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Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Jun 2023 - 16 Jun 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development

Migraine/Headache, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Jun 09



Preclinical effects of cannabidiol in an experimental model of migraine.


Sturaro C, Fakhoury B, Targowska-Duda KM, Zribi G, Schoch J, Ruzza C, Calò G, Toll L, Cippitelli A


Migraine is a disabling disorder characterized by recurrent headaches, accompanied by abnormal sensory sensitivity and anxiety. Despite extensive historical use of cannabis in headache disorders, there is limited research on the nonpsychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) for migraine and there is no scientific evidence to prove that CBD is an effective treatment. The effects of CBD are examined here using a calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-induced migraine model that provides measures of cephalic allodynia, spontaneous pain, altered light sensitivity (photophobia), and anxiety-like behavior in C57BL/6J mice. A single administration of CGRP induced facial hypersensitivity in both female and male mice. Repeated CGRP treatment produced progressively decreased levels in basal thresholds of allodynia in females, but not in males. A single CBD administration protected both females and males from periorbital allodynia induced by a single CGRP injection. Repeated CBD administration prevented increased levels of basal allodynia induced by repeated CGRP treatment in female mice and did not lead to responses consistent with migraine headache as occurs with triptans. Cannabidiol, injected after CGRP, reversed CGRP-evoked allodynia. Cannabidiol also reduced spontaneous pain traits induced by CGRP administration in female mice. Finally, CBD blocked CGRP-induced anxiety in male mice, but failed in providing protection from CGRP-induced photophobia in females. These results demonstrate the efficacy of CBD in preventing episodic and chronic migraine-like states with reduced risk of causing medication overuse headache. Cannabidiol also shows potential as an abortive agent for treating migraine attacks and headache-related conditions such as spontaneous pain and anxiety.