Migraine – Cannabis Research

Migraine Research Dashboard


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CannaKeys has 64 studies associated with Migraine.

Here is a small sampling of Migraine studies by title:

Components of the Migraine Research Dashboard

  • Dosing information available for Migraine
  • Chemotype guidance for treating Migraine with cannabis
  • Synopsis of cannabis research for Migraine
  • Individual study details for Migraine

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Overview - Migraine

Description of Migraine

Migraines are a specific category of recurring headaches that range from moderate to severe. They are often unilateral, associated with nausea, and can heighten sensitivity to sound and light. However, most migraines (75%) come on without an “aura.”

Severe migraines lasting for hours or days can be debilitating, causing disability and missed work. Status migrainosus is a condition lasting more than 72 hours and requiring emergency medical attention. People with chronic migraines suffer attacks 15 or more days a month for over three months.

The precise causes and cures for migraines remain unknown within the allopathic tradition. Neuropeptides such as serotonin, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) are believed to contribute to its pathology.

One of the leading physical culprits under consideration also includes scalp or brain blood vessel abnormalities. Scientists also hypothesize that hormonal changes, stressors, weather changes, and food sources may trigger migraine attacks.

Management of triggers through individual observations of potential triggers, diaries, consequent implementation of trigger avoidance, and prevention through supportive lifestyle choices such as nutrition and exercise has given many patients some control.

According to a recent paper (Ruschel et al., 2023), the highest probability triggers to know and look for include:

  • Stress in 80% (probable factor)

  • Hormonal changes in 65% during menstruation, ovulation, and pregnancy (probable factor)

  • Skipped meals 57% (probable factor)

  • Weather changes in 53% (probable factor)

  • Excessive or insufficient sleep in 50% (possible factor)

  • Odors in 40% (perfumes, colognes, petroleum distillates)


Disease Classification

Condition: Migraine
Disease Family: Neurological Condition
Organ System: Nervous System
ICD-10 Chapter: Diseases of the Nervous System
ICD-10 Code: G43

Migraine Symptoms:

Severe pain, stiff neck, rapid mood swings, prodrome, aura, nausea/vomiting, photophobia (hypersensitivity to light), phonophobia (aversion to sound), and nausea and vomiting. Several people see flashes of light (called auras) signaling the migraine's arrival. At the same time, other early indications (prodromes) might include a craving for chocolate, aversion to noise, sudden mood shifts to depression, anxiety, or joy.

Also known as:

Hemiplegic migraine, Chronic Migraine, Ophthalmoplegic migraine, Cyclical vomiting, Abdominal Migraine, Cluster headache, migraine with aura, intractable migraine with aura, familial migraine, sporadic migraine, Migraine with aura with refractory migraine, intractable unspecified migraine, unspecified Migraine with refractory migraine, lower half migraine, treatment resistant migraine, poorly controlled migraine, pharmacoresistant migraine, pharmacologically resistant migraine, hemiplegic Migraine with refractory migraine, intractable hemiplegic migraine, migraine without aura, intractable migraine without aura, migraine without Aura with refractory migraine, hemiplegic migraine without refractory migraine, not intractable hemiplegic migraine, other migraine, not intractable other migraine, other migraine without refractory migraine, unspecified migraine, intractable unspecified migraine, unspecified migraine without refractory migraine, status migrainosus, migraine with aura, persistent migraine aura, basilar migraine, classical migraine, migraine equivalents, migraine preceded or accompanied by transient focal neurological phenomena, migraine triggered seizures, Migraine with acute onset aura, migraine with aura without headache, migraine with prolonged aura, Migraine with typical aura, retinal migraine, ophthalmoplegic migraine, intractable ophthalmoplegic migraine, not intractable ophthalmoplegic migraine, ophthalmoplegic Migraine with status migrainosis, ophthalmoplegic status migrainosus, ophthalmoplegic migraine without refractory migraine, abdominal migraine, abdominal migraine with status migrianosus, abdominal migraine without refractory migraine, migraine with aura not intractable with status migranosus, classical Migraine with status migrainosus, migraine with aura with status migrainosus, retinol migraine with status migrainosus, unspecified intractable Migraine with status migrainosus, intractable Migraine with status migranosis, not intractable migraine without aura, migraine without Aura without mention of refractory migraine, not intractable migraine with aura, migraine with aura without mention of refractory migraine, chronic migraine without aura, transformed migraine, intractable abdominal migraine, intractable abdominal migraine without status migrinosus, intractable allergic migraine, intractable ophthalmic migraine, migraine variant, intractable migraine variant, allergic migraine, complicated migraine, complex migraine, Migraine with visual symptoms, menstrual migraine, intractable menstrual migraine, intractable menstrual Migraine with status micronosis, intractable menstrual migraine without status migranosis, allergic Migraine with status micronosis, intractable retinal status migranosis, intractable retinal migraine without status migrainosus, allergic status migranosus, allergic migraine without status migranosis, pure menstrual migraine, menstrually related migraine, premenstrual migraine, menstrual status migrainosis, Persistent migraine Aura without cerebral infarction, persistent migraine aura with cerebral infarction, persistent migraine Aura with cerebral infarction without refractory migraine, persistent migraine Aura with cerebral infarction with refractory migraine, chronic intractable migraine without aura, cyclical vomiting with refractory migraine, ciliary neuralgia, histamine cephalgia, migrainous neuralgia, premenstrual syndrome associated with menstrual migraine

Drug Interactions

THC Interaction with Pharmaceutical Drugs

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can enhance the effects of drugs that cause sedation and depress the central nervous system, such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and alcohol. 
  • THC is metabolized by an inhibitor of several enzymatic liver pathways referred to as cytochrome P450 (aka CYP450). There are more than 50 enzymes belonging to this enzyme family, several of which are responsible for the breakdown of common drugs such as antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, doxepin, fluvoxamine), antipsychotics (haloperidol, clozapine, Stelazine), beta-blockers (e.g., propranolol), bronchodilators (e.g., theophylline), or blood thinners (e.g., warfarin). Thus, patients taking these medication classes may find that THC increases the concentration and effects of these drugs and the impact duration.
  • Clinical observation (not yet confirmed by clinical trials) suggests no likely interactions with other pharmaceuticals at a total daily dose of up to 20mg THC.

If you are interested in the interaction potential of specific pharmaceuticals with THC, consider visiting these free drug interaction checkers: Drugs.com or DrugBank Online.

CBD Interaction with Pharmaceutical Drugs

  • Cannabidiol (CBD) may alter the action of metabolic enzymes (specific drug-transport mechanisms) and alter interactions with other drugs, some of which may produce therapeutic or adverse effects. For instance, CBD interacts with the enzyme cytochrome P450 3A4 and cytochrome P450 2C19, increasing the bioavailability of anti-epileptic drugs such as clobazam (a benzodiazepine). This makes it possible to achieve the same results at significantly lower dosages, reducing treatment costs and risks of adverse effects. 
  • Groups of drugs affected include anti-epileptics, psychiatric drugs, and drugs affecting metabolic enzymes.
  • Clinical observations (not yet confirmed by clinical trials) suggest no likely interactions with other pharmaceuticals at a total daily dose of up to 100mg CBD.

If you are interested in the interaction potential of specific pharmaceuticals with CBD, consider visiting these free drug interaction checkers: Drugs.com or DrugBank Online.

THC/CBD Interaction with Pharmaceutical Drugs

In general, when using cannabinoid-based therapeutics that contain both THC and CBD consider the ratio between them and weigh the relevant information displayed in the individual THC and CBD Drug Interaction windows accordingly.

If you are interested in the interaction potential of specific pharmaceuticals with both primary cannabinoids and THC/CBD, consider visiting these free drug interaction checkers: Drugs.com or DrugBank Online.

Concerns about Cannabis and Cancer-related Immunotherapies:
Some recent clinical observational studies have suggested that the co-administration of cannabinoid-based therapeutics and immunotherapy or immune checkpoint inhibitors in the treatment of certain types of cancer has been associated with worse overall survival rates (T. Taha et al., 2019; A. Biedny et al., 2020; G. Bar-Sela et al., 2020).

However, other studies have suggested that the co-commitment use of immune checkpoint inhibitors and cannabis-induced no such deleterious effects. More specifically, one trial was conducted on animals resulting in data suggesting that cannabis did not negatively affect the properties of immune checkpoint inhibitors (B. Waissengrin et al., 2023). The same authors compared the previous study results with findings from a cohort of 201 patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer who received treatment with monotherapy pembrolizumab as a first-line treatment and adjunct cannabis to treat mainly pain and loss of appetite. Their time to tumor progression was 6.1 versus 5.6 months, and overall survival differed between 54.9 versus 23.6 months in cannabis-naïve patients and cannabis-using patients, respectively. However, while numerically different, the authors write that these differences were not statistically significant, leading them to suggest that “These data provide reassurance regarding the absence of a deleterious effect of cannabis in this clinical setting.”

Dosing Considerations

THC Dosage Considerations

  • THC micro dose:  0.1 mg to 0.4 mg
  • THC low dose:  0.5 mg to 5 mg
  • THC medium dose:  6 mg to 20 mg
  • THC high dose:  21 mg to 50+ mg

CBD Dosage Considerations

  • CBD low dose:  0.4 mg to 19 mg
  • CBD medium dose: 20 mg to 99 mg
  • CBD high dose:  100 mg to 800+ mg (upper limits tested ~1,500mg)

Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own licensed physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. If using a product, you should read carefully all product packaging. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.

Information on this site is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented health care practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications.