How Can CBD Capsules Help Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injuries?
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.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a particular type of traumatic injury, typically caused by direct impact to the head i.e, getting punched or falling on the ground. The concussion itself is actually caused by the brain rattling around within the skull, damaging brain cells.
What Are the Symptoms of Concussion?
There are a wide range of diverse symptoms that concussion can cause. As a result, it’s imperative that you keep an eye on the possible symptoms and immediately seek medical advice if you have identified any of the following:
- Slurred speech
- Sensitive to light
- Blurred vision
- Behavioural changes
- Difficulties balancing
- Difficulties concentrating
- Ringing in ears
In fact, it is also strongly recommended that you always seek medical help even in the absence of the above symptoms. This is because it can often take days, or even weeks, for the symptoms to manifest.
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.
How Do You Diagnose Concussion?
Frustratingly, concussion cannot be diagnosed by any type of brain scan. The most likely path for diagnosis as it stands is the answering of a standardised questionnaire related to potential symptoms.
While a brain scan does not flag concussion, it can be reassuring to confirm that there is no bleeding on the brain.
Therapeutic Advantages of Cannabis
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.
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.
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.”
More specifically, a 2017 study found that CBD was an effective treatment for headaches caused by brain injury. Not only does it work directly by reducing the inflammation that causes the headache, but also reduces the severity of the pain. We know that our endocannabinoid system directly impacts the response to pain of our central nervous system, as well as our immune system. The research states that any exogenous stimulant of the endocannabinoid system (i.e. CBD) “have been shown to alter pain in acute, chronic and neuropathic conditions, including migraine and are expected to play a large role in the headache and other pain conditions resulting from concussion.”
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.
In recent years, medical cannabis is becoming more widely used in humans. A 2018 study found that medical cannabis may present an option to treat concussion related chronic pain and specifically headaches.
Future Cannabis-Concussion Research
There are numerous researchers that are interested in advancing the treatment of concussion and head injuries. There is an ongoing study into CBD in combination with anaesthetics for people with traumatic brain injuries.
What are CBD Capsules?
CBD capsules are a convenient way to take CBD and are consumed in the same manner as a normal capsule or pill. Typically, CBD capsules are taken in the morning and at night and the dosage typically varies between 10mg and 30mg of CBD per capsule. The CBD is often combined with MCT oil or coconut oil in order to maximise efficacy. Cannacares Capsules are vegan and 100% natural. You can purchase the CBD capsules in units of 30 capsules or 60 capsules.
CBD capsules are great for head injuries and concussions as you can simply take a CBD capsule like you would a standard tablet or painkiller.
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.
CBD produces no intoxicating side effects and does not get the user high. It is THC that causes users to get high. Long-term CBD use does not lead to a tolerance.
The existing evidence suggests that CBD should at least be a consideration in terms of a treatment for TBIs and concussion. While more research is of course required, the early signs are indeed promising.
Is cbd oil good for brain injury
= Authors =
Laura Diamond, MSc Global Health Student
Gabi Kaplan, Student Occupational Therapist
Jenni Diamond, OT Reg. (Ont.)
Evan Cole Lewis, MD
The therapeutic benefits of cannabis
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.
Cannabis and concussion: What we know so far…
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).
… medicinal cannabis may pose as an option for treating concussion-related chronic pain, specifically headaches.
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.
The future of cannabis-concussion research
Recently, many researchers have been interested in advancing these emergent findings and investigating this alternative concussion intervention. In fact, Dr. Gillian Hotz is currently embarking on an ongoing study investigating the effects of CBD in combination with an anesthetic for individuals with traumatic brain injury. Her preliminary findings suggest that this treatment improves cognitive function in mice (8).
In addition, one of the first double-blind studies exploring the effects of cannabis and concussion is expected to be conducted this summer by NEEKA Health Canada, the NHL Alumni Association and Canopy Growth Corporation, a cannabis company. This exciting new study will explore the efficacy of cannabis on reducing post-concussion syndrome impairments, such as depression, PTSD, and progressive dementia, among 100 previous NHL players.
The possibility of CBD as an effective intervention for post-concussion syndrome is without a doubt exciting! Stay tuned for future studies in this emerging field, and for the results of this upcoming study on professional hockey players.
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.
- Pazos, M. R., Cinquina, V., Gómez, A., Layunta, R., Santos, M., Fernández-Ruiz, J., & Martínez-Orgado, J. (2012). Cannabidiol administration after hypoxia–ischemia to newborn rats reduces long-term brain injury and restores neurobehavioral function. Neuropharmacology, 63(5), 776-783.
- Davies, S. (2018). Cannabis Scheduling Review Part 1: The therapeutic and medicinal benefits of Cannabis based products–a review of recent evidence. London: Department of Health and Social Care.
- Devinsky O, Patel AD, Cross JH, et al. Effect of Cannabidiol on Drop Seizures in the Lennox–Gastaut Syndrome. N Engl J Med 2018;378:1888–97. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1714631
- Friedman, D., & Devinsky, O. (2015). Cannabinoids in the treatment of epilepsy. The New England Journal of Medicine, 373(11), 1048-1058.
- McCoy B, Wang L, Zak M, et al. A prospective open-label trial of a CBD/THC cannabis oil in dravet syndrome. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology 2018;5:1077–88. doi:10.1002/acn3.621
- Russo, EB. (2018). Cannabis Therapeutics and the Future of Neurology Front. Integr. Neurosci. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnint.2018.00051
- McVige, J., Bargnes, V. H., Shukri, S., & Mechtler, L. (2018). Cannabis, concussion, and chronic pain. Neurology , 91(AAN Sports Concussion Conference, Indianapolis, December 04, 2018: Vol. 91, Issue 23 Supplement 2).
- Lief, E. (2018). Work Continues On A Pill To Treat Concussions. Retrieved from https://www.acsh.org/news/2018/09/25/work-continues-pill-treat-concussions-13441
I’m about to get my 1st bottle of CBD. I was in a bad motorcycle accident back in April. I suffer from a brain injury and pain in my left shoulder and back. The “pills” stopped working so I thought of cbd..