Cluster Attacks Responsive to Recreational Cannabis and Dronabinol

Authors: Matthew S. Robbins,MD; Sara Tarshish,MD; Seymour Solomon,MD; Brian M. Grosberg,MD
Source: Headache. 11 February 2009


Pharmacological preparations of cannabinoid compounds have a variety of therapeutic uses in medicine, including different pain syndromes, but have not been previously reported as beneficial for cluster headache. We present a patient with cluster headache who was refractory to multiple acute and preventive medications but successfully aborted his attacks with recreational marijuana use; subsequent use of dronabinol provided equally effective pain relief. The beneficial effect may be related to the high concentration of cannabinoid receptors in the hypothalamus, which has been implicated as a site of dysfunction in neuroimaging studies of patients with cluster headache.