Preclinical Trial Tests Combination of CBD:THC for Migraine Relief  What are the main findings?

Response: The main finding was that we found that a combination of CBD and THC was able to ameliorate photophobia-like behavior in mice. While we will never know if a mouse has a migraine or photophobia, we can measure migraine-like symptoms in mice. We use light aversive behavior as a surrogate for photophobia experienced by people. To induce this behavior, mice were given a trigger, either CGRP or an NO donor (sodium nitroprusside, SNP), that causes migraine (including photophobia) when given to migraine patients. When CGRP or SNP was given to the mice, they went into the dark and rested more. This light aversive behavior was rescued by a 100:1 ratio of CBD:THC. Interestingly, there was no rescue when CBD or THC were given alone, suggesting that the combination of the two is important. In addition, there were no adverse effects observed in other assays for balance and memory, although additional adverse effects assays are on-going. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: This is just a preclinical study in mice. While the models we used have been used successfully in the development of other migraine therapies, the results need to be validated in larger clinical studies. Nonetheless, these results are a compelling signal that combining these two compounds found in cannabis can be potentially effective in treating migraine symptoms, under the right conditions. That’s what the sponsor, Schedule 1 Therapeutics, intends to find out. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Schedule 1 Therapeutics is currently using the findings to develop a cannabis-based medicine with the FDA to treat migraine. That means conducting clinical trials to ensure the intended product is both safe and effective for patients. The company has been meeting with FDA so that effort is underway. There are a lot of claims being made out there that aren’t supported by evidence, and people haven’t yet developed a product that targets migraine, so we think this is the right approach and we’re excited to see where it goes.


Zorrilla E, Kuburas A, Wattiez A, Russo, AF. 2022. Therapeutic potential of cannabinoids on preclinical migraine models.​​ Headache, J Head Face Pain 62: S1, 3 (OR-03).

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Last Updated on June 26, 2022 by