03/13/2019 | Health + Wellness

Traumatic Brain Injuries and Cannabis

As March is National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month, we at Greenhouse want to provide more information regarding how medical cannabis can help those suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Around 2.8 million people a year suffer a TBI, and nearly two million of those are sports-related. Other causes include car accidents, falls, and more. When one experiences a traumatic brain injury, victims can lose consciousness, experience convulsions, get headaches, become nauseated, feel fatigued, and even have seizures. A TBI can change the course of the victim’s life; so how can medical cannabis help?

Injuries to the Brain

While many assume that any damage done to the brain would happen during the time of the trauma, this is actually not the case. For closed head injuries, the bulk of the damage is done post-trauma. The recovery period is extremely important, and the delayed response of damage is what inflicts the most harm on the brain. Currently, many of the strategies used to prevent this harm only work so well, if at all. This is where cannabis could potentially help!

Cannabis and Traumatic Brain Injuries

When a person experiences a traumatic brain injury, they are often aware of it immediately. A study conducted at Tel Aviv University looked at how subjects responded when cannabinoids were administered one to three days post-trauma. The cannabinoids were able to catalyze biochemical processes, leading to more protective effects. Inflammation and swelling were reduced, which is one of the main problems doctors face when treating TBI’s.

In reference to preventative measures, certain studies are looking at how medical cannabis intake prior to a TBI can actually help reduce the damage in the long run. In particular, cannabinoid type I receptors can reduce glutamate release. Glutamate is released much more rapidly post-TBI, and too much glutamate can kill brain cells, hence scientists are looking at cannabinoid type I receptors as a solution.

Can Medical Cannabis Help You?

While medical cannabis is researched as an option for preventing further damage post-TBI, medical marijuana is used for many of the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, including nausea, loss of appetite, depression, and more. Turn to Greenhouse if you have any questions!

Courtesy of: Leafly