For the greater part of the last decade, concussion injuries in sports are becoming more and more prevalent. Whether its football, soccer, basketball or hockey, the need for effective treatments for concussions are on the rise. While research on cannabis' direct effect on post-concussion syndrome is lacking, preclinical studies are showing that cannabis can offer many therapeutic benefits following major brain injuries.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 138 people in the United States die from concussion related injuries every day. This staggering number is a major cause for concern among the sports world considering about 200,000 people in the United States suffer concussions while playing sports every year. Concussions occur in a wide range of sports and affect all athletes, from professional players to recreational leagues across the world.
A concussion is a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupt normal brain functions. The severity of brain injuries range from mild to severe depending on the symptoms. Symptoms include impaired thinking, increased headaches, loss of memory, personality changes, and even depression. Those who suffer "mild" cases may experience slight changes in mental state that last a few days while "severe" cases may last weeks, months, or the rest of their life. Symptoms include impaired thinking, increased headaches, loss of memory, personality changes, and even depression.
While more research is needed, cannabis is showing to be a miracle treatment for those who are currently suffering from concussion symptoms. A natural chemical compound found in cannabis called tetrahydrocannabinol is a powerful neuroprotectant against concussion and CTE, even at an ultra low 0.15 mg dose. The cannabis plant actually contains neuroprotective antioxidants. These neuroprotectants have many functions, including preventing stress-related damage and reducing inflammation in the brain.
Since 2001, the United States Department of Health and Human Services has held US Patent #6630507. The patent application states, "The cannabinoids [in cannabis] are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia."