Learn more about how headaches work and what treatment options are available

Levin Health 1 6

We’re all pretty familiar with what headaches are, as most of us have had at least one in our lifetimes. Headaches are simply pain experienced in any part of the head. They can differ from person to person in terms of pain severity, duration, and how frequently they occur.

Headaches can either be classed as primary or secondary. Primary refers to headaches that arise on their own and aren’t related to another health issue, and Secondary refers to headaches that arise as a result of a particular health issue.

1. Headache


Headache symptoms can differ, especially depending on the type of headache you’re experiencing. Below are three of the most common types of headaches.

  • Tension headaches: This is the most common form. They typically consist of pain on both sides of the head, and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 7 days.
  • Migraine: Migraines are a severe, throbbing headache associated with other symptoms such as nausea, light sensitivity, visual abnormalities, and others.
  • Cluster headache: These headaches can be extremely painful. Cluster headaches earn their name because they typically occur in groups or ‘clusters’, either at night or early in the morning.

Traditional treatments:

Whilst many of us may be familiar with over the counter pain reliever medication, there are a range of treatments available for headaches. Some of these traditional treatments include:

  • Pain reliever medication purchased over the counter (e.g., aspirin or paracetamol).
  • Medication prescribed by your doctor.
  • Relaxation techniques and stress management.
  • Dietary changes.
  • Reviewing medications with your doctor which may be causing headaches as a side-effect.
  • Treatment for any underlying issues which may be causing headaches (e.g., high blood pressure, or neck and jaw problems).

Can medicinal cannabis be used to treat pain from chronic headaches and migraines?

If you’ve exhausted other treatment options and haven’t experienced any relief or improvement, it might be worth chatting to your doctor to see whether medicinal cannabis could be suitable for you.

We spoke to Dr James Stewart, one of Australia’s leading minds in cannabis medicine who provided a medical view about headaches and traditional treatments.

Dr Stewart is a true believer in focusing on overall health and always promotes a healthy lifestyle as the key. Click below to learn more about Headache, traditional and alternative treatments you may wish to discuss with your doctor.

Other Conditions


  1. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/headaches
  2. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/headache
  3. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/headache-migraine