How Does Medical Marijuana Help With and Treat Traumatic Brain Injury?

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Traumatic brain injury is one of the major causes of disability in the United States of America and other parts of the world. This condition typically occurs when a sudden violent blow or jolt in the head results in damages in the brain. When the brain collides with the inside of the skull, it may result in bruises of the brain, tearing of the nerve as well as bleeding. More so, if the sudden jolt results in fracture of the brain, the broken piece of the skull could penetrate the brain tissue.

Some of the major causes of traumatic brain injury include falls, gunshot wounds, road accidents, physical aggressions, and sport injuries. It should be noted that the severity of the symptoms of traumatic brain injury largely depends on the part of the brain that has been affected. For instance, either a specific location or a widespread area could be affected. The symptoms of mild cases of traumatic brain injury include headache and temporal confusion, whereas in more serious cases, the condition could result in disability, coma, long term impairment, unconsciousness, amnesia and even death. According to data from the Center of Disease Control (CDC), traumatic brain injury contributed to up to 50000 deaths in 2013 and in 2012, an estimated 329,290 under the age of 19 sought for emergency treatment.

The treatment of traumatic brain injury depends on the severity of the condition, even though in very mild cases, the symptoms often go away without any treatment. However, it could be dangerous or fatal if mild cases of traumatic brain injury continue to reoccur. More severe cases of traumatic brain injury will normally require hospitalization and possibly intensive care. Some medications including sedation, coma inducing medications, anti-seizure medications, pain relievers as well as diuretics may be used to help control the symptoms of traumatic brain injury. Surgeries may also be required in some cases to remove a hematoma, repair a skull fracture or create an opening in the skull. Long term treatments such as rehabilitation may also be recommended for people with severe cases of traumatic brain injury.

Emerging research on medical marijuana as well as recent findings have suggested that medical marijuana could be an effective alternate way of treating traumatic brain injury. Results from a study that was conducted by researchers at Hebrew University in Israel have supported the claims that medical marijuana could be an effective alternative treatment of the symptoms of traumatic brain injury. This study was conducted on mice with recent brain injury. The mice were found to have elevated levels of a cannabinoid compound called 2-Arachodonoyl glycerol (2-AG), which has similarities to an active ingredient in marijuana. However, after suspecting this compound was produced to protect the brain, the researchers proceeded to administer higher doses to the mice. At the end, the researchers found out that the compound did help protect the brain from secondary brain damage.

The researchers from Hebrew University also noted that the right dosage is extremely important if people are to benefit from cannabinoids following a traumatic brain injury. They also added that the varying potency of marijuana strains would make non-medical grade products unreliable. That said, the researchers have agreed that there is a need for further studies to be done in a bid to better understand how THC and CBD help the brain heal after a traumatic brain injury.

According to another study that was published in 2014 through PUB Med, a positive THC screen is associated with a decrease in the mortality rate of adult patients sustaining a traumatic brain injury. The objective of this study was to establish a relationship between the presence of a positive toxicology screen for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and mortality after traumatic brain injury.

Science is also pointing at the fact that medical marijuana may play a large role when it comes to improving the motor and cognitive functions that have been affected by traumatic brain injury. Of course, this assertion can be backed by the fact that medical marijuana has anti-inflammatory properties. It should be noted that many of the symptoms of traumatic brain injury are caused by inflammation in the brain and corticospinal tract. Hence, once CBD and THC reduces that inflammation, patients are likely to experience improvements with their symptoms.

Research has also revealed that two major cannabinoids in medical marijuana, notably tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) have effects on both the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the brain’s endocannabinoid system. This reaction has been scientifically proven to pro-inflammatory cytokines from being released following brain trauma.

Sources:

Medical News Today
Hope Grown
NCBI
HSH

Marijuana strains reported to help with Traumatic Brain Injury:

Sour Diesel
Blue Cheese
Northern Lights
Green Crack
Tahoe OG Kush

How To Get Medical Marijuana

If you are a resident of a legal state interested in trying medical marijuana to treat Traumatic Brain Injury 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.