Medical Research

Can CBD Treat Post-concussion Syndrome?

Colby McCoy
Written by Colby McCoy

There is a lot of buzz around cannabidiol (CBD) and its potential benefits as an effective treatment for a whole host of conditions ranging from anxiety to depression to inflammation. Finding CBD products for purchase at the local health store or gas station has become a reality for most people across the US.

Not coincidentally, research on CBD’s viability as a medical treatment has gained a lot of ground. In today’s article, we are going to explore a specific area of CBD research that has yielded promising results – CBD’s ability to treat post-concussion syndrome, or symptoms of headaches and dizziness weeks after an event that caused a concussion.

A study conducted by researchers at the Dent Neurologic Institute sought to evaluate cannabis as a potential treatment for concussion-associated chronic pain. [1] The study reviewed medical charts of over 4,000 patients with either chronic pain or concussion symptoms and found that 80% of patients taking a 1:1 ratio (tetrahydrocannabinol, THC:CBD) oral tincture treatment
(1.5 mL; three times a day) to prevent pain or a 20:1 vape pen to treat acute pain experienced a noticeable reduction of their symptoms and increase in quality of life. The three categories in which there was the greatest improvement were mood, sleep, and headache.

Another study conducted at Hebrew University found promising results indicating that cannabis was effective in treating traumatic brain injury.[2] These researchers previously showed that administering the endocannabinoid 2-AG to preclinical models with induced brain injuries led to improvements in cognitive ability and reversal of neurological damage. In their latest study, they used cannabis-derived compounds that bind to the cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor and found similar beneficial results.

Since 2-AG affects both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, it is greatly advantageous to identify a treatment that only targets CB2, since CB1 receptors are responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis.

The studies certainly indicate that medical cannabis and CBD may be beneficial for post-concussion syndrome or traumatic brain injury. What remains to be seen is if CBD or CBD-derived treatment for this condition will make it through clinical trial testing. Until then, we’ll look forward to future research.

Image source: MEL Magazine

References

  1. McVige, J., et al., “Cannabis, Concussion, and Chronic Pain: An Ongoing Retrospective Analysis at Dent Neurologic Institute in Buffalo, NY.” Neurology, 91, no.23, 2018, pg. S18-S19.
  2. Magid, L., et al., “Role of CB2 Receptor in the Recovery of Mice after Traumatic Brain Injury.” J Neurotrauma, vol.36, no.11, 2019, pg. 1836-1846.

About the author

Colby McCoy

Colby McCoy

Colby McCoy is a recent graduate of the University of Georgia who has written for non-profits, marketing firms, and personal blogs. When not writing he can be found trekking the mountain ranges around Seattle, WA, with his two pups Harry and Riley.

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