An additional study, also published in 2017, found that CBD protects the brain through its anti-inflammatory properties. Concussion generally causes inflammation of the brain, which in turn can lead to severe headaches. The study found that CBD is effective at reducing inflammation in the brain, allowing the neuropathways to heal post TBI.
This was backed up 3 years later in a study published in 2015 that reviewed all existing experimental evidence of the neuroprotective properties of CBD. They stated that “cannabinoid-based medicines may serve as a novel therapy able to delay/arrest neurodegeneration in acute and chronic neurodegenerative conditions.”
The wide ranging nature of the symptoms reflects the complexity of the brain and highlights the sheer level of control it has over every facet of our body.
Cannabis & Concussion
The vast majority of research carried out into the relationship between cannabis & concussion has been limited to animal studies. A 2012 study on rats discovered that administering CBD after a brain injury had a long-lasting, positive effect on the brain and it reduced the severity of the injury. It also helped to restore neurological function.
CBD is often considered to be a promiscuous compound as it produces various effects through dozens of molecular pathways. CBD has been shown to reduce brain damage and improve recovery in animals who have had strokes and TBI.
Cannabidiol more commonly known as CBD is one of over 150 cannabinoid compounds that is found in the cannabis plant. While research into CBD is still in its infancy, many therapeutic benefits can be achieved by using CBD. There are some clinical studies that support the use of CBD in health conditions such as epilepsy and symptoms relating to multiple sclerosis. There is also emerging evidence that supports using CBD to manage chronic pain conditions, anxiety and Parkinson’s disease. However, there is still a lack of understanding about how CBD could prospectively treat concussion and post-concussion syndrome.
As there is more research carried out into the potential medicinal benefits of cannabis and cannabinoids such as CBD, the use cases for the plant and its derivatives grows.
More recently, however, this research has been shifting toward humans. A 2018 study reviewed previous hospital charts and displayed that medicinal cannabis may pose as an option for treating concussion-related chronic pain, specifically headaches (7). However, these novel findings are quite preliminary and more studies are needed to validate the results.
Cannabis and concussion: What we know so far…
Jenni Diamond, OT Reg. (Ont.)
Dr. Charles Tator, a neurosurgeon at Toronto Western Hospital working in the Canadian Concussion Centre says that he is “reasonably hopeful” for the potential of cannabinoids and post-concussion issues.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 cannabinoid compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD has been shown to have many potential therapeutic benefits, including neuroprotective effects (1). Results of clinical studies support its use in some conditions associated with difficult to treat epilepsy and for symptoms related to multiple sclerosis (2,3,4,5). There is emerging support for its use in other areas such as chronic pain, anxiety, and Parkinson Disease to name a few (6). Currently, however, little is known about the role of cannabis in treating concussions and post-concussion syndrome.
If you or a loved one are suffering from a concussion, be sure to speak to your physician or contact NCT to discuss which treatment options are best for you.
Majority of the existing research on CBD and concussion has been limited to animals. Most notably, a 2012 study on rats revealed that administration of CBD after brain injury had long-lasting, positive effects on the brain, including reducing the severity of the injury and restoring overall neurological function (1).
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The CBD Oil Review Serving Standard is 25 mg of CBD, taken twice daily
While doctors may suggest pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) to minimize discomfort, it is not particularly effective.
While taking a capsule is simple enough, taking a CBD tincture can be a bit confusing for a first-time user. To use a CBD oil tincture, or CBD oil drops , simply apply a dropper-full or two under your tongue and hold it there for 60 seconds. The CBD in the tincture will quickly absorb through the thin skin under your tongue, resulting in fast-acting relief, often showing effects in 30 minutes which last 2 to 4 hours.
How to Use CBD Oil to Treat Concussion Symptoms
One way in which CBD oil may be able to repair damage caused by head trauma is through a process called neurogenesis , which is the growth and development of neurons, or nerve cells in the brain and nervous system. CBD has shown the potential to stimulate this brain process, where neurons regenerate in response to damage caused by injury or age.
The trouble with treating concussions is that it’s not possible to repair or reverse any damage that has occurred. Current treatment options are meant to provide damage control, keeping the brain from being harmed further in its fragile state, while trying to keep the patient as comfortable as possible.
In one review article, CBD was found specifically to treat brain inflammation, which allowed neuropathways to repair themselves following an injury. The review concluded that “CBD as well as other phytocannabinoids which do not bind cannabinoid receptors, represent promising molecules to treat TBI [traumatic brain injury].”
A study from 1998 found CBD to actually prevent brain cell death in rats induced with glutamate neurotoxicity. The study showed that CBD, and even THC, were powerful antioxidants with neuroprotective qualities.