A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is any disruption in the normal function of the brain often caused by a bump, blow, jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury. A TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe and can cause a variety of short-term and long-term functional changes that affect thinking, sensation, language, movements, and emotions. While there are a number of prescription drugs that may be prescribed to help the neurological effects of TBI, many are turning to a more natural treatment. The rise of CBD use has resulted in more studies on its effects, including the possible benefits for those with a TBI.
One study¹ showed promise for the ability of THC and CBD together to counteract something called glutamate excitotoxicity, which is the further damage of neurons after a TBI, as well as in the treatment of symptoms such as headaches, nausea, insomnia, dizziness, agitation, substance abuse, and psychotic symptoms.
Another study² targeted CB2 receptors with chemicals that act similar to CBD on the endocannabinoid system. The study found that macrophages or immune cells which clean up dead and damaged particles, were prompted to become anti-inflammatory rather than pro-inflammatory. This means less swelling post-injury, decreasing the possibility of additional brain damage. This hold huge potential in treatment for TBI as well as many other conditions.
The final study³ we’re looking at focuses on memory and learning after TBI. Endocannabinoids increase drastically after the initial injury; this may play a huge role in the altered function of the brain. When given a synthetic compound similar to CBD, the mice’s ability to perform learning and memory tasks were greatly improved. This gives great hope that CBD can be effective as a treatment for the impaired learning and memory abilities that we see frequently in those with TBI.
The more we learn about CBD, the more we see that there are many benefits to this form of alternative and complementary medicine. When dealing with TBI, adding this natural approach could make a huge difference in your recovery and rehabilitation. Talk to your doctor to see if CBD may be an option for you.
¹ Russo, Ethan B. “Cannabis Therapeutics and the Future of Neurology.” Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, Frontiers Media S.A., 18 Oct. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6200872/.
² Braun, Molly, et al. “Selective Activation of Cannabinoid Receptor-2 Reduces Neuroinflammation after Traumatic Brain Injury via Alternative Macrophage Polarization.” Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Academic Press, 24 Oct. 2017, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0889159117304774.
³ Braun, Molly, et al. “Selective Activation of Cannabinoid Receptor-2 Reduces Neuroinflammation after Traumatic Brain Injury via Alternative Macrophage Polarization.” Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Academic Press, 24 Oct. 2017, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S08891