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Can Cannabis Treat Traumatic Brain Injury?


icon  11 Aug, 2016  /  icon  1        Author: Paul

When a person receives an external hit to the head, this can result in Traumatic Brain Injury. This is a serious condition that can manifest itself as behavioral problems, cognitive difficulty, mobility issues, loss of ability to speak properly and difficulties seeing properly. It can also bring about headaches, alter the patient’s mood and it can even cause stomach problems.

This is such a severe condition that it causes thousands of deaths each year, whilst thousands more are left severely disabled due to the condition. Compared to the number of car deaths across the US, the number of fatalities caused by TBI is almost double, and is around 3 times as many deaths as are caused by homicide each year. Over 5 million people across the US have to live with the effects of TBI, which is around the same number as patients who are suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Cannabis Can Slow The Effects Of TBI Damage

Although there are many therapy treatments available to attempt to combat the problems caused by TBI, nothing so far has proven to be as effective as cannabis may be when it comes to preventing TBI from having severely disabling effects. By giving the patient a dose of THC, one of the chemicals found in cannabis, shortly after the injury, it has been found that this can lessen the long-term brain damage that is usually caused. The Israel Defense Force already gives CBD or a low strength of THC to soldiers who sustain head injuries to prevent long-term damage.

By taking just a small amount of the THC that would be found in single marijuana joint up to seven days before an injury or up to three days after one, critical brain cells can actually be protected against long-term damage.

How About Those Currently Suffering From Long Term TBI Damage?

With the findings of recent studies into the effects of marijuana at preventing long-term brain damage at the point of injury, the question must be asked about how cannabis may be able to treat patients who are already living with the devastating effects of TBI.

Whilst many families of patients claim that they have seen their loved ones make big improvements after using marijuana, these are merely stories without the proof to back it up. Unfortunately to date, there have been no research projects into the effects of marijuana on long term TBI and there are no planned clinical trials either. No clinical trials that are currently underway for non-cannabis based medication have yielded positive results so far and have not shown any great improvements in patient’s existing medical states.

Whilst both anecdotal tales from family members and clinical trials have so far been effective in instilling some confidence in marijuana for helping to treat TBI, it is clear that more will need to be done in order to say for definite just how useful THC, CBD and cannabis can be for sufferers.

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