Traumatic Brain Injury and Medical Marijuana

The effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can last for days or even a lifetime. Medical marijuana, known for its pain-relieving and neuroprotective properties, may help Texans living with traumatic brain injuries find relief.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injuries are caused by an external force or blow to the head. Although many associate TBIs with sports, they can affect any person at any age. Other common causes of TBIs include falls, vehicle collisions and explosive or combat injuries. 

TBI symptoms can vary widely and depend on the type of injury and its severity. Symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Lethargy
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Nerve damage
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Seizures

How Does Medical Marijuana Help Traumatic Brain Injuries?

TBI patients living with long term symptoms are often prescribed several medications that can each have their own, sometimes severe, side effects. Despite numerous clinical trials, there is no single pharmaceutical therapy for TBIs. As more states legalize medical marijuana, many patients are turning to cannabis to treat their symptoms.

Some research suggests that medical marijuana may not only help relieve some of the common TBI symptoms with less side effects, but it could also improve cognitive function.

Cannabinoids, the compounds in cannabis that interact with our bodies’ receptors, may play a significant role in protecting our nervous system after trauma. Pre-clinical research suggests that cannabinoids have neuroprotective effects and may even reduce neurological impairment. THC has also been associated with decreased mortality in adults with TBIs. 

Although more clinical research is needed, one study conducted by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is promising. Researchers found that rats and mice subjected to traumatic brain injuries significantly improved recovery when treated with cannabinoids.

How Do I Get a Prescription?

Although traumatic brain injuries do not qualify for medical marijuana in Texas, some of the symptoms experienced by those living with TBIs, such as seizures, spasticity and peripheral neuropathy, do qualify.

To start the process, simply click below and fill out the form.

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