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Your brain on weed: concussions and cannabis

Here’s what you need to know

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    During the 2019 Cultivation Classic, Dr. Ethan Russo of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute presented his latest research findings on cannabis and traumatic brain injury.

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    Your brain on weed: concussions and cannabis Back to video

    Conventional wisdom is that if the symptoms persist for a year, the symptoms will be present. But as Dr. Russo illustrated during his talk, this conventional wisdom is not always the case and certain things can be done. This includes some promising research into the role cannabis can play in recovery from traumatic brain injuries.

    THC and CBD As Recovery Agents

    Both THC and CBD are neuroprotective antioxidants, which Dr. Russo observes is a fancy way of saying they help reduce the effects brain damage whether due to trauma or things like strokes or other disease. An antioxidant is something that prevents rust. And according to Dr. Russo, “rust in the brain means deterioration in the brain structures.”

    Glutamine is a neurotransmitter that produces an over abundance of glutamine following a head injury that produces glutamate excitotoxicity whereby the cells stimulate themselves to death. This can lead to a neuronal demise after a traumatic brain injury. In Dr. Russo’s research, he’s observed that CBD and THC may help prevent glutamate excitotoxicity. Also, THC and CBD, have been extremely helpful in treatment of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTI) symptoms experienced by football players and anyone else engaged in contact sports.

    Using Cannabis to Treat Concussions

    While one should consult with their personal medical provider before beginning any regime, Dr. Russo offered these overall guidelines for those looking to treat a conclusion with cannabis.

    If one chooses to inhale cannabis via smoking or vaping, tiny doses should be utilized sequentially with 10 to 15 minute pauses. This should help lift “brain fog or allay symptoms such as headache or dizziness. For chronic problems, oral administration of low doses via capsules or tinctures are preferable.

    Here’s what you need to know

    Cannabis: Optimal treatment method for post-concussion syndrome symptoms

    Contact sports, falls, head injuries, trauma and motor vehicle accidents all have one thing in common: traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and/or concussions. Something that many of you may not know is how concussions occur and the negative impact they have on the brain.

    A concussion can be defined as a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), which can be caused by a blow to the head, a strong yet direct jolt or a powerful bump to the head or body. This results in the brain shaking and moving quickly within the skull. Generally, concussions result in changes regarding how the brain typically functions as well as various potentially life-altering health issues. Not everyone who experiences concussions develops a traumatic brain injury. However, roughly 40-80 percent of people who endure a concussion develop post-concussion syndrome.

    Current post-concussion syndrome treatment options

    Moreover, regarding the treatment of this syndrome, the main intention is alleviating its symptoms. In most cases, the symptoms last a few weeks or months. During this time, cannabis and cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) can be very useful. Fortunately, cannabis contains numerous medicinal properties as well as therapeutic benefits thus lessening physical, mental and psychological issues.

    Besides cannabis and CBD being used as a form of treatment for post-concussion syndrome symptoms, there are other conventional treatment methods available. For example, cognitive impairments are common with post-concussion syndrome, but they can get resolved on their own with time. To help treat cognitive impairments, one option is to undergo cognitive therapy. However, numerous doctors prescribe pharmaceutical medications and physical forms of therapy to help alleviate several painful symptoms. Sadly, there’s no guarantee that these treatment methods will deliver zero side effects, nor will they be completely effective. For these reasons, more people are transitioning into alternative forms of medicine like cannabis.

    Cannabis and CBD to treat post-concussion syndrome symptoms

    As mentioned above, cannabis and CBD possess numerous medically and therapeutically beneficial properties. Generally, most people with post-concussion syndrome experience headaches and pain, which cannabis can relieve because of its analgesic properties. Although some pharmaceutical medications can help relieve pain, others can make headaches worse, and several can be addictive, non-effective, and deliver side effects. Whereas, cannabis and CBD are safe, non-toxic, medically beneficial, deliver little to no side effects and you cannot overdose from it.

    Next, cannabis can increase the amount of blood that travels to the brain. This is especially useful since the blood brings both nutrients and oxygen to the brain thus speeding up the healing process. Cannabis can even transport toxins and other harmful byproducts away from the brain.

    Then, cannabis can deliver anti-anxiety and anti-depressant properties to individuals. Although cannabis isn’t a cure for post-concussion syndrome, it can significantly alleviate several unwanted symptoms while delivering very few side effects.

    Optimal cannabis strains for post-concussion syndrome symptom treatment

    Cannabis contains numerous medicinal properties as well as therapeutic benefits thus lessening physical, mental and psychological issues that can help treat the aftereffects of a brain injury.