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 Traumatic Brain Injury is exactly as it sounds: dysfunction of the brain due to an external force, namely a head collision.  The effects can be severe and long-lasting, with the possibility of CTE later in life. Thankfully, in Ohio's medical marijuana program patients can qualify for medical cannabis treatment with a diagnosis of TBI, or medical records showing head injury and/or concussion(s). TBI's symptoms range and can affect nearly every process in the body, however using cannabis for TBI may help minimize the damage to retain more skills and cognitive functioning for improved qualify of life.

TBI, or Traumatic Brain Injury, is a condition that usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. Mild TBI can result in brain cells being affected temporarily, with moderate to severe TBI resulting in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain that are accompanied with long-term health complications including seizures, vertigo, blood vessel damage, among others.

Symptoms of TBI can range from physical to psychological, with some symptoms appearing immediately after the injury and others appearing days or weeks later. 

Traditional treatment of TBI is significantly dependent on the severity of the injuru. Mild cases may not need very much, if any, treatment, while others may need more extreme treatment options. In the case of moderate to severe TBI, these situations will typically require emergency care, with subsequent therapies and rehabilitation and possible surgeries. Commonly prescribe medications for TBI include diuretics, anti-seizure medications, and coma-inducing drugs.


How Can Medical Marijuana Help TBI Symptoms?

Each year, almost 52,000 people die from TBI, and another 80,000 faces severe disability related to the injuries; all-in-all, more than 5.3 million people in the U.S. live with TBI.

Symptoms of TBI are often broken down into two categories: mild TBI and moderate to severe TBI. Symptoms can occur immediately, or they can be delayed for hours or days after the impact.

​Mild TBI Symptoms Include: loss of consciousness, being dazed and disoriented, dizziness or balance issues, headaches, nausea or vomiting, drowsiness, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, changes in mood including depression and anxiety.

Moderate to Severe TBI Symptoms Include: any symptoms associated with mild TBI, prolonged loss of consciousness, persistent or worsening headache, continued nausea or vomiting, seizures, weakness/numbness in toes and fingers, coordination difficulties, agitation, combativeness, slurring of speech, and coma.

Cannabis is known for its neuroprotective qualities, making cannabis an ideal candidate for TBI treatment. Generally speaking, cannabis interacts with the human endocannabinoid system that is responsible for regulation of mood, behavior, and homeostasis. When cannabinoids interact with your cannabinoid receptors, it assists in keeping your body from releasing cytokines, which cause inflammation after injury, and encourages the body to release minocycline, which minimizes swelling and neurological impairment.

After a TBI, the body can release toxic chemicals that cause further damage to the brain, including excitotoxicity, oxidative stress and inflammation. While both THC and CBD appear to have a particularly beneficial effect on TBI, CBD specifically has been found to reduce the brain's oxidative stress following a traumatic brain injury; also working as a neuroprotectant and reducing neurological impairment and swelling. CBD is non-psychoactive and offers properties including neuroprotection, anti-inflammation, and anti-anxiety effects. In animal studies, CBD reduced excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, and inflammation.

Furthermore, research by Professor Yosef Sarne at Tel Aviv University shows a positive relationship between cannabis and TBI in both brain cell protection and long-term cognitive functions, with cannabinoids seemingly initiating the biochemical processes that create the protective effect.

There are a number of different strains and forms of cannabis that can be utilized in the treatment of TBI. Using cannabinoids and terpenes as a guide to address your specific conditions will allow you to get the most out of your treatment, in addition to using the appropriate forms for you and your lifestyle.

3 Easy Steps


Step 1

Schedule an appointment with one of our friendly marijuana doctors at any location throughout the State! 


Step 2

Visit our office for your

in-person evaluation with a state-certified medical marijuana doctor.


Step 3

With the doctor's approval, you'll receive your card via email from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.

Medical Marijuana Doctors Can Help

While marijuana is not a cure for a Traumatic Brain Injury, it can help make people with the condition much more comfortable. As with any medication, you should always discuss cannabis with a physician before initial use. If you are interested in using cannabis to help manage your symptoms, schedule an evaluation with an Ohio Marijuana Card doctor today!

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