Learn about the benefits of cannabis for traumatic brain injury, and other head trauma.
Concussions and traumatic brain injuries are common among athletes in high contact sports, like football or mixed martial arts. However, head injuries can happen to anyone. From something as serious as a car accident, to a simple slip and fall, all of us are susceptible to injuring our head.
Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), making up almost half of all emergency room visits related to TBI. Unfortunately, these injuries are a significant cause of death and disability in the United States. Over 2.5 million people die in the U.S. from TBI each year.
Then there’s the people who survive TBI. Side effects of TBI can last for days after the injury. Some even suffer side effects for the rest of their lives. These side effects can present themselves as;
– Impaired movement
– Thinking or memory issues
– Trouble with sight or hearing
– Personality changes
To imagine these effects lasting a lifetime is daunting, but there is hope in the medical benefits of cannabis.
Some of the cannabinoids in cannabis, including CBD and THC, and have been shown to have neuroprotective effects. When something has neuroprotective effects, it means it protects nerve cells from damage or degeneration. This includes brain cells.
So when you consume cannabis, you’re protecting the cells of your nerves and your brain.
This is a big part of what makes cannabis good in the treatment of head injuries.
The U.S. government owns a patent, 6630507, that confirms their knowledge of cannabinoids having neuroprotective properties. It states, “The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease”.
A well known researcher in cannabis, Dr. Ethan Russo, published a paper in the Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, where he called cannabis therapeutics the future of neurology. He concluded, in reference to the use of cannabinoids in treating several neurological diseases, as well as TBI, that “current basic science and clinical investigations support the safety and efficacy of such interventions in treatment”. Then he went on to say that “cannabis botanicals offer distinct advantages over the current single-target pharmaceutical model” and that cannabis has the potential “to revolutionize neurological treatment”.