Can CBD Treat Head Injuries?
Using cannabinoids as medicine could help protect your brain.
CBD oil is being labeled as the miracle drug of the century, but it is worth looking more closely at what it really capable of and what is just public hype. Research has shown the uses and benefits of CBD oil for traumatic brain injuries in NFL players and car accident victims. If you have experienced a head injury and are looking for a natural solution, CBD may be an option to improve your situation.
What defines a head injury?
A head injury includes damage caused to the scalp, skull or brain and includes a broad range of different types of head injuries. They may be as mild as a bump that occurs externally on the skull, or it can be a traumatic brain injury caused by a high-impact incident, such as a head-on collision. It can cause an open wound or internal damage, but it does not originate from internal issues.
The most common types of head injuries are as follows:
- Skull Fracture: Much like how it sounds, a skull fracture is a broken or fractured bone of your skull. Signs of a skull fracture include bruising, swelling or tenderness at the site of impact or bleeding from the nose or ears. Skull fractures are typically only cause by intense force which can lead to some of the other listed head injuries and should be taken seriously.
- Concussion: Concussions are caused by injuries that trigger your head to rapidly move back and forth, thereby rattling your brain within your skull. The repeated impact can result in a mild traumatic brain injury which will lead to an array of different symptoms — including losing consciousness, short-term memory loss, sensitivity to light and loss of balance. For weeks following the incident it is common to experience headaches, nausea, mood swings, and sleeplessness.
- Contusion: Not to be confused with a concussion, a contusion is also simply known as a bruise. A contusion forms when there is a blow or cut to an area that reputers blood vessels under the skin that result in discoloration. The area can be tender until it heals in a few days to a couple weeks. If the pain is severe or discoloration continues for more than a couple weeks, it may be a sign of deeper issues.
Different kinds of accidents lead to head injuries that should only be treated by medical professionals due to the severity and possibility of permanent damage or death, such as hemorrhaging or a hematoma. However, many other injuries and side effects of those injuries can be safely and naturally treated with CBD oil.
What can CBD do?
There are many neurological benefits associated with the use of CBD oil. Not only does CBD alleviate pain due to its effect on our opioid receptors, this treatment also contains neural anti-inflammatory properties that help combat the symptoms of many debilitating diseases and conditions.
According to Project CBD, “Plant cannabinoids such as THC and CBD mimic and augment the activity of endogenous cannabinoids that all mammals produce internally. Endogenous cannabinoids are part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS regulates many physiological processes that are relevant to TBI, such as cerebral blood flow, inflammation, and neuroplasticity.”
Like white blood cells react to protect our immune systems, the ECS works as a defensive mechanism for our brains and is triggered when a head injury occurs. The ECS activates cannabinoid receptors, called CB1 and CB2, and protect against neurological and motor deficits after a traumatic head injury occurs.
In a 2014 study by medical researchers at UCLA, those who experienced a traumatic head injury and tested positive for marijuana had a lower mortality rate than those that tested negative. Currently, many NFL athletes, boxers and extreme sport athletes are using CBD to treat chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a result of numerous concussions. It is using what we know about our bodies reaction to cannabinoids and using it to naturally build our body’s defense systems.
What kind is best for you?
Using a dose of CBD is useful to help reduce any side effects that have resulted in anxiousness, sleeplessness and irritation. Due to the fact that CBD does not have any of the psychoactive effects, it will not alter your mind state, which those who have suffered a head injury may want to avoid.
If your symptoms or side effects would also benefit from the use of THC, you can also purchase blends that have different ratios according to your preference. THC stimulates the appetite, promotes sleep and reduces pain. It does, however, have psychoactive effects that can increase sensations of dizziness and confusion. You can find CBD and THC in capsules, tinctures, sprays, lotions, bath bombs, vape oil and edibles. It all depends on how you want to ingest it or if you are using it topically for pain.
If you have experienced any type of head injury, it is best to consult a doctor before making any personal decisions regarding the best way to proceed with your medical care. Some, not all, symptoms and side effects can be treated CBD. Ask your doctor if it can help you.