Niushen Zhang, study author, pointed out that many people with chronic migraines are using cannabis, and there is evidence that it can also treat other types of chronic pain.
” However, we found that people who were using cannabis had significantly increased odds of also having medication overuse headache, or rebound headache, compared to people who were not using cannabis,” she added.
The research team analyzed the records of 368 people with chronic migraines for at least a year. Out of the total, 150 were using cannabis while 218 were not.
Researchers identified who had MOH and also other factors (frequency of migraines, overuse of other medications for acute migraine, and how long they have had chronic migraine) that could affect the development of overuse headache.
They found that 212 had MOH while 156 did not. Those using cannabis were six times more likely to have MOH than those who didn’t.
People using opioids were also more likely to have current cannabis use. Prior research has shown that both opioids and cannabis can influence the periaqueductal gray (part of the brain linked to migraine).
The authors caution that since the study was retrospective, longitudinal studies are needed to explore further the cause and effect of cannabis use and MOH in patients with chronic migraines.