In the U.S., every year, millions of people are diagnosed with different medical conditions, diseases, and illnesses with some of them being life-threatening. In particular, one health issue that affects millions of people is a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Currently, more than 5.3 million people struggle with traumatic brain injury disabilities in America. Over the years, various scientists, researchers, and physicians have been trying to uncover additional treatment methods for TBIs, and it turns out that cannabis, CBD, and hemp-derived products may be a few beneficial adjunct treatment options.
The Potential Severity of Traumatic Brain Injuries: What People Should Know
When it comes to a medical issue related to or within the brain, it should be taken very seriously because our brain is one of the most complex parts of our body, and it also controls numerous vital functions in our daily life. When one is diagnosed with a TBI, the condition itself and its symptoms can range from being mild or moderate to severe or even life-threatening. Before getting into the most common TBI symptoms, what is this condition, and how does it affect people?
Traumatic brain injuries are known as a type of trauma that negatively impacts the usual functions of the brain. TBIs can be caused by a sudden and unexpected strike, blow, or force to the head. As a result, an individual may experience changes in the form of communication struggles, mental and/or cognitive impairments, and possibly an inability to function the same as the individual used to before the TBI occurred.
Next are the symptoms caused by or associated with TBIs. The symptoms individuals experience from having a TBI vary, but the most common ones include the following: headaches, mood changes including depression, dizziness, vertigo, sleeping difficulties, seizures or convulsions, nausea or vomiting, and overall weakness. Although several symptoms usually show up right after the TBI occurs, it’s possible to experience different symptoms well after an individual was diagnosed with a TBI.
Unfortunately, each year, roughy 80,000 new patients experience the debilitating aftermath caused by or associated with TBIs. To help treat symptoms caused by TBIs, more people are turning their attention towards alternative medicines like cannabis, CBD, and hemp-based products rather than only traditional pharmaceutical drugs.
Cannabis, CBD, and Hemp Products as Potential TBI Medicines
In addition, TBIs often result in a dysfunction of the brain due to an external blow, hit, or force to the head. After this occurs, numerous individuals often experience significant pain, cognitive changes, etc. For those who would rather consume natural medicines, cannabis, CBD, and/or hemp products can be used. By now, it’s becoming more common for TBI sufferers to consume cannabis, CBD, or hemp products to gain relief from uncomfortable symptoms, to help reduce brain damage, and to retain cognitive functions and essential life skills and abilities.
When an individual has a TBI, their normal brain functioning is altered and disrupted, which can lead to changes in nearly all processes and functions within the body. For this reason and many more, hemp-derived or whole cannabis plant derived-cannabinoids are being consumed much more. It has already been found that cannabis and Cannabidiol possess neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties, which can be of much use to TBI patients.
Also, cannabis, CBD, and hemp products can help alleviate the severity of or help improve various TBI symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, depression, and anxiety. What may come as a surprise is that when one has a TBI, inflammation occurs within the brain and brain tissue. Thus, cannabis and CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties serve a significant purpose. Furthermore, when CBD is consumed by those with TBIs, the cannabinoid can help prevent the body from generating cytokines, which are cells that provoke/initiate inflammation.
TBI Medicines—Natural, Conventional, or a Combination of the Two?
On a similar note, the TBI treatment method an individual chooses depends on their specific case. Each situation is unique, and there’s no ‘one size fits all’ method that works for everyone. However, some of the most traditional methods for treating TBIs include diuretic medications, anti-seizure medications, coma-inducing drugs, surgery, and rehabilitation in the form of occupational, physical, or neuropsychological therapy.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all of these methods will be effective nor is there a guarantee that no adverse side effects will arise. Due to the natural benefits derived from cannabis and hemp plants and the cannabinoids that can be extracted from them, these natural yet alternative medicines have been attracting numerous TBI patients in recent years.
Research Findings That Support Alternative Medicines in the Treatment of TBIs
Over time, various studies have been conducted to understand the role cannabinoids play in treating TBIs and/or their symptoms. According to one study performed on piglets with brain injuries, it was revealed that CBD alleviated excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, and inflammation.
Additionally, another study revealed some noteworthy findings. Specifically, research performed by a group in Tel Aviv University discovered that as a result of the administration of cannabinoids before a TBI occurred or a few days afterwards led to the protection of both brain cells and long-term cognitive functions. Although CBD has shown to be beneficial for helping treat many different medical conditions like TBIs, THC may be beneficial too.
In recent years, it was revealed that when detectable THC levels are within one’s body at the time a TBI occurred, they are less likely to die from the injury as compared to individuals without any detectable THC in their system. This finding indicates that cannabis might possess a preventative effect before brain injuries occur. Also, let’s not forget that cannabis possesses protective features in the body’s neural system. Therefore, cannabis may be able to help minimize brain damage that occurs post-brain injury.
Although TBIs affect everyone differently, based on the research findings above, the usage of cannabis, CBD, and/or hemp products can provide some level of relief or an improvement in symptom management. Stay tuned to learn more about how cannabis and hemp-derived products can serve as an aid in the treatment of TBIs and/or its symptoms as additional studies continue to be conducted.