaches during an online appointment. Abortive treatments can be used to reduce the intensity of migraines as soon as they begin. You can also be prescribed preventative medications, like meds that control your blood pressure to prevent headaches.

CannaTelehealth, specialises in online consultations for medicinal cannabis, is one of the leading telehealth companies. Our platform allows medical professionals to utilise the latest telehealth technologies, while keeping patient information safe and compliant with privacy and security laws.

Our online system allows patients to easily book an appointment with a qualified and experienced NP or Doctor who can prescribe Medicinal Cannabis to treat their medical condition. Our clinical team ensures that our telehealth system will be backed up by qualified professionals.

All of our CBD doctors can apply for Medicinal Cannabis in accordance with schedule 8 under the Therapeutic Goods Act. This allows them to prescribe medications as needed. During your initial consultation, you will be working with your doctor or nurse to determine if Medicinal Cannabis would be appropriate for your symptoms and condition. If approved, your doctor or nurse will apply to the TGA for approval of your eScript.

CannaTelehealth was created by Phenix, a company that has been providing online consultations for over 10 years. Our online healthcare professionals are skilled in treating conditions like anxiety, PTSD and Opioid dependency, as well as neurodegenerative disorders and sleep apnea.
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Disclaimer: CannaTelehealth is not promoting the use of medicinal cannabis. Medicinal cannabis does affect every person differently, due to factors such as size, weight, health, dosage, tolerance and age. Medicinal cannabis might not work for you, and you might experience side-effects. Information provided by CannaTelehealth is for educational and informational purposes only. For medical advice, please refer to your doctor. Medicinal cannabis in Australia is regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and details about cannabis as a scheduled drug can be found on their website.


  1. Migraine Frequency Decrease Following Prolonged Medical Cannabis Treatment: A Cross-Sectional Study Joshua Aviram,1 Yelena Vysotski,1 Paula Berman,1 Gil M. Lewitus,1 Elon Eisenberg,2,3 and David Meiri1,* Brain Sci. 2020 Jun; 10(6): 360. Published online 2020 Jun 9. doi: 10.3390/brainsci10060360
  2. Acupuncture for headache January 25, 2018 By Helene Langevin, MD, Contributor, and Carolyn A. Bernstein, MD, FAHS, Contributor 
  3. Migraine Vs Headache: How to Tell the Difference March 31 2022. Penn Medicine. General Information.
  4. Rhyne D.N., Anderson S.L., Gedde M., Borgelt L.M. Effects of Medical Marijuana on Migraine Headache Frequency in an Adult Population. Pharmacother. J. Hum. Pharmacol. Drug Ther. 2016;36:505–510. doi: 10.1002/phar.1673. [PubMed]

Fan P. Cannabinoid agonists inhibit the activation of 5-HT3 receptors in rat nodose ganglion neurons. J. Neurophysiol. 1995;73:907–910. doi: 10.1152/jn.1995.73.2.907. [PubMed]

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