How Does Medical Marijuana Help With and Treat Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?

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Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, which is abbreviated as CTE is a degenerative brain condition that is associated with repeated traumas or blows to the head. Although this condition is very rare, it has been found in the brains of people who are involved in contact sports such as football, wrestling, diving, and basketball. This medical condition is associated with the development of dementia and some of the symptoms include personality changes, problems with thinking and memory, behavioral changes such as aggression and depression and even suicidal thoughts. Other symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy may include dementia, trouble swallowing, trouble with sense of smell, irritability, vision and focusing problems.

There is no cure to CTE and it’s also a very controversial condition that is not yet well understood. The truth is that researchers are still trying to know the causes as well as frequency of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the population. People who have had concussion are more vulnerable to CTE and since there is no treatment, it is imperative to avoid a second concussion before the first one heals. Doctors and researchers belief that chronic traumatic encephalopathy could cause atrophy (a situation where parts of the brain waste away, thereby impacting cell communication).

Since there is no current cure for this degenerative, progressive brain disease, it explains why many patients with the symptoms of CTE have resulted in the use of medical marijuana. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a very significant role in the management of memory, mood, cognition, risk as well as reward. It is apparent that the endocannabinoid system is the largest neurotransmitter system in the body and THC and CBD which are the active components in cannabis engage the ECS, thereby giving them therapeutic benefits.

Even though there is limited study on the effects of cannabinoids on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, research has suggested that medical marijuana could reduce the brain’s oxidative stress caused by a traumatic brain injury. More so, cannabinoids also work as a neuroprotectant that reduces neurological impairment and swellings, thereby reducing damage to the brain and even facilitating recovery.

According to researchers at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center in Pennsylvania, inflammation has an important role in injury and it’s interesting that cannabinoids naturally reduces inflammation.

Currently, many companies are studying the possible neuroprotective qualities of cannabinoids. According to a Patent that was filed by the US Department of Health, CBD is considered a neuroprotective antioxidant. The patent further affirms the fact that cannabinoids can prevent brain trauma damage.

Some people with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) often suffer from a more serious form of the disease known as chronic traumatic encephalomyopathy (CTEM). It is interesting to note that there are evidences pointing out to the fact that medical marijuana could alleviate certain symptoms associated with CTEM, such as tics, atrophy as well as spasticity.

According to a Canadian study, cannabinoids can result in both depressive and anxious behavior and can equally stimulate neuron growth in newborn rats. This assertion can be explained by the fact that cannabinoids are not only naturally occurring antioxidants, but they also prevent brain inflammation. The findings from another study that was conducted on rats in 2000 also revealed that both THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) helps in reducing neurotoxicities in the brains of rats.

Another study that was conducted in 2005 and published on Pub Med also goes a long way to buttress the point that medical marijuana could be used as a treatment for brain conditions, chronic traumatic encephalomyopathy inclusive. Findings from this 2005 study that was conducted on mice indicated that CBD can prevent further brain damage after a stroke. Further results from the same study revealed that the damage that is typically brought about by a stroke was enormously slowed by CBD treatment. It can therefore be argued that even though the brain damage caused by stroke is different from damages caused by trauma, this study is proof that CBD can at least prevent damage to the brain.

Some states in the USA have started accepting the use of medical marijuana to treat symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. For instance, the state of Ohio has approved chronic traumatic encephalopathy as a qualifying condition wherein medical marijuana can be used by the patients who are recommended for it.

Also, there is an ongoing study at the renowned Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. The study aims at determining and comparing the results of cannabinoids versus opioid consumptions on American football players in the National Football League. Of course, this study is wide ranging and its result will definitely be the basis of future studies concerning medical cannabis and contact sport athletes.

Sources:

Mayo Clinic
Pub Med

Marijuana strains reported to help with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy:

ACDC
Charlotte’s Web
Cannatonic
Bubba Kush
NYC Diesel
The Black
Blue Diesel
Bay 11
OG Kush
Sour Tsunami

How To Get Medical Marijuana

If you are a resident of a legal state interested in trying medical marijuana to treat Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or other medical conditions, you will first need to consult with a certified doctor in order to get a medical marijuana card. To get started, simply fill out the MMJ patient registration form, press submit and a physician or clinic representative will contact you as available.