How Does Cannabis Help With Concussion Recovery?
In most cases, a concussion is classified as an acute injury by clinicians, which is sometimes referred to as traumatic brain injury (TBI). If it isn’t properly treated and addressed right away, it may also be considered to be very fatal. In the case of an impact to the head (resulting in a head injury), the brain is injured as a result of blood flow interruption which damages the brain cells.
Some of the long-term (or “chronic”) effects include dizziness, balance issues, fatigue, brain fog, light sensitivity or noise and nausea, double or blurry vision resulting from the initial injury. Post-concussion syndrome refers to symptoms that last for several weeks or months following a concussion.
A huge proportion of the neurotransmitter release glutamate is released, and the brain overproduces free radicals as well as other inflammatory compounds so when initial injury occurs. This results in brain swelling, neurotoxicity, and cell death as a result of microvascular injuries.
To date, it appears that CBD and THC act as antioxidant properties in the brain, protecting neurons and other brain cells from oxidative damage on par with or superior to other antioxidants found in the body. The brain is protected from glutamate toxicity damage by CBD and THC as well.
Researchers are increasingly looking into CBD’s ability to influence the long-term effects of concussion. Marijuana’s role in the treatment of concussions and brain injuries is still unclear. If you want to learn more about cbd oil and the endocannabinoid system, please read our article here.
Symptoms of concussion and cannabinoids
THC and CBD have yet to be thoroughly researched in concussions, but there are several studies suggesting that they may help with the symptoms.
According to the Concussion Alliance, for acute or serious post-concussion pain, a higher THC dose and smoking marijuana or smoking weed are better options than taking edibles. Taking cannabis oral form through edibles or easy accessibility with tinctures is an option for patients who aren’t comfortable inhaling the herb. Neck pain as well as other concussion issues can also be treated with topical products.
Consult your doctor before using medical marijuana to treat a concussion, like some conditions and diseases may have an adverse effect.
Concussions treated with cannabis in place of hemp
In states that have legalized medicinal marijuana use in some capacity, the Concussion Alliance recommends using CBD products derived from cannabis rather than hemp, for the following reasons:
- The cannabis products can be tested by various independent laboratories to ensure their purity, because they are mold-free and fresh, germs, pesticides, and other contaminants in states where cannabis has been legalized for recreational use. If you are looking to purchase these goods, look for the COAs or certificates of analysis before you purchase anything in order to meet your requirements.
- Depending on whether CBD is combined with terpenes and secondary cannabinoids from cannabis, it may be able to provide heightened medical benefits.
For more information on CBD, please take a look at our guide to CBD.
Research on CBD and concussions
Medical marijuana can be used as a potentially promising therapy option for people who suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and have had concussions, according to an ongoing retrospective study at the Dent Neurologic Institute. It is important to note that the research is still in progress, however, the results of the evaluation of 66/100 medical records have been encouraging so far.
The findings of a new study suggest that medical cannabis may assist patients with multiple sclerosis in reducing anxiety and depression. In about 80% of participants who used medical cannabis, the level of activity and symptoms were improved. The research involved patients being asked to describe aspects of their mood, their sleep, and the headaches that they experienced due to the benefits they received from using medical marijuana. Patients were asked to rate these aspects of improvement using a numerical rating scale known as the Quality of Life After Brain Injury (QOLIBRI). There was no evidence to support that patients were deterred from using medical cannabis due to adverse effects. It has been found that cannabis has the potential to treat chronic pain caused by a concussion and may be an effective treatment method.
This clinic has treated more than 3,000 patients with cannabis for severe pain and another 142 patients with concussion-related symptoms, according to the study. The most high-quality research on cannabinoid treatment for concussion victims is needed, according to this research study.
Concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are among the conditions for which CBD is being studied in a 2020 review. Blood-brain barrier, brain ability and cardiovascular physiology have all been shown to be affected by concussions, as have neurogenesis and neurogenesis. Neuroprotection (the protection of the brain) can also be aided by reducing inflammation and protecting the brain from free radicals.