In recent years, cannabis has been studied as a possible treatment for an enormous range of illnesses, diseases and medical conditions. However, one of the most exciting areas of current medical cannabis research is that of brain injury.
Brain injury is a huge problem in American sports today. The rates of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) are staggering. CTE is a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated head trauma and leads to early onset dementia, among other problems.
It has been known for sometime that professional athletes who play contact sports such as hockey and american football are infinitely more likely to suffer from CTE. Thankfully, research suggests that cannabis could be the solution to this problem.
One of the primary goals of this research is to find a scientific rational for the therapeutic superiority of many herbal drug extracts derived from traditional medicine as compared to single constituents thereof. The efficacy of these plant extracts used for centuries has been verified in countless clinical studies and peer journal reviews.
Synergy effects of the mixture of bioactive constituents and their byproducts contained in plant extracts are claimed to be responsible for the improved effectiveness of many extracts.
Because there were some indications for a stronger muscle-antispastic effect of the extract than of pure THC, which today is available as Dronabinol® in Germany, Marinol in the U.S.A. and Cesamet in England, a comparative i.v. test of 1 mg/THC and 5 mg/kg Cannabis extract, the latter standardized on a concentration of 20% of THC, was carried out.
Since a THC free extract in a preliminary investigation did not show strong antispastic effect, concomitant constituents of the Cannabis extract, probably cannabidiol, may be responsible for the synergy effects enhanced.
Cannabidiol promotes an increase in the transport of anandamide through the brain membrane not evident with THC. This could explain the stronger antispastic effect of the cannabis extract.
The results of studies such as this provide a promising indicator of the possibilities cannabis treatments present. Hopefully, as research continues, an effective and safe cannabis-based drug for CTE will become a reality.
Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.