Concussions have become a widely discussed and even contentious topic in recent years, as many professional and retired athletes have spoken out about their experiences with concussions and the long list of health problems that have resulted from them.
With the ongoing discussion of concussions, a specific topic of discussion has arisen regarding marijuana and concussions. People wonder if marijuana helps with concussions and if it could be used as a treatment option.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head or a sudden movement that causes the head and brain to rapidly move back and forth. This sudden movement of the head can cause the brain to bounce or twist, resulting in chemical changes in the brain as well as brain cell damage.
Concussions are classified as mild traumatic brain injuries because they are rarely fatal, but the consequences of a concussion can be severe.
A concussion may cause a headache or a feeling of pressure in the head, as well as temporary loss of consciousness, confusion, amnesia, or dizziness. Other symptoms may include slurred speech, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and dizziness.
There are numerous potential complications in the months following the accident, ranging from headaches to dizziness. There is also post-concussion syndrome, which occurs when people experience symptoms for several days, weeks, or months after an accident. The researchers also believe that people who have had multiple traumatic brain injuries throughout their lives may experience a cumulative effect, which may result in impaired functionality.
The question "does marijuana help with concussions" is the subject of extensive research, which will eventually provide an answer.
MJ and concussion
Some researchers believe marijuana's properties may aid in the recovery of the brain after injury. Marijuana and concussion may have a positive relationship because marijuana can help reduce inflammation in the brain after an injury. Cannabis plants contain antioxidants that may protect the brain and reduce overall inflammation and stress-related brain damage. This is significant because one of the primary effects of a concussion is nervous system inflammation.
Small doses of THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, were found to help reduce swelling in animals in a Tel Aviv study.
The US government also believes that marijuana can be used as a neuroprotective agent, and a federal patent for non-psychoactive CBD for use as a neuroprotective agent is currently in place. According to the patent application, cannabinoids found in cannabis may be capable of limiting neurological damage following a head injury.
There have even been studies that show cannabis may be useful as a pre-treatment for people who work in jobs or positions that put them at a higher risk of concussions, such as professional athletes. First and foremost, CBD has the potential to be proactive.
As previously stated, because concussions increase the risk of mental illness, marijuana and concussions may be linked in terms of the effects of cannabis on things like memory and cognition.
CBD has been shown in rodent studies to be an antidepressant, and it works faster than many traditional pharmaceutical antidepressants, suggesting that marijuana may be beneficial to people with concussions both directly and indirectly.
While not necessarily related to marijuana and concussions, professional sports leagues such as the NFL may begin to investigate marijuana's potential to replace addictive and dangerous opioids in the treatment of injuries and chronic pain.
Though there is still much research to be done on this subject and it is obviously not worthwhile to attempt to use marijuana and concussions as a form of self-medication, the information that is currently available appears to be encouraging.