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Cannabis & Migraines

Written by Dr. Kimberly Landino


The Monsoon Season means more Headaches and Migraines. How can Cannabis help?

The monsoon season in Arizona began around June 15 and extends to the end of September. Basically, it is the whole summer season. National Geographic defines this weather pattern as a “seasonal change in the direction of the prevailing, or strongest winds of a region.” High pressure over northern Mexico moves north to Arizona and gains force as it does.The monsoon is powered by this hot air and creates high-speed winds with blowing dust, heavy rain and dangerous flash flooding. Check out www.AZPBS.org to learn more about monsoon safety.


The change in the weather pattern this season with the intense heat and changing air pressures leads to an increase in migraines and headaches. People who get headaches whether they are tension headaches, from deep emotion, cluster headaches, seasonal, from allergies, or more specific headaches like occipital neuralgia, experience more pain during the monsoon season. I see it in my medical practice with an increase in headache and migraine patients in the summer months requesting to get their medical marijuana card. Clinically, I have observed that patients who have a history of head pain and who use cannabis experience an overall decrease in frequency and severity of the pain. Many patients use cannabis at the first onset of head pain or light/noise/smell sensitivities and report to me that they are able “to catch the pain as it begins” by using cannabis alone or with CBD.


I have written about the importance of sleep in several articles here in Cannabis Cactus magazine. Sleep is a foundation of health that helps to reduce inflammation, strengthens the immune system, relaxes digestion, promotes proper blood flow, creates and maintains a balanced nervous system and emotional state. If you have ever been sleep deprived then you know that you have a tendency to feel like life is upside down. Life is harder, decisions are more difficult to make and the nervous system is stressed when the body, mind and spirit have not had proper rest. Sleep deprivation and not receiving deep, restful sleep can lead to headaches to name only one of the many chronic health conditions caused by sleep deprivation. Even though in Arizona sleep deprivation and insomnia are not qualifying medical conditions to get a medical marijuana card, I would say 98% of the patients that I see benefit from using cannabis to help with sleep and it is their number one sleep aid with beneficial results.


One can not control the air pressure and weather, but there are preventative measures to help mitigate a headache or migraine during the monsoon season:

  1. Work on getting good sleep. Do an internet search on Sleep Hygiene and use techniques that resonate with you.

  2. Rubbing lavender essential oil on the temples of the head, adding a few drops to a warm bath or massaging into the soles of the feet before bedtime can relax the nervous system and promote a good night’s sleep.

  3. Keep your bedroom and other rooms of your home dark and cool for light sensitivity.

  4. Listen to calming music to soothe the nervous system.

  5. Avoid consuming the nightshade category of plants which can lead to inflammation and an increase in headaches. Avoid: white potatoes, tomatoes, tomatillos, eggplant, peppers and using tobacco.

  6. Stay hydrated with water and the electrolytes – potassium, sodium and magnesium. Eating bananas and drinking coconut water are high in potassium. Using Himalayan sea salt in cooking adds necessary minerals for health.

  7. Take a magnesium supplement after a meal and then perhaps before bedtime. Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral in the body that is in high concentrations in muscle cells and is needed to restore the muscles as well as calm and restore the nervous system. It is also helpful for leg cramps, muscle spasms, menstrual cramps and digestive disturbances- especially constipation.

  8. Try a CBD with THC indica gummy to aid in restful deep sleep and promote relaxation of the body.

  9. Yoga Nidra before bedtime. This is a form of yoga that is a guided meditation to relax the nervous system and move the body from stress/fear/anxiety to a relaxed state where healing can occur. Do an Internet search for Yoga Nidra. One good site is by: Ally Boothroyd.

Arizona is an amazing, wild state with many ecological habitats from the varieties of desert cacti, snakes and birds to the pine and birch trees all within a unique weather system.

May the Arizona sunsets of the summer soothe your soul and provide you with peace and healing this season. May the winds blow into your life that which you need. May the rain cleanse your mind and the path ahead of you.


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