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Question:

Can marijuana treat migraines?

Expert:   Audrey Halpern, MD, PC, Executive Director, Manhattan Center for Headache & Neurology »

Medicinal marijuana is legal in several states, but does that mean you should smoke it for migraine relief? Check out what our expert has to say on this controversial subject.

Transcript: As of July 2011, SIXTEEN states and Washington DC allow MEDICAL marijuana use. Whether or not the drug can be prescribed to treat MIGRAINE pain is almost always determined on an INDIVIDUAL basis, and it’s up to doctors and the state’s health board. The process for acquiring a medical marijuana prescription differs within each state. Consult YOUR state’s law for the details, and if it’s legal there, ask your doctor. You may have to register and receive an ID card. BUT, you should know that you’re still breaking the law on a FEDERAL level. The Drug Enforcement Administration decided that marijuana has “no accepted medical use” and should remain illegal. This decision contradicts a report issued in 1999 by the Institute of Medicine, a part of the National Academy of Sciences. THEY said scientific data says that marijuana HAS therapeutic use for many conditions, including pain relief. History tends to agree with them. Marijuana’s been used as migraine relief for centuries, and doctors who believe in it say that the vascular changes caused by marijuana relieve migraine headaches. Medical marijuana is a VERY controversial topic. If it’s legal in your state, it’s up to you whether or not you want to risk pursuing a prescription, despite the lack of research affirming its effectiveness, not to mention the federal laws. More »

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