Citation: Yakabow. "My Holy Grail of Migraine Relief: An Experience with Gabapentin & Cannabis (exp110476)". Erowid.org. Mar 28, 2018. erowid.org/exp/110476
Since birth I have experienced constant migraine headaches that at times can be quite debilitating. About every 4-5 days (When not taking any kind of preventative, which will reduce it to about once every 7-10 days) I will get quite a severe one, usually at early parts of the day and often relating to stress and lack of sleep.
Constant nausea (and sometimes vomiting), pain and massive sensitivity to light and sound that cause further pain. Essentially like the worst hangover you can imagine without the benefit of being tipsy (In fact I'd prefer the hangover usually, they are more bearable).
After trying a number of preventatives since age 12, nothing really seemed to consistently work and in some cases made them worse. Plus the side effects often relating to them (lethargy, loss of appetite, anemia, sleepiness all being quite prominent) made them not worth taking. The same can be said for most medications meant for immediate use when migraines set in also have similar side effects, most of them chiefly just tranquilizing you until it has passed. Not really a solution when you have a job and things to attend to. 'Do I go to work with a pounding headache and deal, or take a pill and not be able to adequately pay attention to my job?'.
As a result I started smoking weed which doesn't make me consistently tired nearly as much and lessens the pain quite a bit while giving me a joyful buzz that I can still function in every day life with.
That being said, my brother had acquired a prescription for Gabapentin for anxiety and pain, and wasn't too pleased with its effects over what he was taking prior, so he tossed the bottle over to me (600 MG tablets) knowing that I got consistent migraines and suggested I try it next time I had a particularly bad migraine and perhaps ask for a prescription if they worked.
Yesterday I did not have to work and woke up at approximently 8:30 AM with a pounding headache. This is how it went and I am very pleased with the results. Both in therapeutic and recreational senses.
(Note that this timeline is approximate as I was intellectually impaired with pain) -
8:45 AM- I smoke a small bowl of weed, Indica (Blueberry, from a dispensary in Seattle, high potency) and took a shower to relieve the pain with hot water while the effects set in from what I smoked.
9:15 to 10:30 AM- I lay back down, put on some chill tunes and ride the high for a bit, and while not fully effective does provide a distraction with a good body high and the usual drifting thoughts Cannabis provides with music. I don't fully manage to fall back asleep.
10:35- The Cannabis begins to fade (I have quite a high tolerance after years of using it 2-3 times a week), so I decide to take take the Gabapentin. Typically I would have taken half for a first time experience with anything, but this was quite a severe migraine and I wanted the effects to take hold as fast as possible.
I smoke a little bit more (about half as much as before) and lay back down.
11:00 AM- I am still laying down and begin to notice a feeling of relaxation different from the usual body high that Cannabis would produce. A very light buzz, and a bit of a floaty feeling. The pain of the headache is still mostly in full force however it is less noticeable as the floaty buzz and slight euphoria improve my mood and sense of well being. The bed feels very comfortable like I am laying on a 5 star hotel bed.
12:00 PM- I have been sleeping relatively solid for the past hour and awake to quite a lovely surprise. The floating buzz has increased and my body rather than feeling heavy like with most pain relief medications, feels light and like moving takes zero effort at all. I sit up at the edge of the bed and reach for my phone to see the time and notice that my headache has reduced significantly and is far more tolerable.
Additionally, I am feeling a slight euphoria unlike what I'd expect from Cannabis (which is much faded in effect at this point) and more similar to a small dose of an opiate like Codeine.
Sensitivity to light and sound are also non-existent. Typically focusing on my phone would cause huge eye strain and pain behind the eyes with such a migraine. It doesn't really bother me at all, just a slight ache as I read more info into what I should expect from Gabapentin over the next few hours. Nausea and dizziness usually associated as well are significantly reduced, I am even slightly hungry which is very odd as I typically have a complete aversion to food for the first 6-10 hours after the start of a migraine even when aided by Cannabis.
12:30 PM- I have been attempting to sleep some more but after sleeping for roughly 12 hours I am physically incapable of sleeping any longer. I decide to get up despite still being in quite a bit of pain and play a few video games. Immediately upon stepping out of a rather dark bedroom and into my much brighter computer room/den I notice that everything seems a bit more vibrant. Colors stand out more than they should, the sunbeams reflecting off the polished wood of my desk seem a lot prettier than usual.
I mention this because this level of light typically would have been unbearable to look at, but I am not bothered by it at all. The pain in my temples and forehead isare still quite prominent, but the visual auras/distortions (such as tunnel vision, random blind spots and flashing lights) usually caused by my migraines are not present. Nor is the usually pounding pain behind the eyes and within the ears.
Despite the pain I have a good sense of well being and feel that if I had to go to work or run an errand, I could do it. I wouldn't be nearly at 100% but I could tolerate it. Unlike what usually would be the case. Luckily I don't have anything to do so I begin recording the effects as they happen, this next timeline is directly from that recording.
1:00 PM- I am watching a few videos online and notice that my enjoyment of comedy and music is quite enhanced. I feel a significant body high not quite as strong as an opiate or a large dose of cannabis, but very enjoyable overall. I feel a bit sleepy but my thought are very clear and my intellectual ability is not impaired at all. It is like a mid point between ativan, an opiate type medication, with lingering effects from Cannabis. I am quite enjoying these effects and feel very at ease and like the migraine doesn't matter at all.
I am quite enjoying these effects and feel very at ease and like the migraine doesn't matter at all.
1:15 PM- I have grown bored of watching videos so I decide to play my piano as I have the sudden urge to stand and do something hands on as if a cup of strong coffee just kicked in. Playing feels effortless and the chords and notes I play seem to be the only thing in the world. My focus is extreme, and I almost forget I am actually playing the tunes, just a listener. I would describe it as being awake almost felt like I was dreaming.
1:45 PM- I play until my wrists are sore and notice that for the past 10 minutes my eyes have been closed and I was lost in overlapping fantasies of thought while I was playing. I have used opiates in the past on an occasional recreational basis and would honestly rate the sense of well being and slight buzz as far more enjoyable as I am less impaired and less drowsy. I decide to plug my headphones in as listening to my favorite tunes sounds like a wonderful idea.
2:15 PM- I am lost in quite a euphoric buzz. The music is impacting me more than it typically would, and if I close my eyes and focus on it, my thoughts are vivid and positive emotions are far more amplified. I could see this medication being a wonderful solution to anxiety attacks or a particularly bad day.
3:00 PM- I begin to feel quite tired again as migraines tend to drain me physically and mentally. However, the pain is perhaps 25% as much as when I first woke up, far less than the typical timeline for a migraine (which can last up to 16 hours and no less than 7 or 8 hours). I decide to lay down and my bed feels like a cloud.
8:00 PM- I slept like a rock for a solid five hours. My dreams were also far more vivid (I already dream very vividly, and remember most of my dreams) and almost to the point of being lucid as at a few points I realized I was actually dreaming and could steer the dream at points in a limited way. Though those moments were brief and usually faded when other random events happened within the dream. I could see this medication being used to induce vivid dreams with practice, at least if you keep a low tolerance and don't use it daily as I'm sure the effects become far less potent with more use like any drug.
I also feel incredibly at ease. The euphoric buzz has mostly faded but I am left with a sense of well being and joy, like nothing is wrong with the world and there is no stress in my life.
There is no pain in my head, with just a few lingering effects of a Migraine such as very slight nausea and light-headedness as well as the typical lack of energy. Typically a Migraine headache drains me and even after it has faded I feel more anxious and negative emotions are more prominent. I would typically be much more easily bothered by things for the next 12 hours.
This is simply not the case right now.
I am happy, content and at ease.
In conclusion -
Given that this was a first time experience I cannot attest for how this medication might affect me in the future. However it proved to not only be a brilliant solution for a migraine headache (which would fit under the umbrella of nerve based pain as it is essentially your brain going on overdrive and stimulating the pain center inside your head as a result) but also quite good for relaxation and recreational use. Could in some cases also be used for anxiety, I imagine. And being as it does have a tranquilizing effect, I could see it as a prominent sleep aid as it doesn't seem to have lingering drowsiness like a lot of over the counter and prescription sleep aids do. I am curious to see how it will affect me when I am completely sober without cannabis and without a migraine.
I would also like to add that this definitely has abuse potential because of the uplifting effects and could be quite addictive so I plan on using it sparingly.
Overall I have no qualms. I didn't feel hardly any negative effects other than a bit of drowsiness (which could have also been caused by the Migraine or Cannabis) and it only had positive effects and made my day significantly more bearable. Will definitely be using it next time I have a particularly bad Migraine.
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