Head injuries are one of the leading causes of injuries in the United States. These injuries are sustained by sports, violent auto accidents, slip and falls, and domestic violence. In the United States alone approximately 153 people per day die from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Those that do survive often have life altering injuries. Often these injuries last the rest of their lives. With the recent passing of the 2018 Farm bill, research has started to look further into the benefits of CBD for head injuries and TBIs.
What is a Head Injury/ TBI
Violent blows or jolt to the head are defined as a Head injury. This causes the brain to collide with the inner skull causing bruising, damage to nerve cells, blood clots, or swelling. Leading symptoms include headaches, nausea, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, problems with speech, and loss of balance. Effects of sustaining a head injury can include processing, memory issues, loss of movement in your extremities, sensation deficits such as loss of taste or smell, and emotional changes such as violent outbursts. People who are diagnosed with a head injury suffer life altering symptoms that are hard to deal with. These symptoms can lead to emotional stress on them or their family members. However, progress is currently moving forward with trials on CBD and head injuries.
According to the Vancouver Sun, there is a proposed trial being undertaken in the NHL with 100 former players and the effects of medicinal marijuana/hemp. A double blind study is set to be completed with players dealing with impairments from past concussions, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and progressive dementia. The one year long study is going to be conducted with the NHL alumni association, Canopy Growth, and NEEKA Health Canada. Since trials on humans are few, this brings new excitement to the hemp and cannabis industry. The Vancouver Sun goes on to quote “In terms of actually resolving the injury through the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD (a cannabinoid), that’s a second question. And what we see there is research from animal models that gives theoretical rationale, and there’s some anecdotal evidence, but the reason we need to do the research is to really see in humans how it works.”
Another potential study is being considered in the United States. 40 subjects who sustained mild brain injuries will be analyzed and measured by EEG for brain activity and their reactions to CBD. This is a year long trial with subjects ranging from the age of 18 to 55. This study is being sponsored by a foundation and a University in Colorado. Their theory is to try and bring scientific support for the benefits of the hemp and its plant based compounds. The lead neuroscientist that has been studying cannabinoids since 2000 is hopeful as the preclinical data is showing that phytocannabinoids are critical in restoring the neuronal function after sustaining a brain injury.
CBD and the Future?
These two trials are just scratching the surface the research that is beginning in the hemp industry. As more research becomes available more people will become aware of the benefits that CBD has to offer. Currently it appears there is still a negative stereotype surrounding CBD and the hemp industry that new laws and more education will slowly break down. As research continues to make strides, more people will become aware of the benefits of CBD and the ways that it can be used in their lives.