Marijuana: It's not perfect. But it's the best painkiller I've tried yet.
I've tried using it in various ways. Eating it in brownies, cookies, butter, and candy tasted good but never had a noticeable affect on my pain. Vaporizing it wasn't as effective and was a huge to-do with machines and balloons and nonsense. Applying it in lotion form may have helped with some muscle tension but I wouldn't swear to it. And taking an "extract" in a pill possibly made me hyper for twenty minutes, an hour after I took it. That's not particularly helpful. I've also tried some derivatives of the cannabis plant, such as hash, which actually triggered some head pain, and keef, which I currently use in addition to substandard grades of marijuana, when I can't afford the better stuff.
Through trial and error, I've found that the best way for me to use marijuana is by very unoriginally smoking it. I most frequently use a small pipe that folds in on itself to cover the bowl, and any ash or embers, when it's not in use. When closed, it's smaller than my thumb, so it's easy to carry discreetly, and it comes apart with a screwdriver for a mostly painless cleaning process.
Marijuana doesn't totally eliminate pain, but it does reduce it, changes it, and makes the pain somehow more dealable. With marijuana, I've gone from a suicidal 10 on the pain scale to a relieved 8. Or a non-functioning 8 to a slow-moving, yet productive 6. Or an irritable 7 to a cheerful 4. After that it's just gravy.
But pot is not without its side effects. Sometimes I'll seem "high", (talking a lot, being sillier than usual, the giggles), but it's only at first, if at all, and mostly I feel normal on it. It makes me a little stupid sometimes, but usually I think better on it because my migraine isn't overwhelming every synapse. If I've been smoking frequently, I can get coughy, so if my head pain is outrunning my lung capacity, I will put down the pipe without hesitation. I've had bronchitis and it's really not fun.
Sometimes I can feel the muscles tensing in my scalp more after smoking pot (this happens more often with indica strains, so I try to stick with sativas), but it has never triggered a migraine. However, coughing has, so again, I try to be gentle with my lungs. Pot doesn't give me rebound headaches, but if I've been smoking frequently, a day off can feel sluggish. And that's it. Marijuana has less side effects, for me, than pretty much every pill I've tried. It's like nature made it just for me. And then people stumbled onto it and cross-bred it for thousands of years into its current migraine pain fighting potency. Teamwork!
My boyfriend likes to tell me about canniboids and why marijuana works for me, but it goes in one ear and out the other, so I don't have any of that information for you. Though I did do some cursory googling and discovered that Wiki looked pretty darn thorough. Though it is still wiki, so grain of salt, y'all.