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Cluster headaches responsive to smoking cannabis… so use Marinol? | The NORML Stash Blog

I am the producer of The NORML Network, the host of the NORML SHOW LIVE and The NORML Stash Blog, and NORML's Outreach Coordinator. I'm married, live in Portland, Oregon, and I am a registered medical marijuana caregiver in this state. I've worked days as an IT geek and nights as a professional musician. Previously, I have been the host of my own political talk radio show on satellite radio. I've been the High Times "Freedom Fighter of the Month" and I travel across the country to educate people on marijuana reform. I've dedicated my life to bringing an end to adult marijuana prohibition and re-legalizing cannabis hemp, and I'm honored to be chosen by NORML to give voice to the Marijuana Nation and to speak for those who can't speak up.

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14 responses to “Cluster headaches responsive to smoking cannabis… so use Marinol?”

  1. Tess Emdin

    Hello All,
    I am soooo happy that I have found this site. Thank you.
    i have been suffering with CH for the last 18 months and until now have been using oxygen which seems to have stopped helping. Today I had my first Chinese Acapuncture treatment and while we were talking I mentioned to the Dr. that I take Medical Cannabis for chronic pain. He looked at me like Iwas nuts and told me to try haveing a smoke or two before I go to sleep !!!!! Going to try tonight – wish me luck. Will let you know what happens – I have another 3 acapunc. treatments to do and we will see what happens during the next three weeks with Acapunc. AND Cannabis before bedtime
    BE well, be strong and dont give up :-P

  2. woodsman6119

    I have been suffering CH since 1986. for almost 20 of those years I had them daily. Almost 8 to 16 times a day. Day or night. Bad ones. I could never find a trigger for them. Back in the 70′s and early 80′s I smoked Canibis. Then I stopped because of responsibilities and life. Then CH started up. I have tried every drug there is out there with no relief in site. In 04 the headaches changed to regular CH. Seasonal but lasting at least three mos. At least 8 a day. Day or night. Still no drugs that will touch them. Including Oxygen. I have tried every drug mentioned in this post plus others. I was 30 years old when I first got them and am now 58 years old. It has been one hell of a ride. two marriages down the tube and living on disability. My ex’s just couldn’t handle the stress of the pain and the continued Dr’s appointments. Plus no money. sorry about dumping on you all a little but I seem to think in my mind that there might be some hope in canibis. Thing is, I live in a state where it is illegal. but I will move if that’s what it takes. I am just so tired of the pain. Am going through a bout right now. Can anyone tell me more? I sure am not afraid of it. My last Dr. wanted me to try Botox. Just can’t do that. Right now I am unwilling to do any Pharm drugs anymore. They have too many side affects. Been there done that. I just want to live the rest of my life as best I can with as little pain as I can. Looking for info. God Bless. Please contact me. Ross Ueckert. Email- rossueckert@gmail.com

  3. Clint

    I have had cluster headaches for 11 years and for the past year and a half they have turned chronic nothing seems to take away the pain I live in saskatchewan canada can I get marinol here

  4. Erik Foss

    I am a cluster headache sufferer.
    I am sober of 5 years and am hesitant of any
    Thing that would trigger a relapse.
    If you are in a similar position I recommend breathing medical
    Grade pure oxygen.
    I get mine through a welding supplier.
    I do not have health insurance so this is a way
    To acquire the tanks and mask.
    Breath the oxygen the second the headache starts.
    Breath in heavily for 3-5 minutes.
    This could be the safest , quickest , purest firm of releafe.
    Just keep it away from fire :)
    Good luck all.

  5. Virgie

    I know your pain and would like to offer this tip as an alternative to cannabis. I’ve been suffering episodes since the early 90′s and during the course of different neurologist, headache tea, trial and error, I have discovered that, when taken AS SOON AS you feel an attack coming, MSM (Methylsulphonylmethane) may stop the intensity and keep it from coming ’til the next time. This may vary per person. Plus, this is something you can take immediately and not have to hide. It can be found at your local health food store. Now, the magic pill, of course, is Zomig, which knocks it out in 3 – 5 minutes, prescribed or samples from your doctor. I’ve also recently discovered that the Capsaicin pain relief patch (cut to fit) gives relief on the temple and one behind the head just below the ear. All of this is good for the band aid relief, but my remission period has come from high blood pressure medication (used as prophylactic), and weaning off……the longest period 8 years between headaches and taking nothing. This may not work for everybody, but those band aids sure come in handy when that little man in your head decides to wipe you out.

  6. John

    I too suffer from CH,and they are thee worste cause of pain I have ever had,and my whole back in tattooed,and that does not even compare to the pain of a CH. I read about smoking pot as a way to treat the pain and take away the CH. I tell you what,everytime I feel one coming on,I take three pipe hits and within 5 minutes it is totally gone.Like a miracle!!! Thank God for this great discovery with avoiding the terrible pain from a CH…

  7. xcannabis.com

    I recently posted this video about cluster headaches.

  8. Robert

    I too suffer from CH, Episode’s occur very frequently, I am the sole supporter of my family, and have been forced to suffer from CH. and the after effects of the episodes, Unfortunately I was arrested with medical cannabis in California. I had to plead guilty because the owner of the cannabis club it was for disapeared, and wouldn’t testify on my behalf. so Now I’m on felony probation, and I’m not allowed to be on Medical marijuana. I use Enough Motrin and Tylenol to destroy a hundred livers, I cant afford an attorney to fight it, in court so I have to slowly kill myself with this poison. Be careful! Wonder if I could get Marinol.

  9. Kimber Compiler

    My cousin gave me some weed as his mother, an RN an hospice care manager, suggested it. I thought I would try it just for the heck of it as the MS-Contin (morphine sulfate) was not even touching the pain. Would awake at 11:30 PM with excruciating left-temporal / periorbital pain. Wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemies!

    I was so distraught that I decided to smoke just a little (from one of those pinch-hitters) and went back in to bed and put the ice pack back on and within 10 minutes I had relief. Brought my pain level down from 8 to 2 and then all pain was gone after around 20 minutes. I wish I would have tried it a couple of months earlier, but I just thought it was counter intuitive to smoke something when my head was about to explode. If you suffer from cluster headaches do yourself the best favor in your life: get some THC in your system and you will only have yourself to thank.

    I was really skeptical, at first, and thought ‘sure, just a reason for people to smoke pot.’ I must admit that I was critical of peoples’ claims about the myriad uses of marijuana. What an idiot I’ve been.

    Kimber Compiler

  10. xcannabis.com

    Wow, I can’t believe that I missed this post. I also suffer from cluster headaches, and I use cannabis for relief and prevention.

    Here is some data:

    Ethan Russo, M.D.
    # Cannabis in Headache Treatment Study Survey
    # Cannabis in Migraine Treatment Project Close to FDA Approval
    # Cannabis in Migrane Treatment Study


  11. Thor

    I’ve suffered from CH for several years now. After trying many medications on top of medications and getting addicted to Hydrocodone, my youngest son sent me a link to a paper from Europe (I don’t remember which, or where to find it) talking about the use of MJ for CH. I decided to try it (I hadn’t smoked it in quite a few years), and while not always effective, it usually helps quite a bit. Since I started smoking it regularly again, my headache clusters seem to be coming less often, and are generally not as severe as they used to be. Unfortunately, it seems that at times having a “toke” or two can actually trigger an episode. As soon as MJ is legal for medical use, my doc will be one of the first to write the prescription – he approves (unofficially of course!) of anything that actually helps me. Since I’ve been seeing him for more than eight years now, primarily for other reasons, we have speculated together whether taking the medications that I’ve tried (for those other purposes) may have actually caused the onset of these cluster headaches. But as several doctors have told me “no one really knows what causes them”.

  12. Jerry D. Moler

    Cannabis should be consider a prophylactic when it comes to cluster headaches. I’ve been using it for over forty years. I have had cluster headaches my whole life. It was not properly diagnosed until I was 30 years old. I discovered on my own that if I smoke good quality cannabis (typically home grown or medical grade) it helps prevent them from occurring as often and also reduces the severity. After onset it has limited effect for me. It does reduce the pain but does not eliminate it. I would love to see real clinical trials of this done so that we could further refine the exact cannibiniods that effect this problem. It may lead to a better understanding of the cause and effect. I would love to be able to disrupt the cycle. My headaches are very cyclical. Any feed back would be appreciated.

  13. Nick Gallias

    Now add in how restrictive the price of Marinol is compared to marijuana. Add to this the real reaction time of Marinol, 5-15 minutes compared to marijuana, 1-3 minutes. Now add in undesirable side effects of Marinol. Which way would I go? I suffered Cluster Headaches (CH) for over 12 years while in the military due to drug testing. I finally said to heck with that in 1992 and have been CH free since.

    Great post.

  14. What Are Cluster Headaches

    [...] Cluster headaches responsive to smoking cannabis use Marinol [...]

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