- Can psychedelics treat cluster headaches?
- What are cluster headaches?
- Traditional treatments for cluster headaches
- Treating cluster headaches with psilocybin
- How to treat cluster headaches with magic mushrooms?
Can psychedelics treat cluster headaches?
Psychedelics such as LSD and the psilocybin from magic mushrooms are being explored for their potential to help spiritual growth, and treat mental illnesses such as anxiety, PTSD, and to regain control of their lives by controlling addiction to harmful substances. However, psychedelic research has taken a new turn as scientists are exploring their potential to relieve physical pain.
Researchers are now trying to study the application of psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms to help people suffering from cluster headaches.
Scientific venture into the field of psychedelics and cluster headaches is fairly new but people have given anecdotal reports on how psychedelics have helped them in their battle with cluster headaches. Some came across this benefit through pure serendipity while others delved into using psychedelics with the intention to lessen the negative effects of their cluster headaches.
What are cluster headaches?
A cluster headache is one of the most excruciating physical pains a person will experience in his or her lifetime. A cluster headache can be easily identified by its one-sided pain which varies in intensity with every occurrence. Cluster headaches usually starts over one eye, one temple or the forehead but spreads to a larger area making diagnosis more complicated.
They are not as popular as migraines but they have earned the moniker suicide headaches because people resort to self-harm in search of pain relief. In fact, people who suffer from cluster headaches say it’s much more painful than broken bones, burns, and even childbirth.
Cluster headaches take place at the same time each day. For most people, cluster headaches happen at night – a couple of hours after they have gone to bed. Within 10 minutes, the pain would have reached its peak and it stays at that level of intensity for around 1 hour. However, there are instances when the cluster headache lasts up to 3 hours. It then stops suddenly.
80% of people who suffer from debilitating cluster headaches endure episodes last from 4 to 12 weeks per year often during spring or fall. The condition disappears for several months and years. The remaining 20% don’t have these intervals from pain and are said to suffer from chronic cluster headaches.
Traditional treatments for cluster headaches
Because of their debilitating effects, cluster headaches are intriguing to researchers. Unfortunately, pharmaceutical companies do not see the incentives in coming up with a new treatment for cluster headaches because not many people (relatively) suffer from this condition compared to other more common, more profitable illnesses.
400,000 people suffer from cluster headaches in the United States and their treatment choices are severely limited and do not effectively treat the condition in the first place.
Acute treatment for cluster headaches are applied with the goal of stopping the pain once it starts. This is quite tricky because the pain in cluster headaches escalate within a short period of time. Thus, effective cluster headache treatment requires immediate action.
The safest way to treat cluster headache is through oxygen therapy. Pain relief can be expected within 20 minutes but for some people, the effects can be delayed but it’s still a dependable method. Drugs such as Sumatriptan injections and nasal spray do help people too. They reduce pain within 10 minutes of an attack.
Several drugs are also used to prevent the onset of cluster headaches. They fall under the preventative treatment category which aims to prevent the cluster headaches from taking place at all. Some common preventative drugs are Verapamil, Methysergide, low doses of Lithium, and Corticosteroids.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a single drug scientifically identified and proven to provide consistent aid. Even when the treatment provides relief, it often does not have the same effectiveness for future cluster headaches. Even oxygen therapy offers some inconveniences too. Who has an oxygen tank on them 24/7?
Because cluster headache sufferers don’t have a surefire, reliable treatment, it makes sense for them and the scientific community to explore other viable options for treating their pain.
Treating cluster headaches with psilocybin
An eleven-year old study sought to bring the answer to cluster headache sufferers worldwide. This study, conducted in 2006, revealed psilocybin and LSD are capable of stopping episodes of cluster headaches, ending cluster headache cycles, and even delaying the onset of the next cluster headache episode.
The results were so impressive that a significant percentage of the participants claimed to have experienced relief through the use of psychedelics. Unfortunately, the study was fairly small and not much research were conducted since then. Most contemporary research make use of anecdotal reports which have not gone through the scientific method.
Based on these reports, psilocybin can eliminate cluster headaches for extended periods of time with a single dose.
How to treat cluster headaches with magic mushrooms?
A moderate dose, around 2 to 3 grams, of dried magic mushrooms is the perfect amount for a sufferer of cluster headaches. This amount minimizes the psychoactive effects while maximizing the benefits to get rid of cluster headaches.
Those who are not comfortable with using psychedelics may resort to microdosing magic shrooms. Microdosing is the practice of ingesting 0.2g of dried magic mushrooms every three days. This practice won’t produce any hallucinogenic effects but the introduction of psilocybin into the body will provide relief from cluster headaches.
Despite the lack of new research, the amount of testimonials from cluster headache patients who benefited from psychedelic substances cannot be ignored. Psychedelic drugs, especially psilocybin which is available in nature, may be humanity’s best hope in fighting cluster headaches.
A new study is currently accepting volunteers who want to participate in a study exploring psilocybin in treating cluster headaches. Visit the link to see how you can participate and contribute to the advancement of psilocybin research.
There aren’t a lot of options for sufferers of cluster headaches. However, psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin may give people the help they so desperately need.
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