Medical Marijuana for Traumatic Brain Injury

Medical Marijuana for Traumatic Brain Injury

Medical Marijuana for Traumatic Brain Injury

Are you curious about medical marijuana for a traumatic brain injury (TBI)? You may be surprised to learn just how common traumatic brain injuries are in the United States. In 2014, the CDC estimated that there were 2.5 million emergency room visits related to a traumatic brain injury. A traumatic brain injury may have a wide range of different symptoms and complications. However, many of these symptoms can be helped with medical marijuana.

If you or someone you know has suffered a TBI and is looking to learn more about Maryland medical cannabis Green Relief Health is here to help. Our team is are available to answer your questions Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Speak with a patient Care Coordinator today at 410-368-0420.

What Is A Traumatic Brain Injury?

The CDC defines a traumatic brain injury as disruption in the normal function of the brain caused by a bump, blow, jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury. There are degrees of traumatic brain injury. It is possible to have a mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injury.

A mild traumatic brain injury could be characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
  • No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused, or disoriented
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Problems with speech
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Dizziness or loss of balance

While a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury can be characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours
  • Persistent headache or headache that worsens
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
  • Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
  • Inability to awaken from sleep
  • Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
  • Loss of coordination

What Causes A Traumatic Brain Injury?

There are many ways that someone could experience a traumatic brain injury but some of the most common causes include falls, vehicle collisions, violence, sports injuries, or from combat or explosive injuries that men and women in the armed forces experience. The common factor among all these types of injuries is a blow to the head. It is important to remember that anyone of these types of injuries can result in either a mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injury.

How Can Medical Marijuana Help A Traumatic Brain Injury?

One of the primary benefits of medical marijuana is its ability to help with pain relief. It does this by its interaction with our body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a complex system of receptors located throughout the body in areas like the brain, skin, nervous system, digestive system, and more. It helps to regulate things in the body like pain, mood, appetite, and more.

One of the most common symptoms of a traumatic brain injury is pain related to headaches and migraines. Medical marijuana has been shown to reduce pain from headaches and migraines. In addition to helping with headaches and migraines, medical marijuana can also reduce inflammation, which is often associated with a traumatic brain injury.

Medical marijuana also has powerful abilities to reduce nausea and vomiting. As you have probably heard, many cancer patients use medical marijuana to help with the side effects of chemotherapy that are often nausea and vomiting. Medical marijuana can help those suffering from a traumatic brain injury with these same issues.  

Other Ways Medical Marijuana Can Help

In addition to helping with pain medical marijuana can help with a traumatic brain injury in a few other ways. Endocannabinoids have protective effects against edema after brain injuries and animal studies suggest that activation of a cannabinoid receptor is crucial to this. These effects can also help protect against secondary injury caused by TBI. Medical marijuana’s ability to interact with your endocannabinoid system through things like THC, which is as cannabinoid, along with other cannabinoids in the plant can potentially help reduce edema caused by a traumatic brain injury.

In addition to these effects, there is other evidence that medical cannabis can help with a traumatic brain injury. A study that looked at 446 adult patients with a traumatic brain injury found that those that had THC had a statistically significant reduction in the mortality rate.

Drawbacks

It is always important to look at the entire picture when evaluating the effectiveness of any medication for a particular condition. While there appears to be overwhelmingly positive benefits for medical marijuana’s ability to help with a traumatic brain injury, there are a few drawbacks.

The normal side effects of medical marijuana should be thought about before trying medical cannabis. Marijuana can reduce reflexes and cause behavioral changes. These things have the potential to cause injury in any patient which can lead to a greater risk of injury for a traumatic brain injury patient that may already have issues with reflexes and movement due to the injury. While this does not necessarily mean you should rule out medical marijuana it is something to keep in mind.

Takeaways

Medical marijuana has the potential to be very helpful for someone suffering from a traumatic brain injury. Many studies show marijuana has neuroprotective properties and some even show this to be helpful following a TBI. It is important for physicians considering recommending marijuana to patients with TBI to weigh each case individually.

If you feel that medical marijuana may be helpful for you or a loved one suffering from a traumatic brain injury than it is important to consult with a qualified medical marijuana doctor. A medical cannabis provider can help answer questions about the potential benefits and drawbacks of marijuana being added to your treatment regimen.

The team at Green Relief Health is here to help you through the process. Our qualified and compassionate staff will help answer questions and guide you through the Maryland medical marijuana process. Give us a call or schedule an appointment today if you are interested in starting the Maryland medical cannabis certification process.

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