for people ages 21-65 (full criteria)
at La Jolla, California
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Nathaniel M Schuster, MD
Headshot of Nathaniel M Schuster
Nathaniel M Schuster



This crossover study will evaluate 3 different treatments of vaporized cannabis (THC, THC/CBD mix, and CBD) and vaporized placebo cannabis for the acute treatment of migraine.

Official Title

Efficacy of Inhaled Cannabis Versus Placebo for the Acute Treatment of Migraine: a Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Crossover Trial


In this double-blind, randomized, crossover trial, subjects will treat 4 separate migraine attacks with 4 different treatments. Inhaled cannabis will be administered using a portable vaporization system (Mighty Medic; Storz & Bickel) based on a validated Storz & Bickel system and using a standardized inhalation approach. Subjects will self-administer inhaled cannabis as early as possible in the course of a migraine (see Procedure), taking 4 puffs of 1) THC, 2) THC/CBD mix, 3) CBD, or 4) placebo. Patients will treat each of the 4 distinct migraine attacks with a different cannabis sample. Outcomes measured will include pain freedom and pain relief as well as presence or absence of photophobia, phonophobia, and nausea at 1 hour, 2 hours (primary outcome), 24 hours, and 48 hours.


Migraine, Cannabis, THC, CBD, Migraine Disorders, Marijuana Abuse, Dronabinol, Cannabidiol, THC ~5%, CBD ~12%, THC ~5% and CBD ~12%, THC ~5%/CBD ~12%


You can join if…

Open to people ages 21-65

  • Age ≥ 21 and ≤ 65
  • Able to communicate in English
  • Migraine, with or without aura, in its episodic or chronic manifestations, as per the International Headache Society (IHS) classification International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-3) criteria (section 1.1, 1.2, 1.3).(48)
  • Ability to provide informed consent and complete website questionnaires in English
  • Agrees not to use cannabis outside of the study during participation in the study
  • Agrees not to use opioids or barbiturates during participation in the study
  • Agrees not to drive a motor vehicle within 4 hours following last use of inhaled cannabis during participation in the study

You CAN'T join if...

  • Positive urine drug test for THC, barbiturates, opioids, oxycodone, or methadone prior to enrollment
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Prisoner
  • Known cognitive impairment
  • Institutionalized
  • Current moderate-severe or severe depression
  • Current or past history of bipolar depression, schizophrenia, or psychosis
  • Current or past history of cannabis, alcohol, opioid, or amphetamine abuse or other substance use disorder at the discretion of the research team
  • Active pulmonary disease class IV heart failure, cirrhosis, or other severe medical illnesses at the discretion of the research team.
  • Allergy or past adverse effects or negative past experiences from cannabis


  • Center for Pain Medicine, UC San Diego
    La Jolla California 92037 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSD

  • Nathaniel M Schuster, MD
    Associate Clinical Professor, Anesthesiology, Vc-health Sciences-schools. Authored (or co-authored) 32 research publications


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Diego
Phase 2 research study
Study Type
About 92 people participating
Last Updated