Headache pain can last for days, weeks, months or become chronic in whiplash sufferers. Medical marijuana can help relieve the pain of headaches. It is also effective for chronic headache pain. In fact, research has shown that medical marijuana can treat some of the most painful chronic headaches one can suffer — migraines and cluster headaches. Among the best arguments for medical marijuana as a treatment for chronic whiplash-related headaches is the low rate of addiction and the lack of potential for fatal overdose. Unlike most other prescription pain relievers, sufferers cannot overdose on marijuana.
Evidence that marijuana works to treat headaches dates back to at least the 19th century, though anecdotal evidence has existed for much longer. Dr. John Russell Reynolds wrote of using medical marijuana to treat headaches in 1868. In his treatment of two young women, he found no negative side effects as it pertained to the headaches that he could link to medical marijuana. Both patients found rapid relief from their headaches under his treatment with what he called “Indian hemp.” He also had this to say about its safety as a treatment, “The bane of many opiates and sedatives is this, that the relief of the moment, the hour, or the day, is purchased at the expense of to-morrow’s [sic] misery. In no one case to which I have administered Indian hemp, have I witnessed any such results.”
Other pain produced by whiplash appears to be muscular, inflammatory and sometimes caused by neuropathy. Research with medical marijuana and multiple sclerosis shows that medical marijuana can help pain caused by neuropathy. Medical marijuana research on inflammatory illnesses such as Chron’s disease shows that it can reduce inflammation. There is also anecdotal and medical research that supports medical marijuana as a general pain reliever. A study by the University of California, San Francisco also shows that it can increase the effect of opiates, leading to a lower necessary dose of the dangerous drugs. As of now, more research is needed in all of these uses for medical marijuana.
According to a clinical trial conducted by the Operational Trauma and Stress Support Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, medical marijuana can decrease the occurrence of nightmares in individuals with PTSD, decrease the intensity of nightmares and improve overall amount of restful sleep. Other studies have shown that medical marijuana can help people fall asleep and stay asleep. Whiplash sufferers who have difficulty sleeping after sustaining their injuries can benefit from this effect. Furthermore, sufferers whose pain is causing the sleep disturbance call benefit from the pain-relieving effects of marijuana and its ability to produce restful sleep.
The depression that sometimes occurs with whiplash can be a reaction to chronic pain and discomfort. There is some evidence that medical marijuana can treat depression even in those who do not have whiplash. However, coupled with the capacity to treat chronic pain that may be causing the depression, medical marijuana can provide multi-symptom relief from whiplash.
This information is not provided by medical professionals and is intended only to complement, and not to replace or contradict, any health or medical advice or information provided by healthcare professionals. If you have any questions, please contact your doctor or other healthcare professional.