Cannabinoids and Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment

 Photo: MassRoots

Photo: MassRoots

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) refers to an injury sustained from a physical trauma or blow to the head. Recent controlled studies have found cannabinoids could help treat traumatic brain injury through its neuro-protective properties. In one study from 2014, patients with severe TBI who were administered THC treatments experienced significantly higher survival rates than those who were not given THC. In the group given THC, only 2 patients (2.4%) died, while in the control group, 42 patients (11.5%) died. Following a trauma, the body releases harmful mediators leading to toxicity, oxidative stress, and inflammation, but cannabis has been shown to offer protection to the neural system, which in turn reduces brain damage. In mice with brain injury, CBD reduced brain swelling. In pigs with TBI, CBD reduced brain inflammation and oxidative stress. In newborn humans with brain injuries, CBD offered neuroprotective benefits.

One study found patients with THC in their systems prior to suffering a brain injury were less likely to die from the TBI than those who had nothing in their system. Israeli researchers confirmed these findings, suggesting the administration of THC before or shortly after injury can prevent long-term brain damage. Authors of the study write, “Administering just a fraction of the amount of THC that would be found in a typical marijuana joint induces chemical processes necessary to protect critical brain cells while preserving long-term cognitive function.”

This information has been provided by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.