What are Concussions and Can CBD Help? | cannabisMD

What Is a Concussion? Can CBD Be Part of Their Treatment?

What is the potential for a concussion cbd treatment

Concussion is another term for a TBI which stands for traumatic brain injury. This affects your brain’s ability to function well. This head injury is usually the result of a bad knock to the head or a sudden movement or jolt. The damage can be caused directly from the knock or in the instance of a jolt, it can be due to the brain moving around within the head and banging of the skull. However this would have to be a very serious jolt or sudden movement i.e. a car crash fall. TBI’s may sometimes lead to bleeding in or around your brain. Such bleeding in the brain can be deadly, especially in the case of successive concussions.

The brain is the command center of the human body. It’s a soft, sensitive tissue floating in cushioning fluid within the hard and sturdy skull. Despite the protection that the skull provides, a swift bang to the head or violent shaking can damage the brain.

Concussion in Sport

More than a million mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI) occur worldwide every year. Concussions are a very typical sports injury. They also commonly occur in road traffic accidents. These are most commonly caused by everyday recreational activities like bike riding, skateboarding, or even playing at the playground. More than 50% of concussions occur in children when playing organized sports such football or soccer.

Professional athletes can develop the following conditions as a direct result of their sport:

Second Impact Syndrome
This is the name given to the effect on the brain of two concussions in a row. If the brain is not given enough time to heal after the first injury, a second can have catastrophic effects. The brain can swell rapidly and cause long term brain, irreversible damage.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy:
While once-off concussion rarely cause long-term damage to the brain, repeated head trauma over time can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). This is a medical condition that huge numbers of professional athletes have developed after years of playing.

The fact that professional athletes tend to return to play almost immediately after a concussion means the brain isn’t given time to heal. While the effects of CTE take more time to become visible, they can be severe. Some studies have shown CTE to cause early onset dementia.

What to Do When You Have a Concussion

The most important thing for a person who has suffered from a concussion or head injury is to get to their nearest emergency room as soon as possible. This is because oftentimes, the patient may seem completely unharmed but the truth is that damage has been done to the brain. This is known as post concussion syndrome.

Undetected brain damage can cause some very serious long term problems for the patient. A ct scan can identify if the brain has sustained injury which is otherwise invisible from the outside.

There are certina warning sign which will indicate that the brain has sustained an injury. They include:

  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness that lasts for more than a few seconds
  • Bleeding from the nose, ears or mouth
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Unusual changes to vision or speech

If you or somebody you know displays any of the above warning signs in the hours or even days following a head injury, it is vital that you visit your nearest emergency room urgently.

Nurses and doctors can diagnose a concussion and asses its severity with great accuracy. This allows for the proper management of the concussion, and maximizes the chances of a full recovery

CBD For Concussions

CBD is the nickname given to a chemical compound called cannabidiol. This compound is found in and extracted from the cannabis plant. Although it remains quite controversial as a result of the stigma attached to the plant, CBD is growing in popularity as a medical treatment.

CBD and its effects have been studied extensively by researchers in the past few years. However, much of the data which has been produced as a result of these studies is unreliable. This is because the legal issues surrounding cannabis have made it very difficult for studies to be of a large enough scale to produce truly representative results.

Cannabis remains a Schedule 1 Substance in the United States under federal law. This means that, in legal terms, it has the same status and restrictions as heroin. However, many states in the country have legalized the plant for medical use. Some have even legalized for recreational use. This has made research possible, although it is still very difficult.

The research which has been conducted has revealed some impressive medicinal properties. These results have led to many people taking matters into their own hands, and using CBD as an experimental home treatment for whatever medical issues they face. Although the scientific data is still sparse, the anecdotal evidence in favour of CBD is overwhelming.

Some of the illnesses, diseases and medical conditions that CBD is currently being used as a treatment for include:

  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Various forms of cancer
  • Some forms of epilepsy
  • Anxiety
  • A wide range of chronic pain conditions
  • Multiple sclerosis

CBD is believed to be a possible treatment for concussions because of its ability to act as a powerful anti-inflammatory. Although there isn’t any evidence to prove that CBD stops swelling of the brain, there is certainly evidence to suggest that it could.

Recent studies indicate the the primary cause of the signs and symptoms of concussion is inflammation. If inflammation can be reduced, the symptoms and effects of the injury could be minimized, it’s believed. CBD has been found time and time again to reduce and prevent inflammation, so there is much hope that it could be effective in this instance.

CBD has also been found to have some powerful neuroprotective powers. Scientists haven’t quite figure out why yet, but they do believe that CBD protects the brain and brain cells from potential injury. This suggests that professional athletes who ingest CBD on a daily basis could be less likely to develop second impact syndrome and/or CTE.

Many people will suffer a concussion as a once off during their childhood and go on to live perfectly happy and healthy lives. However, for those who spend their lives in industries which pose a risk of repeated head injury, the stakes are much higher.

Taking care to recognise the symptoms of concussion is vital to minimizing its effects. Receiving professional medical treatment is required to ensure that the brain heals fully. And precautions should be made to limit the possibility of further injuries and the severe damage that they can cause.

Yes, it’s true that CBD could be used as a commonplace preventative treatment in the future. But for now, there simply is not enough scientific proof that this natural medicine can be used safely for that purpose. In the meantime, prevention is better than cure and taking steps to protect the brain must be prioritized.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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