Case Report Finds Cannabis Provides Symptom Relief in Those With Treatment-Resistant TBI

According to a new case report, the use of medical cannabis is associated with decreases in agitation and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress in a 38-year-old patient with an acquired traumatic brain injury (TBI). The report was published in the journal Psychosomatics, and first reported on by NORML.

For the case report researchers from the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center reported on the effect of medical cannabis treatment in a TBI patient with post-traumatic stress and major depressive disorder. The patient had been unresponsive to conventional therapies.

According to NORML, authors reported that cannabis treatment was associated with sustained, “clinically meaningful” decreases in the patient’s “depression, agitation, aggression, and anxiety.” The patient increased his number of social interactions and discontinued his use of opiates. He reported no significant adverse side-effects from cannabis therapy.

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The study concludes by stating that “The improvement of symptoms in [this] case, which is medically and psychiatrically complex, suggests that MC (medical cannabis) can potentially be effective for neuropsychiatric symptoms in acquired brain injury when other psychotropic treatments have failed. … Future studies must be conducted to better meet the needs of survivors of acquired brain injury and to help inform provider and patient decisions in using MC to treat symptoms.”

The study is titled Medical cannabis reduced agitation in acquired brain injury: A case study.

This study is far from the first to find that cannabinoids are useful in treating traumatic brain injury.

For example, a 2015 study published in the journal Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology found that activation of the body’s cannabinoid receptors can rescue learning and memory after a traumatic brain injury.

A 2014 study published by the American Journal of Surgery came to the conclusion that “A positive THC screen is associated with decreased mortality in adult patients sustaining TBI [traumatic brain injury].”

And a 2013 Cerebral Cortex study found evidence that activation of the body’s cannabinoid receptors may lead to neuroprotective benefits which can help heal the brain after a traumatic injury.

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