A case report suggested the efficacy of cannabis to treat cluster headache (CH) attacks. Our aims were to study the frequency of cannabis use in CH patients, and the reported effects on attacks. A total of 139 patients with CH attending two French headache centers filled out questionnaires. Cannabis use is very frequent in CH patients, but its efficacy for the treatment of the attacks is limited. Less than one third of self-reported users mention a relief of their attacks following inhalation. Cannabis should not be recommended for CH unless controlled trials with synthetic selective cannabinoids show a more convincing therapeutic benefit.
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.