How Cannabidiol Could Possibly Treat Pain from Concussion | cannabisMD

How Cannabidiol Could Possibly Treat Pain from Concussion

Pain from concussions and how cannabis might treat it

Headaches are the most common post concussion syndrome and becomes a chronic neurological disorder in many patients.This paper will focus on the what cannabidiol (CBD) can do to help the central nervous system (CNS) and regulate inflammation after traumatic brain injury. CBD is shown to have neuroprotective effects and this could fight neurodegenerative diseases such as alzheimer’s disease. This could then highlight the endo-CBD system as potential go to place so head trauma, chronic pain and migraines can be treated.

Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.

Main Points

  • CBD’s may have a therapeutic potential in treating concussions
  • Endo-CBD system is one of the main modulators of the pain system

CBD’s may have a therapeutic potential in treating concussions

NFL players are at high risk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) due to collision in the sport. Medical cannabis may have a unique therapeutic potential for CTE treatment. There are several animal studies that demonstrate phyto-CBD, cannabidiol derived from the cannabis plant, decreasing long term brain damage following stroke with no side effects. There is one published case study for trigeminal neuralgia describing a patient’s excellent response to Sativex. Sativex, a therapeutic spray, is approved in the EU and Canada and contains equal doses of CBD and THC. Clinical trials illustrated in this paper has also demonstrated in rodent models that CBD is anti inflammatory and reduces neuropathic pain. This may lead to CBD oil being used to treat concussion symptoms.

The Endo-CBD system is one of the main controllers of the pain system

A common link between migraine and post concussion headache may be in how cannabinoids modulate the production of nitric oxide. A CBD deficiency was found in the cerebral spinal fluid of patients with chronic migraine and this lead to the CBD’s as a proposed mechanism contributing to migraine disorders, and may also apply to post-traumatic headache. Cannabinoid receptors all appear to play an important role in the modulation of pain. The importance of the endo-CBD’s for regulating the CNS is reflected by the fact that the CB1 receptor is the most abundant receptor in the CNS. By modulating synaptic strength, the endo-CBD system can regulate a wide range of neuronal
function including cognition, motor control, feeding behaviors and pain.


Currently there are no United States-FDA approved treatments for brain trauma and therapies used for post-traumatic headache are implemented based on primary headache disorders such as migraine or tension type headache. Over the next decade, the barriers to research that impact the progress in the study of the endocannabinoid system and particularly phyto-CBD’s for the treatment of headache and related symptoms (i.e., vertigo, fatigue, sleep dysfunction, cognitive and attentional deficits, depression and anxiety) following concussion will need to be addressed. Once this happens then medical marijuana could have the potential to be a major player in therapies for pain.

Jonathan Neilly
Jonathan Neilly
Jonathan Neilly is registered with the British Psychological Society, breaking the taboo on mental health issues is one of the driving forces in his life. His background in biomedicine gives him additional understanding of the factors that work together to influence the human condition.

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