Skip to content

Medical Cannabis Sativa For Headaches: Can It Help?

06 September 2022

Key Points:

  • Sativa is one of the most popular medical cannabis strains for cluster headaches, migraines, injuries and other types of head pains. It contains moderate amounts of THC and CBD, whose potential effects are believed to help with chronic pain management. 
  • CBD is a non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid with naturally calming nutrients that promote relaxation. THC, on the other hand, is a psychoactive chemical compound that rouses euphoria when used in extremely high doses.  
  • Cannabis does not directly relieve pain. The body has its own regulatory system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which influences our ability to address pain naturally. And cannabinoids are believed to enhance the ECS and make it more efficient in regulating different bodily processes, including cannabinoid activities.

If you find yourself stuck in the middle of what seems like an eternal search for headache relief, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about medical cannabis being a natural remedy for chronic pain, including headaches and migraines. Can it actually help ease headaches and even prevent the onset of its symptoms? We tapped into science to fathom the potential effects of cannabis on the mind and body.   

What Is Medical Cannabis Sativa?

Sativa is a well-known cannabis variety. It has long been used in folk medicine to help manage symptoms of pain, spasms and many other health conditions. These potential benefits come down to the naturally-occurring substances within the plant. To date, the cannabis plant is believed to produce more than 100 phytocannabinoids and other therapeutic compounds that, when combined, can deliver a synergistic effect to the body.  

Among those phytocannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are thought to be the most powerful. Whilst they came from the same plant species, CBD and THC are slightly different in terms of potential effects. CBD has naturally relaxing properties that help inspire a sense of calm, whereas THC is more of a mood-boosting substance. 

Despite the disparities in chemical structures and potential effects, one recent study conducted by LaVigne et al. at the University of Arizona Health Sciences suggests that the potential benefits of the Cannabis Sativa plant as a whole may be more promising than any of its individual parts. In theory, CBD, THC and the rest of the compounds native to the plant may help bolster one another, enhancing the cannabinoid activity. This means that combining a full spectrum of the plant’s chemical compounds may spell further relief than when used separately. 

The Truth About Medical Cannabis For Headaches

Life can be so challenging for many people who experience severe headaches on a regular basis. Headaches and migraines are very common health conditions that just about everyone can suffer from their symptoms every now and then. Nonetheless, one cannot stress enough the reason why headaches should not be taken lightly, especially when symptoms become unbearable and persistent. The intense pain associated with chronic headaches can not just impact the quality of your life, but in some cases, it can also indicate an underlying health issue that is best addressed by a medical expert.

Anyone considering the use of medical cannabis for head injuries, cluster headaches and other types of head pains must consult with their healthcare provider before taking it. While many users advocate for its potential benefits for chronic pain management, more scientific evidence is still needed to confirm that medical cannabis can be particularly effective for treating serious headaches and migraines. Even so, there have been some reports demonstrating how medical cannabis might influence the body’s natural response to chronic pain. Here’s to sum it up: 

  • The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS), the one responsible for regulating different physiological processes to achieve overall balance, also known as homeostasis. It is composed of endocannabinoids. Often referred to as cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids allow phytocannabinoids like CBD to enter the body and influence everything from pain response to immune system function. 
  • When taken in moderate doses, medical cannabis might just help sustain the ECS, empowering its ability to dial down inflammation and soothe aches, pains and other discomforts. 
  • It’s important to know that medical cannabis and its components do not necessarily treat headaches or any types of pain. It is your ECS that helps your body recuperate from pain on its own. Medical cannabis may help supplement your ECS to make it more efficient. However, scientific evidence that supports this notion is limited, and there’s still so much more to learn.

Takeaway: Can You Get Medical Cannabis For Headaches? 

Before you decide to use medical cannabis for headaches, an important step to take is to ensure that it is legally accepted in your jurisdiction. Medical cannabis has recently become legalised in the UK. However, many cannabis-based products are still considered a Class B substance due to their association with THC’s mind-altering effects. Plus, everyone who wants to purchase medical cannabis for headaches in the UK has to have a prescription from a healthcare professional.  

If you are considering medical cannabis to help ease burning symptoms of headaches, our wellness experts at Lyphe are here to help you find the best medical cannabis relief that suits your needs and issue a prescription. Reserve an online consultation appointment with us, and one of our medical experts will be more than happy to assess your condition and discuss necessary treatment options to help achieve your wellness goals. 

Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does cannabis help with pain?

Yes, lots of studies and research prove the fact that cannabis can be an effective alternative treatment to many traditional medications for back pain. It effectively manages and alleviates the symptoms like pain, muscle spasms, nausea, nerve pain, and inflammation.

Can cannabis be prescribed for chronic pain?

Medical cannabis is becoming increasingly popular for managing different types of pain, particularly in jurisdictions that have enacted policies to legalise its use. However, current guideline recommendations around the world may vary. Cannabis strains with extremely high THC levels remain illegal for medical purposes in many countries, including the UK. Your best bet is to consult a medical cannabis professional who can prescribe you the right cannabis treatment for your case and provide a prescription.

Does cannabis help with inflammation in the body?

Yes, cannabis has been found to have potent anti-inflammatory properties. Research shows that heavier THC strains work better for pain relief, while CBD is effective in alleviating inflammation.

Is Sativa or Indica better for back pain?

Both strains are used for managing back pain, and your doctor’s choice will depend on the severity of your symptoms and the effect you want to reach. A survey of that 95 participants conducted by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2014 found that participants preferred Indica strains for relieving pain and having better sleep while Sativa strains were better for improving energy and mood.

Is CBD good for back pain?

Yes, CBD can treat back pain by reducing inflammation and helping with anxiety and fatigue – symptoms commonly associated with chronic pain. CBD can also provide an overall state of relaxation.

What is considered chronic back pain?

Chronic back pain is pain that continues for 12 weeks or longer, even after the initial cause of injury has been treated. Most prescribed medications for back pain come with a multitude of side effects and can even cause addiction, which is why many people consider treating back pain with cannabis.


Author: Bojan
Author page

Bojan Ambrus, Head of Marketing & Digital Product at Lyphe Group, is a data-driven growth marketing professional with over 15 years of rich experience. His background includes roles such as Head of Marketing at and growth marketing roles in various enterprises, startups, and scale-ups. His expertise in building and positioning businesses is particularly valuable in the cannabis sector, where he navigates its complexities and regulatory challenges. His strategic marketing insights make Bojan a key player in shaping Lyphe Group's marketing and digital product strategies.

Latest posts

Become a patient today

Ready to start your journey?

Check if you are eligible
Start your journey in getting treated with medical cannabis
Get Started
Speak to an advisor
Free appointment with our expert Patient Advisor
Speak to an advisor